Holiday season panic, we all experience it. How much food do I buy? Is this turkey big enough? Are you sure we have enough food? Where am I going to put all of these leftovers? Who is going to eat all of these leftovers?!
Millions of pounds of leftover food is thrown away every year. In fact, it is estimated that Americans throw away 204 million pounds of turkey meat during the Thanksgiving holiday (Natural Resources Defense Council, 2016). What if there was a way to plan more accordingly and load off some of those leftovers?
To reduce wasted food this holiday season:
• Plan ahead: Have an accurate head count to plan portions accordingly. Use Save the Food’s new Guest-imator calculator to help estimate how much food you will need based on the head count and number of desired leftovers.
• Cook with imperfections: Purchase imperfect produce to use in cooked dishes, such as bruised apples for apple pie.
• Share: Encourage your guests to bring a container they can take leftovers home in.
• Make creative leftovers: Enjoy your Thanksgiving leftovers days after by creating new dishes like turkey soup or hot turkey sandwiches.
• Freeze: Be realistic about the leftovers you can eat; freeze the extra that won’t last in the fridge.
Be grateful and not wasteful this holiday season and help reduce wasted food in New York State.