5@5 - Get the most out of your Thanksgiving meal
November 19th, 2012
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Editor's Note: Dana Gunders is a food and agriculture-focused project scientist for the Natural Resources Defense Council. She recently authored "Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill" and blogs regularly about food waste here.

Once a year, we feast to celebrate that our ancestors had enough food to survive their first winter, acknowledging that once upon a time food was something to be grateful for. Then the next day, we throw half of it away.

This Thanksgiving, Americans will trash a whopping $282 million of uneaten turkey, contributing to the 40 percent of food that goes uneaten every year. That’s enough turkey to provide each American household that is food insecure (17.9 million American households suffer from food insecurity) with more than 11 additional servings.

Along with throwing away the turkey itself, all the resources it took to get that bird to the table will have gone for naught. For instance, it takes 105 billion gallons of water to produce that much turkey - enough to supply New York City for more than 100 days.

This year, give gratitude for food and waste less of it by following these five tips to make the best use of your feast.

Five Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Thanksgiving Feast: Dana Gunders

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Filed under: 5@5 • Holidays • Thanksgiving • Think

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