As if Turkey Pot Pie and Turkey A La King aren’t enticing enough on their own, here’s another reason to eat leftovers this holiday season: about 1 million tons of CO2, 95 billion gallons of water, and $275 million will be thrown away this Thanksgiving in the form of leftover turkey.
The USDA reports that 35% of perfectly good turkey meat in the U.S. does not get eaten after it is purchased by consumers (and that’s not including bones). This compares with only 15% for chicken. Why is so much more turkey wasted than chicken? “Possibly because turkey is more often eaten during holidays when consumers may tend to discard relatively more uneaten food than on other days,” the USDA writes.
And that’s to say nothing of the vast amounts of antibiotics used to produce turkey meat, leading to antibiotic resistance, which you can read more about here.
For anyone watching their dollars, throwing away all that turkey isn’t cheap. According to prices from the Farm Bureau’s annual Thanksgiving price survey, nationwide we’ll be trashing $275 million in painfully cooked, delectable turkey meat.
Friends, I challenge you to feast thoughtfully this year and not to succumb to this wasteful holiday trend.
The good news is a host of websites have creative turkey leftover ideas that make it easy to use all the turkey you buy. There are some mouth-watering recipes at Tastespotting andBon Appetit, and of course, you always can use turkey in your favorite chicken recipe.
So, search no more for a reason to go in for that extra helping! Pile it on, dig in, then wrap it up, and repeat—enjoying holiday treats that keep on giving and saving the earth while you’re at it.