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Thankful and Responsible

As we approach Thanksgiving, a historic day in our nation’s history and mix it with nostalgia of years gone by, powerful emotions and memories surface. Celebrating this holiday can almost feel like a rite of passage in this country. It mixes good times, tradition, family, probably some frustration, and of course, food.

And while I am excited to take part in this tradition, something more sobering is important to keep in mind too. Every year roughly 1.3 billion tons of food in our country are wasted. According to the National Resources Defense Council (PDF), 40% of all food we produce ends up in a landfill. And while celebrating a historic moment in colonial America where a rare feast was enjoyed is important and enjoyable to do, are we honoring that in the best way possible by letting so much of what we produce go to waste?

I’m not suggesting we give up Thanksgiving traditions but perhaps during this time of year, which also tends to bring reflection, we sit back and ask ourselves, "how might I more regularly practice being thankful for the food I have while also being more responsible?” I don't imagine anyone takes pleasure in throwing extra food out or having it spoil. But it happens often to me and I know I pretty much just accept it and move on with my day.

What little things might I do to help bring that number down a bit, showing greater reverence for the crops and animals that provide me such abundance?

Feeling a little overwhelmed? A next step might be to watch the new documentary "Wasted!"

Go Forth Boldly

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