The holidays are a joyous time when friends and families gather to celebrate with delicious foods and treats. But unfortunately, food waste takes an economic toll. With inflation on the rise, becoming food conscious at the grocery store will help your bank accounts.
According to the National Zero Waste Council, around 2.3 million tonnes of food is wasted annually, costing Canadians $21-billion.
“We don’t have numbers specific to the holidays,” says Joanne Gauci, advisor for the National Zero Waste Council and campaign manager for Love Food Hate Waste Canada. “We do know that the holidays are an opportunity for people to gather, and it does mean that it’s also a time where we should be thinking very specifically about preventing food waste.”
Gauci explains there are more ways to prevent food waste. The first is being realistic about how much food is needed and having the right amount. The second tip is planning to have some food go home with guests, and asking people to bring portable food containers. Lastly, storing leftovers properly in a clear container will help people see leftovers easily in the fridge.
“You try to make sure you store it in a way that’s going to entice you to eat it on the second and third day,” says Gauci.
Some already practice these techniques to reduce food waste.
“Since this is my first thanksgiving, I’m going to hang out with some friends and get some food, maybe go out,” says Sonia Obiekwe, a first-year Humber student in the Advertising Media Management program. “When I get leftovers, I eat them the next day.”
Obiekwe said she did not think there would be any leftovers after Thanksgiving with her friends, but if so, she would keep the food for another day.
Besides just storing food, there are other ways to make leftovers after the holidays look more delicious. Here is an easy mashed potato pancake recipe that will use up some of those leftover thanksgiving sides.
Leftover mashed potatoes
One-fourth cup of grated cheese
One to two eggs
One Teaspoon of salt
Half a cup of butter
Gravy or Cranberry sauce
Leftover turkey (optional)
Leftover Corn (optional)
Leftover Peas (optional)
In a bowl, combine mashed potatoes, cheese, egg and salt.
Add any thanksgiving leftovers into the mix.
In a pan, add a teaspoon of butter.
Once the butter has melted, add one-third of the mix to the pan and wait for three-to- five minutes before flipping the pancake.
Once the pancake is flipped, flatten it with the spatula and cover the pan for five minutes.
Remove from pan and serve with gravy or cranberry sauce.