HEALTH

Experts say food waste spikes over Thanksgiving weekend

Nov 23, 2021, 7:04 PM | Updated: Nov 24, 2021, 5:11 pm
Stock photo - Pexels...
Stock photo - Pexels

SALT LAKE CITY — As Utahns prepare for their Thanksgiving meals, food analysts are asking us to be more mindful of how much we waste.  They say Americans waste a lot more food than people may expect.

Analysts with the US Department of Agriculture estimate between 30 and 40 percent of the country’s total food supply ends up getting tossed in the garbage.  Utah State University Nutrition Department Assistant Professor Carrie Durward says the average American wastes about a pound of food every day.  That amount of waste adds up, quickly.

Durward said, “It’s over $1,300 a year that Americans spend on food that ends up being wasted.”

Durward is asking Utahns to rethink what they do with their Thanksgiving leftovers.  Normally, we keep them in the refrigerator for three or four days, then we throw out what we haven’t eaten.  She believes it may be a better idea to freeze them instead. That way they will last longer and making it so they can be used in other recipes. 

Researchers aren’t exactly certain how much food gets tossed over Thanksgiving weekend, but she says waste goes way up during this time of year.

“It’s a lot more food than we’re used to dealing with.  Because of that, a lot of it does end up getting wasted,” says Durward.

Rethinking what you cook

Other officials are asking Utahns to consider cooking less food than they’re planning.  Utah Food Bank President Ginette Bott says many people prepare large meals for large gatherings. But a lot of those canned and boxed items would better serve people by being donated to food pantries.

Bott said, “If you have unopened cans of product that you were planning to use, but you have too much, that’s a great way for you to share that for the next upcoming few weeks for people who will be struggling.”

She also says many companies are still donating frozen turkeys to families all over the state, although people receiving them don’t have any specific plans to use them.  Bott says food banks can take those turkeys, as long as they’re still frozen solid.

“It can’t be in a situation where it has started to thaw,” she said.

According to Bott, some food kitchens will take cooked turkey leftovers. However, people should call those kitchens first before donating perishable goods.

 

Related articles

How to avoid overeating this Thanksgiving

Catholic Community Services is providing holiday meals for Thanksgiving

Rescue Mission of Salt Lake provides Thanksgiving meals and more to homeless community

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Health

A bill on transgender healthcare — banning transgender-related surgeries and puberty blockers for...
Eliza Pace, KSL TV and Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio

Utah Senate approves changes to transgender care bill, passes on to Gov. Cox

SB16 bans gender-confirming surgeries for minors and also places a moratorium on puberty blockers for minors.
2 days ago
Havasu Falls spills into the water pools below in Supai, Arizona, in October of 2016. Photo credit:...
Forrest Brown, CNN

Grand Canyon’s Havasu Falls to reopen to visitors after 3-year closure

 (CNN) — Havasu Falls, one of the most intriguing features of the Grand Canyon system, will be reopening to visitors after a three-year closure caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. But it’s with a catch. The reopening is scheduled for February 1; however, access will be limited initially to a certain, small group. People whose previous […]
2 days ago
White carnations representing each of the 1,746 unborn babies that were aborted in Utah in 2022 are...
Allessandra Harris and Simone Seikaly

Speeches, silence, during Pro-Life Utah memorial at the Capitol

About 100 people including Utah lawmakers and religious leaders attended the memorial on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023.
3 days ago
 A mental health clinic will reopen on Thursday after a carbon monoxide leak sent at least 17 peop...
Michael Locklear

Carbon monoxide poisoning at central Utah clinic hospitalizes 17 people

The Central Utah Counseling Center in Ephraim was evacuated a week ago after a problem with an old furnace was discovered.
4 days ago
a row of guns are pictured...
Mark Jones

KSL at Night: How do we solve gun violence?

KSL at Night hosts Taylor Morgan and Maura Carabello speak with Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council about gun violence.
5 days ago
Prescription opioid...
Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN

Amazon launches $5-a-month unlimited prescription plan

Some of the generic drugs included in the program include Bupropion, Cephalexin, Doxycycline, Estradiol and Sertaline.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Experts say food waste spikes over Thanksgiving weekend