Turkey Day is just around the corner! While we love to stuff our faces with food before falling asleep in the second quarter of a football game, we also want to be smart about the Thanksgiving meals that we’re preparing and consuming.
Nutritional research estimates that the typical Thanksgiving meal contains upwards of 4,000 calories! The average runner burns approximately 2,800 calories running a marathon. So you could run 26.2 miles and still wouldn’t have worked off your last few slices of pumpkin pie!
Although we eat a lot of food on Thanksgiving, we waste a lot of it, too. In the United States, we create an extra 5 million tons of household waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day every year.
Make sure that your turkey is the only thing getting stuffed this Thanksgiving. Here are some holiday tips to minimize waste and prevent overeating:
Don’t starve yourself.
A lot of people like to store up a big appetite to get ready for the big Thanksgiving meal. We tend to eat faster and more food when we’re hungry. Eat breakfast on Thanksgiving morning, and it will save you from a bellyache on Thanksgiving night.
Plan ahead and be realistic.
When you’re hosting Thanksgiving, there can be a lot of pressure to make sure that you have enough food. If you wait until the last minute or go shopping unprepared, you’re more likely to purchase and serve more food than you need to.
If your plate is so full of food that it takes two people to carry it, you’re in real trouble. Start off with smaller portions of side dishes. If you want to get more servings later, you can. There’s no need to put everything on the plate at once.
Store your leftovers early.
Once your meal is complete, preserve your leftovers safely and quickly. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that hot food be left out for less than two hours.
Donate the rest.
Thanksgiving is a great time to focus on all that we’re grateful for, but it’s easy to forget that many people are not as fortunate. There’s no reason for your food to go to waste when there are people in your community who go hungry. If you have untouched leftovers, donate them to a local food bank or homeless shelter.
Take a walk.
A simple walk won’t burn off your 4,000 calories, but it’s a good start. It’s also a nice way to spend time with your family on a nice Thanksgiving afternoon.
Ernest is a family business, and the focus on family togetherness is one of our favorite things about Thanksgiving. We also care about our environment and waste reduction. We believe that extra food should go to our neighbors — not our landfills.
The Ernest family hopes that your family and friends have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with long naps, good food and awkward conversations with distant relatives. When you’re back from the holidays, contact us about how to head into the new year with better, more efficient packaging solutions.