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A hotel employee prepares coconut husks for recycling into rope at the luxury Soneva Fushi island resort in the Maldives. It's just one of many initiatives the resort is taking to reduce food waste. Amal Jayasinghe/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Amal Jayasinghe/AFP/Getty Images

Tim Ma prepares a duck confit salad at his restaurant, Kyirisan, in Washington, D.C. Ma says being mindful about reducing food waste is an integral part of his philosophy in the kitchen — not just for environmental reasons but also for profitability. Becky Harlan/NPR hide caption

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Becky Harlan/NPR

Composting food scraps is one way to reduce food waste, but preventing excess food in the first place is better, says the EPA. paul mansfield photography/Getty Images hide caption

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paul mansfield photography/Getty Images

A prep cook at a San Francisco restaurant drops fish skin into a food scrap recycling container. Turning food waste into fertilizer is popular in parts of Europe and is catching on in the U.S. But tiny plastics are also making their way into that fertilizer — and into the food chain. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Another Place Plastics Are Turning Up: Organic Fertilizer From Food Waste

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Fish curry inflected with coconut is a staple dish in the coastal Indian state of Goa. It's usually eaten accompanied by unpolished rice, fried fish and a dab of pickle. Once all the fish has been eaten up, the leftover curry is reheated over a low flame until it condenses and thickens. At that point, it is reborn as Kalchi koddi, which literally translates to "yesterday's curry." Joanna Lobo hide caption

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Joanna Lobo

Djerbrani checks food donations from a French grocery store before driving it across town to a church, which will distribute it to poor families. Eleanor Beardsley/NPR hide caption

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Eleanor Beardsley/NPR

French Food Waste Law Changing How Grocery Stores Approach Excess Food

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Vegetable chips made by Forager and granola from Pulp Pantry. They're among several companies using the fruit and vegetable fiber left over from juicing in new food products. Grace Hwang Lynch for NPR hide caption

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Grace Hwang Lynch for NPR

A grande Cafe Nero, large Costa Coffee and venti-sized Starbucks to-go cups sold in London. The U.K. Parliament is considering a tax on disposable cups in an effort to cut down on waste. Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images hide caption

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Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images

An English grocery chain says it is now selling products up to a month past their "Best By" dates in an effort to reduce food waste. Anglia Picture Agency/Ashley Pickering/Anglia Picture hide caption

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Anglia Picture Agency/Ashley Pickering/Anglia Picture

Chef Massimo Bottura creates a meal from Thanksgiving leftovers in NPR's kitchen. "The leftover is a big problem if you don't have a vision, if you don't have the knowledge of what you can do," he says. Above, he checks the breadcrumbs to make sure they're dry and fine enough to turn into a pasta called passatelli. Becky Harlan/NPR hide caption

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Becky Harlan/NPR

Less Waste, More Taste: A Master Chef Reimagines Thanksgiving Leftovers

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Iskashitaa participant Rogita Darji, a refugee from Bhutan, gathers purslane, an edible plant to some, but considered a weed on a farm in Tucson, Ariz. Bill Hatcher hide caption

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Bill Hatcher

Executive producer and narrator chef Anthony Bourdain attends the premiere of Wasted! The Story of Food Waste in New York City. Brent N. Clarke/Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP hide caption

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Brent N. Clarke/Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP

A bottle of Misadventure Vodka, which is made out of disregarded baked goods like cake and bread. The southern California distillery reduces food waste while also creating premium vodka. Courtesy of Misadventure Vodka hide caption

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Courtesy of Misadventure Vodka

Confusion over "sell by" and "use by" dates is one big reason why billions of tons of food are tossed each year. A new global initiative of food giants, including Amazon, Walmart and Nestle, aims to tackle that. mrtom-uk//iStockphoto hide caption

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mrtom-uk//iStockphoto

Chef Douglas McMaster is committed to a "zero waste" ethos in his restaurants. Here, he plates up his creations at Silo, his flagship restaurant, in Brighton, England, about an hour south of London. Xavier Buendia/Courtesy of Doug McMaster hide caption

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Xavier Buendia/Courtesy of Doug McMaster

Chef Michael Scelfo of Cambridge, Mass., left, and Lisa Carlson, who operates three food trucks in Minneapolis, collaborate on the Glynwood dinner's spelt salad with lamb tongues and hearts, and "ugly" cherries, shiitakes, and kale. Lela Nargi/NPR hide caption

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Lela Nargi/NPR

Reinford Farms has 700 dairy cows. As you can imagine, they produce a lot of ... um... material to be converted into electricity. Dani Fresh for WHYY hide caption

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Dani Fresh for WHYY

Student Nicola Hopper, 11, and Jake Hensley, 11, load milk cartons and other food collected by students at Franklin Sherman Elementary School into crates to be taken across the street to Share food pantry at McLean Baptist Church. Victoria Milko/NPR hide caption

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Victoria Milko/NPR

When Food Banks Say No To Sugary Junk, Schools Offer A Solution

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Junior Herbert, a volunteer with Olio, collects leftovers from vendors at London's Camden Market. London has become a hub for apps and small-scale businesses that let restaurants and food vendors share leftovers with the public for free, and otherwise reduce the amount of edibles they toss. Maanvi Singh for NPR hide caption

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Maanvi Singh for NPR