5 Reasons to Toss out Thanksgiving Leftovers


Turkey and kale sausage – really- looks so appetizing

Remember the care with which you handled the turkey? Worried about salmonella, campylobacter, and many other bugs. Well, while your spread was sitting out for two hours your turkey, potatoes, stuffing now have more bacteria per gram than the raw turkey did.

You cannot smell or taste the difference, but in four days you will note the stomach ache, diarrhea, and nausea. It takes a few days- by then you will not think it was left-overs but assume it was the take-out place you went to because you were so tired of turkey.

Loaded with calories

Not the turkey- its a lean meat but the potatoes, stuffing, and other items are loaded with calories you don’t need or don’t want. Yes, nothing like a layer of turkey on a roll slathered with dressing, cranberry sauce, gravy, and stuffing – but that little sandwich has more calories than the average Big Mac.

Turkey Curry

Yes- people will put any spice on a turkey dish to make it taste not like a turkey dish. If you like curry so much, then don’t use it to dress up bad turkey. Use it with some fresh meat and produce and enjoy the flavors that the curry gives to the product – not the cover up effect. Turkey curry is like a bad job of putting make-up on the corpse – yes, it sort of looks like Uncle Al, but that rouge is just too much.

The turkey was dry

Admit it- you probably made the whole bird, it wasn’t done Sous Vide, and the bird is dry. The meat is dry, which is why you need loads of gravy to wash it down. You don’t need to eat such dry meat. And if it wasn’t dry before you re-heated it in the microwave or the stove – it will be dry when you finish. Do yourself a favor- get rid of the dry protein, and move onto something delicious.

Choose one: turkey leftovers or rack of lamb

That isn’t much of a choice is it? Think about it- you really are probably tired of this protein because you only have it once or twice a year (ok, we exempt the sandwich meat and the turkey sausage you sometimes get for meatballs). You don’t want it- what you want is something better- and that is ok. Of course, there are recipe books dedicated to leftovers, there are recipes for everything from pasta to tacos – but you are just dressing up day old product that you wouldn’t do with any other product… Go ahead, toss it!

Dr. Terry Simpson About Dr. Terry Simpson
Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. He found he liked people more than petri dishes, and went to medical school. Dr. Simpson, a weight loss surgeon is an advocate of culinary medicine. The first surgeon to become certified in Culinary Medicine, he believes teaching people to improve their health through their food and in their kitchen. On the other side of the world, he has been a leading advocate of changing health care to make it more "relationship based," and his efforts awarded his team the Malcolm Baldrige award for healthcare in 2011 for the NUKA system of care in Alaska and in 2013 Dr Simpson won the National Indian Health Board Area Impact Award. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.” For media inquiries, please visit www.terrysimpson.com.

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