Two great tips for a green holiday meal:
- Take time to plan your holiday meals to minimize food waste
- Support local businesses
Minimize Food Waste from Holiday Meals
Did you know that the average household in US spends approximately $1,500 a year on food that will be wasted and often tossed in the trash? Just think… what would you do with an extra $1,500 in your pocket?! The holiday season especially is one of the most wasteful times of the year; nearly 25% of the food wasted in a year occurs between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
When purchasing your food for the holiday meals, try to be aware of the number of people you will be cooking for to avoid purchasing too much food. People often eat smaller portions of a variety dishes, so making huge batches of each dish isn’t necessary. Try the “Guest-Imator” tool to help calculate ideal quantity to keep your guests happy and healthy. Avoid impulse buying by making a list of all ingredients you need ahead of time, which will save money and prevent food waste. Still have extra after all your planning ahead of your holiday celebration? Donate excess canned goods to a local organization, or incorporate leftover meats and dishes into casseroles or soups. Click here for tips on how to freeze or reuse your leftovers, see here.
Support Local Businesses around the Holidays
This holiday, make it a goal to make a recipe with at least one locally sourced ingredient. There may not be a huge variety of local foods available this time of year in region… but often you can source locally grown meat and poultry, eggs, honey, sometimes apples, greens, or root vegetables. A great way to support local businesses this holiday season is to purchase deserts from local bakeries!
Shopping locally reduces waste and greenhouse gas emissions from having to transport food long distances, benefits the local economy by paying a neighbor instead of a larger company, and often leads to healthier and more flavorful food. The pumpkin pie shown here was made using homemade pumpkin puree from a Cinderella Pumpkin purchased at a food stand in Southern Maryland. Beautiful, sustainable, and delicious! Food markets in the Baltimore area have a variety of produce that can be used similarly.
Have a green holiday!
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