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Food waste after Fourth of July holiday reaches estimated $12 million

Here is a list of tips to use those leftovers so that you have less food waste, and waste less money.
Fourth of July food waste hits alarming level
Posted at 1:04 PM, Jul 05, 2024

It might come as little surprise that after large celebrations in the U.S. there will be food waste, but after people celebrate American independence on the Fourth of July, that food waste could reach as much as an estimated $12 million, according to some estimates.

ReFED, an organization launched in 2015 to combat the problem of wasted food, said more than 120 million pounds of food will go to waste after Independence Day celebrations.

The World Wildlife Fund says that on July Fourth, Americans eat 150 million hot dogs and around 900 million pounds of beef and chicken, along with a staggering amount of other food ingredients used to make side dishes and desserts. With all of the celebrations comes a higher likelihood that people will overestimate how much food they actually need, and will watch a significant portion of the food go to waste.

The solution to the problem seems to largely point to the need to be more conscious and appreciative of food, and to conserve, plan better and reuse as much as possible.

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Jorj Morgan, author of "You Can Cook Any Thing," says there are very simple tips to keep in mind to reuse and be mindful of leftovers so food and money don't go to waste.

For hot dogs or any type of sausage, puff pastries can be used to wrap around the meat and bake so that you have a "pigs in a blanket"-style treat the next day for adults or kids. Leftover cookies can be repurposed using ice cream to make ice cream sandwiches, which can be wrapped up and frozen for a dessert later on.

Leftover onions and tomatoes can be blended up with other vegetables and peppers to make a salsa to be eaten with chips or used as a condiment.

Morgan says the key is finding ways to incorporate leftovers into your dishes later in the week. Leftover bread, for example, can be dried out and lightly toasted on a low heat in the oven and then blended up in a food processor to make bread crumbs to be used in the days that follow the holiday.