Every year between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, Americans waste more than 5 million tons of food – three times more than any other time of the year. Keep your holiday eating healthy, and reduce waste by following these tips:
- Be realistic. The fear of not providing enough to eat often causes hosts to cook too much. Instead, plan out how much food you and your guests will realistically need, and stock up accordingly.
- Plan ahead. Create a shopping list before heading to the farmers’ market or grocery store. Sticking to this list will reduce the risk of impulse buys or unnecessary quantities.
- Avoid pre-plating. Allow guests to serve themselves, choosing what, and how much, they would like to eat.
- Store leftovers safely. Properly storing leftovers will preserve them safely for future meals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that hot foods be left out for no more than two hours.
- Create new meals. Vegetable scraps and turkey carcasses can be easily boiled down for stock and soups, and bread crusts and ends can be used to make tasty homemade croutons.
For a healthy way to cook leftover turkey, try this deliciously low-fat turkey soup recipe.
This article first appeared in the November 2013 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.