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5 Easy Ways to Eliminate Food Waste at Thanksgiving

Author: Apeel Team

It's a fact we need to face: too much good food goes to waste. This Thanksgiving, express appreciation by eating until your plate is clean. If you possibly can’t take another bite, here are five tips from the Apeel to ensure there aren't any leftovers...left over.

1. Make a bone broth using turkey bones.

“Save the turkey bones and juices to make broth for future soups — we collect everything that's left over and pop it in the freezer until we're ready to use it. You can also pour the broth you make into ice cube trays so that you have broth to add to other meals in small amounts as you need it.” - Shaina, Talent Acquisition Specialist

“Freeze the turkey carcass and save it to make luxurious turkey stock. I also like to save vegetable peelings, herb stems, etc to add to the stock and make it even more flavorful.” - Matt A, Director of Customer Success


2. Try new food combos with your leftovers.

“My family gets almost as excited about our leftovers sandwiches as we do for the actual Thanksgiving meal. The sandwich is toasted bread, cranberry sauce, dressing, turkey, and mayo. It helps to cut down the biggest leftover contributions (turkey and dressing) and the thing people aren't likely to eat on its own (cranberry sauce).” - Alena H, Extraction Scientist

“I get very creative with leftovers to make new meals the following days (sweet potatoes or brussel sprouts for breakfast with eggs is so yummy!).” - Savannah, Biological Scientist

“Thanksgiving leftover egg rolls with cranberry dipping sauce! What you will need: turkey or ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and egg roll wraps. Place the meat, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and gravy in the center of each egg roll sheet, wrap it up, and place in a skillet with heated olive oil to brown the egg rolls and get them extra crispy. Then, dip in cranberry sauce. Yum!” - Camille H, Market Development

“I make pizza from the leftovers (because you can basically throw everything on pizza...).” - Alena R, Marketing Designer

3. Ask everyone coming to Thanksgiving to bring to-go containers with them.

“Tell your guests to bring to-go containers to Thanksgiving dinner, that way everyone can bring some of the feast back home with them!” - Matt A, Director of Customer Success

4. Freeze or donate it!

“Food scraps can be composted or used to make veggie broth, and if there’s a huge surplus of leftovers that I know we won’t be able to eat before it spoils then I freeze it until I’m ready to thaw/reheat it again.” - Sophie, Field Service Technician

“One year, the day after Thanksgiving, we filled up a bunch of plates of leftover food and handed them out to the homeless around Santa Barbara.” - Camille M, Technical Project Manager

“Check and see if there are ways to donate your leftovers locally; some food banks and homeless shelters will accept leftovers and some will only accept canned food. This interactive map will show you where your local homeless shelters are and the information to contact them and ask if they accept leftovers.” - Michelle M, Head of Marketing

“Talk to your favorite local restaurants and see where they donate their leftovers and ask to add your Thanksgiving leftovers to their nightly donations!” - Molly, Digital Marketing


5. Host a “leftoversgiving” with your friends.

“Throw a 'leftover party' with friends and make the 'rule' that all food that they're allowed to bring are their leftovers from Thanksgiving.” - Alena R, Marketing Designer

“Have a Friendsgiving post-Thanksgiving and everyone is only allowed to bring leftovers.” - Ginger, Financial Analyst

“Typically we do a Friendsgiving-style potluck where everyone brings a dish. At the end of the night, we send everyone home with leftovers. No one leaves empty handed and no food gets thrown out.” - Susanne, Design Lead

“Friendsgiving - Leftovers edition! Invite your closest friends over for yet ANOTHER day of eating, but this time with leftovers. This gives you a chance to try some new recipes from other people’s Thanksgiving celebrations!” - Camille H, Market Development


Want to learn more ways to end food waste in your home? Follow us on Facebook or Instagram for more tips throughout the holiday season!