Looking for Something Good to Eat on Thanksgiving?

by: EJ on 11/19/2012
Posted in: Food

I have been quite impressed over the last few days with the number of e-newsletters I have been receiving about Thanksgiving, local food and the environment. My favourite so far has come from The Daily GOOD.

They have created an infographic on how to have a 100-Mile Thanksgiving.   This means using ingredients sourced from within 100 miles of your dinner table.  Now, a few days before the big family celebration might not be the best time to embark on this challenge, but it is a good time to investigate what is possible.  Sourcing local food takes time and often a fair bit of dedication and pre-planning but the results are worth it!  We have already had our Thanksgiving but each year, we have a completely local dinner for our Solstice celebration.  Because I have a son who is vegetarian, this means planting black beans in June in order to serve up a plate for Solstice dinner in December. 

The Daily Good recognizes this challenge too.  They recommend some steps to get started.  "This Thanksgiving, you can source just a few staples like turkey and squash locally, or make one dish, like a salad, using mostly local, seasonal ingredients. It’s a fun way to teach children about where their food comes from, and a wonderful way to introduce your guests to the unique bounty that your area has to offer."  They even consider the implications of driving or flying home for the holiday.

Finding a locally raised turkey at the last minute might be difficult but there is still a chance to win one from Slow Food USA.  They are running a "Fast Way to Slow Your Thanksgiving" quiz.  Their goal is to encourage a holiday that is thoughtful — not just full full.  The quiz will help you find out how to make sure you're preparing a meal that is as good, clean and fair as possible.  The prize is a turkey from a farm that has achieved certification to Global Animal Partnership's 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Rating from your neighborhood Whole Foods Market.  From turkey to pumpkin pie, the quiz answers give you plenty of information and best choice options. 

Now, enough of the feel good holiday stories.  If you ever wondered why you should bother to shop locally and reduce your carbon output, Mother Jones has put together a hard-hitting look at what climate change might do to your Thanksgiving meal.  This is Your Thanksgiving on Climate Change covers the weather trends that are impacting our favourite Thanksgiving foods.  This summer's Midwest drought drastically raised the price of turkey feed which in turn, has raised turkey prices.  Idaho potato growers worry about an 18% drop in yield due to elevated spring temperatures.  California spinach irrigation is at risk from a decline in snowfall which feeds the spring snow melt.  And pumpkin production is suffering from too much rain. The good news?  As long as you are in Maine, changing temperatures should be beneficial for cranberry growing.

Heard enough?  Want to go back to your cozy thoughts of menu planning and recipes?  The Big Oven is collecting recipes with the Thanksgiving tag, including roast veggies purchased at the farmers' market  for the vegetarians amongst you and plenty of tips for getting the whole family involved. 

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.  Take a moment to appreciate this time of abundance and give thanks for the knowledge of settlers and Native Americans that will help guide us towards a less energy consumptive future.





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