I hope that those of my friends in the US celebrating Thanksgiving (or enjoying a meal with family or friends) are enjoying the holiday. But thinking about your celebrations, I was minded to write today about the importance of making full use of leftovers in order to prevent food waste.
Food waste is, as many of you will no doubt already be well aware, a serious environmental and social problem. While many starve or are malnourished around the world, those in the developed worlds create true mountains of food waste.
Food waste is generated in agriculture, and right through our food systems – but household food waste is a big part of the picture – and tackling that is something each of us can do something about.
Making full use of leftovers – all the time but especially after big celebration meals – can help us make sure that that food does not end up in landfill, or being incinerated, and adding to emissions causing climate change.
Of course, leftovers that we really cannot make use of should be directed into our home composting systems. There are plenty of ways to set up a domestic composting system and this is something you can do at home even if you do not have a garden, or any outside space at all.
But before composting good food, we should think about how we may be able to make use of leftovers to make more meals over the coming days.
Thinking about a traditional Thanksgiving or Christmas meal, for example, turkey can be shredded and added to sandwiches, salads, soups, stews, curries, pies and more. Potatoes can be mashed and used as toppings for a range of bakes, turned into potato croquettes, potato cakes, potato scones, potato soups… the list goes on. Whatever sides and veggies you serve, all of these can be imaginatively used in a wide range of other recipes.
So to reduce food waste, research those recipes, get creative, and make sure none of your leftovers get thrown away!