Waste not the Thanksgiving turkey

Published: Nov. 23, 2016 at 11:08 AM AKST
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Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful and celebrate but we can sometimes overdo it. More often than not, food from our Thanksgiving dinner doesn't get completely consumed. While some of that food makes for good leftovers, some inevitably gets thrown away. The USDA estimates 35 percent of turkey meat cooked at Thanksgiving gets wasted.

Food waste isn’t limited to Thanksgiving. According to the Feeding America Website, an estimated 25-40 percent of all food produced in the U.S. intended for consumption is not eaten.

It's not only wasteful; it's influencing our planet.

Food that gets thrown out ends up in landfills, where it gradually rots and releases methane, a strong greenhouse gas. Climate Central says, "If food waste could be represented as its own country, it would be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter, behind China and the U.S."

To cut back on the effect, don't go overboard on the cooking, send the leftovers home with your guests, or freeze them, where they can keep for up to a year.

Check with your local food pantry or soup kitchen before donating. Many locations, including Bean's Cafe in Anchorage, cannot take homemade food or opened food products.

Infographic created by Sidney Sullivan.

Data and statistics sourced from USDA's Poultry Slaughter

, from October 2015 and October 2016.