no waste here.
We do not over-prepare or make too much. 90% of the human-edible stuff is eaten by humans before Monday morning. We have abig family and it pretty much gets eaten up.
Of the remaining 10% or so, which will start to spoil, the cat gets maybe 4% of the now-aging meat over the next week, the dog gets a little less meat but he does get, and is thankful for, any remaining vegetables which are OK for him and he likes them.
By then, the slight remaining flesh is really not possible to get off the skeleton so into the compost pile it goes.
As far as cooking by products, we do not eat the skin, the dog gets it (and is thankful). and the parts of the plants that are not eaten all go on the c-pile in the back. the juice, sauce, etc whatever goes over the dry dog food eventually.
No it is not waste to feed pets off the meat and vegetable remains (withholding sugars, chocolate, and other things that would harm them). They have to eat anyway. Cats are obligate carnivores and dogs are omnivores. Meat-prepared-for-people is OK protein for them, in small amounts served as treats (not as meals because it does not have the necessary different vitamins for cats or dogs).
So, should the study, so studiously conducted, count the 4% of the meat left on the turkey skeleton as part of the waste?
It should not. If $282M is the figure, that is almost $1 for each person in the USA. There is not $1 worth of meat on those bones when they depart from here.
But let's talk about the 4% or so, of the meat itself, that ends up on the c-pile. Or in the trash, granted and no harm done.
If that is considered waste, so be it, but there is always a baseline in any process, no process is 100% efficient, so I postulate that anyone achieving a 90-96% usage factor of their turkey meat should not be counted (accused) in the waste tabulation.
I'm not sure who is doing all of the wasting. Dana Gunders, whom the author quotes as perhaps even a more august expert on this, says "half" and uses the word "we" in her quoted confession. Perhaps she has an iguana in her pocket. I would say "a possum in her pocket", but a possum, or here the opossum (specifically Didelphis virginiana) would not ever waste half a dead turkey, no sir it would just not happen. No waste, no waste guilt.
As for the larger figure of food wasted.. let's see where that happens. I know where some of it is.
For one, in institutions. Schools, public gradeschools and high schools. They are required to overbuy, overcook, overproduce in order to provide (excessive/many) choices for the children to pick from. Catering to the whims of children. This waste is paid by school taxes and is one reason they are so high.
In a society with discipline, one does not allow children to tell an adult what the child will eat. The child is informed of what they will eat when they see it on their plate! Where is the discipline? Except for special dietary requirements prescribed by a physician, what is wrong with a standard single selection meal, different each day, with at most a substitute vegetable in case someone really hates brussel sprouts and would rather have the potato? Why are three entrees offered, each day, to minors, and having had so much food made as to allow free choice of all, 2/3 is liable to be wasted?
The next example is in prisons. It is like the school situation but far worse, because the namby-pamby laws say that those who are in prison get to pick from a menu (Illinois is one state like that) and there are three choices of meals at each meal time, so that none of the convicts, (who are there to be punished by the way, right?), have to be offended by whatever fresh hot meal they would be otherwise kindly handed.
The monkeys are running the zoo. Until idiocies like the school and prison food waste are fixed, such idiocies being the most costly because the government is in charge, corrupt, being overcharged, and using contractors to run it, I don't what to see whining or breast-beating about food waste.
Here in little while I am going to leave, and will later tomorrow participate in the feast. Ok, I am willing to do my part. let me know your address, and I will send you the turkey's skeleton. Happy Thanksgiving.