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Thanksgiving one of biggest holidays for food waste

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In landfills, food waste creates methane, an impacting greenhouse gas. There are lots of tricks to keep edible food out of the trash can.

Of all the food-centric holidays, Thanksgiving may be tops for food waste. Over 20% of the food on the dinner table will end up in the trash. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

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Center for Biological Diversity
Use adhesive labels to mark leftover containers with the date the food was prepared. Place newest leftovers towards the back of the fridge and move older leftovers to the front. Make a list of the leftovers you have in your fridge. Keep the list on the front of the fridge to help remind you what should be eaten soon to prevent spoilage.

Kelly Bell coordinates the Master Recyclers Program for Lane County. She said there’s a lot to consider before tossing food scraps. “Food waste in the landfill creates methane. Methane is a highly impactful greenhouse gas. So, all of the food that you can keep out of the landfill, the better,” she said.

It’s not just wasted food that drains resources. Bell said, think of all the water it takes to grow the food and the fuel needed to transport it.

Bell has a few tricks. She encouraged serving local foods- they have a lower carbon footprint because no transportation was required. Have dinner guests bring reusable containers so leftovers get eaten. Promote small portions by setting out smaller serving spoons. And compost.

Bell said there’s no better way of giving thanks for our food than to make sure none of it goes to waste.

statewide food waste study

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Center for Biological Diversity
Serving local foods and encouraging guests to bring reusable containers to take home leftovers are more two ways to reduce waste.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.
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