According to the LA Times in 2012, Americans will waste 200 million pounds of turkey at Thanksgiving. The USDA reports that 35% of purchased turkey meat, not including the bones is wasted.
Nearly 16 million children in this country will go hungry and never see that 200 million pounds of turkey because it’s in a landfill. Let’s not forget the resources being wasted to produce the 200 million pounds of turkey being thrown away.
What if everything you cooked tomorrow was eaten or repurposed into new food, leaving no trash for the trash men to pick up the next day?
Let’s start with a no waste Thanksgiving.
Buy the turkey you truly need. Our family doesn’t like to eat a lot of turkey. We went with a 5 lb. turkey breast for 7 people (3 adults and 4 children). The 20 lb. turkey we bought last week when we thought we would have company for dinner will be served in December at a birthday party.
Encourage guests to self-serve, and come back for seconds if they want more. Serve children small portions; have them take a bite first from your plate if they’re not sure about a dish.
Package leftovers immediately, label them, and put them in the freezer.
Start a batch of turkey stock, add 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar, and let the stock simmer over night to draw the minerals out of the bones. Or you can freeze the carcass and make stock later.
Save vegetable peelings from the veggie side dishes and use them to flavor the stock. Carrot, celery, green bean, and onion bits can all go into the stock. Broccoli stems can be steamed and sauteed or used in a stir fry. Kale and spinach stems can be sauteed or stir fried.
Use the leftover gravy to flavor a meat pie.
Invite friends and family over to share leftovers for dinner the next day.
Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes
How to reheat turkey leftovers and keep them moist | Simple Bites
Turkey Spinach Lasagna Rolls | Just Us Four
Leftover Cranberry Sauce Bread | Oh My Veggies
Caramelized Pear & Cranberry Sauce Panini | The Roasted Root
Leftover Turkey Pot Pie | Damn Delicious
Thanksgiving Leftover Nachos | Girl Versus Dough
Turkey, Smashed Avocado, Cranberry, Brie, Mashed Potato Waffle Melts | Halfbaked Harvest
Leftover Turkey Gumbo | Steamy Kitchen
Homemade Gnocchi Made with Leftover Mashed Potatoes | The Art of Doing Stuff
Leftover Parmesan Mashed Potato Patties | Skinny Taste
Stuffing Stuffed Mushrooms | Purely Consumed
Easy Dinner Recipes: Turkey Tetrazzini | Thirty Handmade Days
Baked Turkey Croquettes | Skinny Taste
Donate the makings of a meal to a local food bank.
Set up a food collection at your church or school.
Volunteer to serve a meal at a local soup kitchen. Call your local United Way to find out where to volunteer.
Support No Kid Hungry/Share Our Strength.
More-With-Less Cookbook (World Community Cookbook)
The Use-It-Up Cookbook: A Guide for Minimizing Food Waste
Extending the Table: A World Community Cookbook
So, are you ready for a No Waste Thanksgiving?
Shared at Homestead Blog Hop
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