Thanksgiving is almost here to bring one of the Food and Beverage industry's busiest weeks to a close. Americans will consume an estimated 46 million turkeys and about that same number will travel over 50 miles to join family and friends.

Now that we've got fun facts out of way, let's turn to a few more sobering statistics. Though 79% of Americans claim to enjoy leftovers more than Thanksgiving proper, it's likely that most households will let at least some food go to waste. In doing so, they'll contribute to an escalating global crisis.

Every year, 1.6 billion tons of food worth 1.2 trillion dollars goes to waste. Experts expect both figures to continue rising over the next decade. These facts are all the more troubling when juxtaposed against food scarcity and world hunger. While Americans waste around 40% of their food, a staggering 850 million people worldwide regularly experience undernourishment.

Though fickle consumers typically attract most of the blame, the Boston Consulting Group suggests that all parties across the food and beverage value chain have played a role in this crisis. More importantly, however, they can all play a role in addressing it. BCG contends that the issue of food waste is not merely a crisis, but a massive opportunity for anyone ready to take the right action.

Check out the infographic below to learn more about how business leaders can enhance their operations and embrace new solutions to end the food waste epidemic.

With our charged political climate, families across the country are bound to discuss important (and uncomfortable) issues at the table this year. Why not turn the conversation away from politics to something we can all agree on? Across the globe far too many people go hungry and far too much food goes to waste. It's time stakeholders across the value chain did something about it. It'll take more than finishing a third helping of leftovers, but consumers and business leaders alike have the power to address this crisis head-on.
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