Americans Will Waste $450,000,000 Worth of Food This Thanksgiving

prevent food waste

For most Americans, planning and cooking a Thanksgiving dinner is fairly straightforward. But the holiday will be more costly this year, and a shocking report reveals that nearly $450 million worth of food will go to waste as a result.

The report from Rethink Food Waste Through Economics and Data, a collaboration of private industry, nonprofit and government participants, estimates that over 3 million pounds of food will be dumped this holiday.

“A dinner for ten people will cost approximately seven more dollars than in 2021, and nine more dollars than in 2020,” the report said. “That means that this year approximately $15 in food waste will be generated by each dinner for ten people, about $5 more than in 2021.

“Fifteen dollars per ten people may not sound too expensive, but added up that wasted food will cost nearly $450 million, $40 million more than a year ago,” the report said.

A Center for Biological Diversity report revealed that 200 million pounds of turkey will be thrown out, along with 150 million pounds of side dishes like vegetables and potatoes and 14 million pounds of dinner rolls.

Newsweek spoke to a Las Vegas-based chef who shared five tips on how to prevent food waste during the holiday and what to do with the leftovers.

Las Vegas-based chef Genevieve LaMonaca (inset) has five ways to reduce food waste this Thanksgiving.
Chef Genevieve LaMonaca/ Tatiana / AndreyPopov

How to Reduce Food Waste This Thanksgiving

Buying the correct amount of food to serve at your dinner party may be stating the obvious and perhaps easier said than done for some people.

Chef Genevieve LaMonaca told Newsweek: “Food waste has been a major problem during the holidays for a long time. It’s important for me to educate and offer ideas and solutions to help with holiday food waste.

“There are so many simple ways we can all help reduce food waste, and I am happy to see many of my colleagues in the industry bring even more attention to this issue with solutions,” she said.

The popular TikTok chef, who owns Finesse Catering and Events in Las Vegas, has five suggestions to prevent waste:

  • Plan ahead. Don’t make more than what you need. Determine how many servings you will need based on your guest count. Make a list and only buy what you need. Don’t forget to check your pantry and fridge first so you don’t buy something you may already have.
  • Keep your scraps. Vegetable scraps, turkey bones and leftover herbs can be turned into turkey stock. Throw everything into a pot and fill it…

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