Make you Fink on Friday

Is Thanksgiving a big waste of turkey?

USDA estimates Americans throw away 35 percent of the turkey they buy

Are you really going to eat it all?

Americans love Thanksgiving, they just don’t love turkey. It turns out that more than one-third of the turkey meat we buy each holiday gets thrown in the garbage. Blame it on bad planning, lack of leftover ideas or just a wealthy, slothful society.

“We love to have the big feast at holiday time,” said Dana Gunder, food and agriculture scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “That results in a lot more extra food. People do leftovers for a day or two, but people are sick by day three. I think it’s just basic math.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that Americans throw away 35 percent of the turkey they buy, and that does not include bones. That’s compared to only 15 percent waste for chicken. What’s worse, throwing away turkey isn’t just bad manners or a big waste of money ($282 million), it’s also bad for the environment, according to Gunder.

Growing a pound of turkey meat uses 468 gallons of water and releases 12 pounds of CO2 emissions according to a report by the Environmental Working Group — equivalent to driving your car 11 miles and taking a 94-minute shower. Gunder says that nationwide, consumers will purchase around 736 million pounds of turkey this Thanksgiving, of which about 581 million pounds will be actual meat. Unless Americans change their ways this Thanksgiving, about 204 million pounds will be tossed, along with about 1 million tons of CO2 and 95 billion gallons of water.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. There was a recent study that claimed that Europe and North America wasted as much as 50% of food. Shocking.

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    • >Alex, saw that, it was on TV here too. When you consider everything, it’s not really surprising. The biggest problem is that people want ‘perfect’ fruit and vege, so anything less than perfect is chucked or not harvested.

      AV

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