Waste Less, Enjoy More This Thanksgiving

Turkey Day can celebrate plenty without wasting food.

When the original Thanksgiving diners got up from the table in 1621 to loosen their belts, nutritionists estimate that they had ingested about 550 calories per person, the equivalent of eating a burrito from Taco Bell. Flash forward 400 years, and Thanksgiving dinners now pack a 2,000-to-3,000-calorie punch. And while the Pilgrims struggled to grow enough food to survive, the United States now produces so much food that we waste 40 percent of it—about $100 billion worth a year.

As the country turns its collective attention to food tomorrow, perhaps we can use the holiday to make a statement about our food waste problem by taking steps to conserve, starting with how we shop. Before you head to Costco and buy the largest bottle of vanilla extract possible, consider whether you or someone you know has leftover holidays staples in the pantry from last year. And consider donating this year's leftover non-perishable goods to a food pantry. Another tip: make a shopping list and refuse to buy anything that's not on it. This will scare off the temptation to succumb to sample-inspired purchases at Trader Joe's.

When you finally arrive at the Thanksgiving table, limit what you put on your plate. That way, you won't end up with a plate full of food that's been grazed by salad dressing and cranberry sauce and is unfit to rejoin its casserole dish in the fridge. Leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving, after all. Jonathan Bloom, author of American Wasteland, recommends the following on his blog to make the most out of them: Ask guests to show up with to-go containers. Otherwise, the host may end up with more leftover turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce than she can turn into Thanksgiving sandwiches. Plan recipes ahead to keep you excited about your leftovers' possibilities, so you don't get sick of three-day old sweet potatoes. (They're great in quesadillas.) And don't be lazy: Pack up Thanksgiving leftovers before descending into a football-and-food coma. That way, they'll keep longer.

Even food scraps can be turned into vegetable stock, and don't forget to compost. Follow these steps, and it's possible to celebrate bounty without being wasteful.

Image via (cc) Flickr user Notions Capital

via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Keep Reading Show less
Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

Keep Reading Show less

Villagers rejoice as they receive the first vaccines ever delivered via drone in the Congo

The area's topography makes transporting medicines a treacherous task.

Photo by Henry Sempangi Senyule

When we discuss barriers to healthcare in the developed world, affordability is commonly the biggest concern. But for some in the developing world, physical distance and topography can be the difference between life and death.

Widjifake, a hard-to-reach village in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with a population of 6,500, struggles with having consistent access to healthcare supplies due to the Congo River and its winding tributaries.

It can take up to three hours for vehicles carrying supplies to reach the village.

Keep Reading Show less
via Keith Boykin / Twitter

Fox News and President Trump seem like they may be headed for a breakup. "Fox is a lot different than it used to be," Trump told reporters in August after one of the network's polls found him trailing for Democrats in the 2020 election.

"There's something going on at Fox, I'll tell you right now. And I'm not happy with it," he continued.

Some Fox anchors have hit back at the president over his criticisms. "Well, first of all, Mr. President, we don't work for you," Neil Cavuto said on the air. "I don't work for you. My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you, just report on you."

Keep Reading Show less