Is Thanksgiving a Big Waste of Turkey?


Americans love Thanksgiving, they just don't love turkey. It turns out that more than one-third of the turkey meat we buy each holiday gets thrown in the garbage. Blame it on bad planning, lack of leftover ideas or just a wealthy, slothful society.

"We love to have the big feast at holiday time," said Dana Gunder, food and agriculture scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. "That results in a lot more extra food. People do leftovers for a day or two, but people are sick by day three. I think it's just basic math."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that Americans throw away 35 percent of the turkey they buy, and that does not include bones. That's compared to only 15 percent waste for chicken. What's worse, throwing away turkey isn't just bad manners or a big waste of money ($282 million), it's also bad for the environment, according to Gunder.

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