What planet do these people live on? Americans will throw $282 million of uneaten turkey into the trash this Thanksgiving, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Consumers will buy about 736 million pounds of turkey, of which about 581 million pounds will be actual meat, but 35 percent of that meat likely will not get eaten after being cooked (and that's not including bones). It's not just turkey being wasted. The USDA notes that production resources also are squandered; in this case, 105 billion gallons of water (which would supply New York City for 100 days) and greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 800,000 cross-country car trips. On the other hand, the National Restaurant Association said about 30 million Americans either ate out or bought take-out from restaurants last Thanksgiving Day, and they expect that number to rise this year.

A real tea-for-all

The tea trend shows no signs of abating, possibly because there are more and better teas all the time. One spot to taste and compare is at the annual tea tasting hosted by Mrs. Kelly's Teas, where you can try more than 100 freshly blended teas. The tasting will also feature seminars by food entrepreneurs, including B.T. McElrath Chocolatier, Muddy Paws Cheesecake and Ames Farm Honey. The event is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 1 and 2 at the Grain Belt Brewery Warehouse, 77 13th Av. NE., Minneapolis. A suggested donation is a nonperishable food item or $2, with all admission proceeds donated to Second Harvest Food Shelf and/or Perspectives Kids Café. To learn more, visit www.MrsKellysTea.com.

Deck the hamentasch

Manischewitz has a new Chanukah House Decorating Kit, and they'd like you to buy it, then show what you've accomplished. Until Dec. 15, you can upload a photo of your creation using the vanilla cookie-based kit, plus any extras you think of. The top winner gets $500, second $200 and third gets $150 worth of Manischewitz products. You must be 18 or older to enter the contest; however, those under 18 can submit their entry with parental permission, using a parent's or guardian's e-mail address. For all the rules, visit www.manischewitz.com.

Smile and say 'sauerkraut'

Several Minnesotans will be showing up on labels of Frank's Sauerkraut after submitting their photos as part of Frank's national Search for Sweetness campaign. Look for Henderson Sauerkraut Festival queens Shannon Meyer, Taylor Sellnow and Brandi Winsor, all of Henderson; old-time baseballer Jeff "Sauerkraut" Boehmer of Rochester, and the Boisen family (Matt, Jody, Ellen and Tom) of Owatonna. Labels should be in local groceries over the next few months. Kraut lovers can still submit their photos for use on the Frank's website and Facebook page, where there are recipes and more. For details, visit www.myfrankskraut.com.