About 200 million pounds of turkey alone are tossed over Thanksgiving. But we can be grateful without being wasteful. Here’s how.
GET SMART ABOUT PORTIONS For a huge meal with sides, you don’t need to make enough servings of mashed potatoes or stuffing to match the number of people eating, says food-waste expert Dana Gunders. She recommends the Guest-imator calculator at savethefood.com, which lets you input the number of diners (sorted into little, big, and average eaters), the number of days of leftovers you want, and the types of dishes you’re making, then churns out the right quantities.
SHARE LEFTOVERS FROM YOUR OFFICE PARTY 412 Food Rescue’s Leah Lizarondo suggests asking caterers before you hire them if they can donate surplus food: “Especially during the holidays, there are a lot of caterers who will make sure anything that isn’t eaten goes to someone who can use it.” If everyone says no, Gunders recommends finding a local food- collection organization: “Most cities have one that will take prepared food,” she says. Or list a smaller number of partygoers than you really have. “Caterers always overestimate, so cut it by 5 to 10 percent— you might not have those extras to give.”