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The impact of Thanksgiving food waste

The USDA estimates between 30-40% of food every day, with the most wasteful time of the year being the holidays.
Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 9:55 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Thanksgiving meals cost more than ever.

The American Farm Bureau says the turkey centerpiece of the holiday took the biggest jump, with the price going up about a $1.50 per pound.

The bureau also reports the price for the entire meal went up by over $6--up now to $55.

Many of you reached out to us on Facebook to tell us what you do with your leftovers. Almost all of you said your families join the “Clean Plate Club”, after multiple rounds of leftovers.

But the USDA estimates between 30-40% of food every day, with the most wasteful time of the year being the holidays.

So, how much was wasted today?

The numbers are surprising.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says around 175 million pounds of turkey, almost 30 million pounds of vegetables, and 40 million pounds of mashed potatoes get trashed. The list goes on... It’s a problem. The USDA says nationally, almost 14 million families were food insecure at some point in the last year.

Along with getting creative with your thanksgiving leftovers, there are others ways you can prevent waste. Donate shelf-stable food items you don’t end up using to a local food bank. For Christmas, serve in smaller portions. That way you can avoid throwing out the food left on your plate when you’re done. You can always go back for seconds!

Next holiday, shop with a plan. Know how many people are coming and what they’re bringing, so then you can coordinate what you make. That way you can waste less… and save more!

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