What to do with your lavish leftovers


Nina Luangrath

Nina Luangrath enjoys a plate at a Friendsgiving event in Virginia Beach, VA on Nov. 20, 2022.

Nina Luangrath, Sports Editor

Thanksgiving, hands down, is my favorite dinner out of the entire year. All that comes with Thanksgiving is just top tier: the food, the family, but most importantly, the excessive amount of leftovers that follow.

With an insane amount of leftovers, they should never be tossed, rather repurposed and still enjoyed later.

Instead of wasting, there are endless ideas on what to do with your leftovers after dinner.

My favorite idea, and most festive, is the Thanksgiving sandwich. Two slices of sourdough with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, and some lettuce in between. However, there is such a thing as getting tired of the Thanksgiving taste, so there are definitely alternatives.

Usually, in my family, a huge surplus of turkey follows the big day, and there is not nearly enough things to do with it. We almost always end up tossing it, but it is harmful to be wasteful, especially when you could use that turkey to make stocks and soups, turkey salad, and even sandwiches as a replacement for deli meat.

According to ReFED, a non-profit that works to end food loss, in 2021, roughly 305 million pounds of food valued at about $400 million went to waste on Thanksgiving alone.

This year, there is a projected $10.97 national increase in the total cost for a full Thanksgiving dinner. The total price average price for a meal this year has increased by 20%, with inflation up between 7% to 9% in recent months. Especially now, it is of utmost importance not to take advantage of the food and the money spent on it.

The holiday is about giving thanks, and of course, indulging in incredible food with your loved ones. However, it should not be overlooked, as there are many people around the world who do not share the luxury of having a big Thanksgiving dinner or even dinner at all. That is why it is so important not to waste your food just because you are tired of it or do not know how to prepare it in a new way. This holiday season, consider donating cans or boxes of food from your pantry, ones that you didn’t use, to help others have a fraction of a Thanksgiving meal.