Waste Not, Want Not: Food Planning and Shopping Tips for the Holidays

Food waste can cause a sour taste after the fun of holiday feasting.

So, GreenState podcast co-hosts Dylan Darling and Katie Romano catch up with two DEQ food waste prevention experts to learn how to better plan and shop ahead of holiday meals. The advice is good year round and taking on food waste is an easy way to help protect the environment.

Jerin Dinkins and Elaine Blatt offer up a buffet of tips, aimed at making you a better planner and shopper.

Dinkins joined DEQ about a year ago, bringing an interest and background in food education. “I’ve always been fascinated by the intersection of food in our society from the lens of environmentalism and from the lens,” she said in the podcast.

Blatt has been with DEQ for more than seven years and helps share food waste prevention advice throughout Oregon. “If you care about climate change, reducing your food waste is the easiest, simplest thing you can possibly do to combat the generation of greenhouse gases,” Blatt said. “And you can do it tonight at dinner. You can do it tomorrow at breakfast.”

The episode follows up on the conversation from Ep 18. Preventing Holiday Food Waste when GreenState focused on leftovers.

Listen to the podcast on: SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.


  • Introduction
    • Planning and shopping advice from DEQ [1:20]
      • Shop inventory at home [2:20]
      • Make a detailed list [3:05]
      • Write exact quantities for each item on list [3:45]
      • Stick to list [4:10]
      • Don’t shop hungry [4:30]
      • Using the Guest-imator tool [5:30]
      • Only prepare what you need and use shared doc [7:45]
      • Plan for who your are feeding [8:00]
      • Serve food buffet or family style [8:20]
      • OK to show up empty handed [8:40]
      • Ask guests to bring food containers [9:20]
    • Low impact meals [9:45]
    • Bad Apple campaign at dontletgoodfoodgobad.org [12:30]
    • Food waste prevention week coming up April 1-7, 2024 [14:30]
    • What brought Jerin Dinkins to DEQ [17:15]
    • Takeaways [18:55]
      • Be mindful of what you have in your home [19:10]
      • Simple, easy way to combat greenhouse gases [19:25]
    • Leftovers not letting good food go bad [21:15]
      • More food than know what to do with [21:40]
      • Stuffing waffles and other ideas online [22:55]
      • Make something new with leftovers [24:15]
      • Freeze the leftovers [26:25]
      • Send leftovers home with guests [27:25]
      • Get together and share leftovers for another meal [28:00]
      • TV dinners [28:40]
  • Wrapup [29:55]

To learn more about Food Waste Prevention Week and how DEQ played a role in the creation of the annual event, tune into GreenState Ep 21. Food Waste Prevention Week.


Published by Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

DEQ’s mission is to be a leader in restoring, maintaining and enhancing the quality of Oregon’s air, land and water.

%d bloggers like this: