Stewardship Monday: Farm to fork to landfill?

food waste

Click the photo above to see a report on food waste–and many ways we can help.

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us! My family is full of foodies and we always celebrate this holiday with a FEAST. We have gotten better about portions over the years (mostly because the family is growing and the recipes stay the same), but there is always room for improvement to mitigate waste.

In the U.S. a tremendous amount of land and resources (50% of land, 80% of water consumed) goes to producing food. Remarkably around 40% of food goes to the landfill (where it produces greenhouse gasses such as methane). In all, more food waste ends up in the landfill than any other type of garbage. All of this waste is made even more troubling when we think about the 1 in 6 families in this country that face hunger.

Consumers aren’t the only ones wasting food, but at our level we can easily make changes in our habits. Some simple adjustment can reduce waste and benefit both the environment and our wallets. CLICK HERE to read “5 sure fire ways to save money on your food bills”. This site also has an easy portion calculator to help plan your menus and shopping lists.

If you are planning a big holiday feast, the Food Network also has a Thanksgiving Dinner Portion Planner that will help anticipate how much food to make for your guests. Have a favorite recipe that only serves 4? CLICK HERE for an easy recipe calculator.

use by datesOnce we’ve finished our feast (and taken a turkey nap), clean up time is another opportunity to save. Ask your guests to bring Tupperware and send them each home with their favorite dishes. That way, not one family is responsible for eating all of the left-overs! In my family, we also try to give remaining food a “make-over”—often turning just about everything into yummy soups and stocks. Boil down the turkey carcass (with all of its yummy seasoning and some of the veggie sides) and voila! Stock can be portioned out into 1- or 2-cup servings and frozen—you’ll never need to buy super salty stock from the store again!

How do you give your left-overs a make-over? Share your recipes and ideas in the comments below!

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