Thanksgiving one of the biggest food waste days of the year

thanksgiving food
Posted at 9:30 PM, Nov 28, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — With millions of pounds of food headed into trash cans across the country, Thanksgiving is one of the biggest days for food waste.

Experts estimate around 200 million pounds of turkey will go to waste this Thanksgiving. According to the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation 40 million pounds of mashed potatoes and 30 million pounds of stuffing will head into trash cans as well.

"Thanksgiving is big in terms of food waste," Linda Breggin said. Breggin is the Program Director of the Nashville Food Waste Initiative. She said all that waste adds up and can impact your wallet.

"For the average family of four, food waste costs them $1,800 a year," she said, adding that it also takes a major toll on the environment.

"About 95 percent of all of our food waste goes to landfills or incineration, and that's the last place we want it to go, because when it sits in landfills, it decays and produces greenhouse gases," she said.

Breggin offered several tips for cutting down the amount of holiday food waste.

"Love your leftovers, there's so many things you can do with your leftovers," she said. "Another thing is that people don't realize you can freeze almost anything."

"Americans throw away up to 40 percent of their food all during the year so while thanksgiving and holidays are particularly challenging...but we have a lot of leftover food we have to figure out what to do with."

For ideas on what to do with leftovers, you can visit

To stop food waste before it starts, you can use online tools to estimate how much food you will need for a holiday meal.