'Tis the season of parties & festive gatherings! And what's a holiday party without delicious fresh-cooked food with the ones you love?
While these gatherings are some of the most cherished things families and friends share, they can also create a lot of waste.
According to a Newsweek article, nearly $450 million worth of food will go to waste during this season:
The report from Rethink Food Waste Through Economics and Data, a collaboration of private industry, nonprofit and government participants, estimates that over 3 million pounds of food will be dumped this holiday.
To go even further, A Center for Biological Diversity report revealed that 200 million pounds of turkey will be thrown out, along with 150 million pounds of side dishes like vegetables and potatoes and 14 million pounds of dinner rolls. That is so much food!! 🤯
Here are some of the best ways you can combat these issues and reduce the problem:
1. Plan out meals and ingredients accordingly.
When it comes to gatherings, the numbers don't lie! We wind up with a lot of excess food, which is often thrown out!
Here are some things you can do to limit this outcome:
- Shop very intentionally for ingredients.
- Only cook enough food for the number of people coming together.
- Assign people specific dishes to cover the bases without going overboard.
2. Donate excess canned food items to local food banks
If you wind up with a lot of leftover food you didn't use for your gatherings, you can donate it to food banks and organizations that can be sure to get these items to those in need.
3. Compost it (or donate it to a local compost bin)
Another great idea is to compost leftovers (whatever is allowed in your area!) If possible, you can donate your leftover scraps to local compost bins near you.
So many food parts and scraps are compostable! How much better for the leftovers to become soil and healthy material instead of just more trash in the bin!
4. Reinvent leftover foods into new meals
Many of us think we enjoy leftovers, but let's be honest...we rarely eat them all, which means they still wind up in the trash can. (After being stuck in the back of your fridge for weeks or even months.)
A great way to ensure you use your leftovers is to look up recipes that utilize your items (like turkey, potatoes, cranberry). You'll have delicious fresh meals in front of you in no time!