"I'm not one to rain on anyone's Thanksgiving Day Parade. But, on the first Thanksgiving, the pilgrims did not have the much-loved cranberry sauce at the table. Why? Because they didn't have any sugar to make it with - it wasn't locally available to them."---from "Keep it Local This Thanksgiving," by Holly Lahd, Minnesota Daily.
On its way from farm to plate, food in the United States travels an estimated 1,500 to 2,500 miles, 25 percent farther than in 1980.--from "The 100-Mile Meal," by Kim O'Donnel of the Washington Post.
This Thanksgiving, 100MileDiet, the Locavores, EatLocalChallenge, Local Harvest, BALLE, Straus Communications, and other sustainable agricultural and local food groups are encouraging people to eat locally with their Eat Local Thanksgiving Challenge:
A Thanksgiving meal prepared with local ingredients will not only be fresher and healthier, it will also support the small farmer who pays her workers a living wage, grows a diversity of crops, refuses to use pesticides or genetically modified organisms, kills her animals in a humane fashion, sells her products only within local markets (ensuring that the money stays within the community), and whose children more than likely go to school with your own.You can find resources to plan your local Thanksgiving dinner on the 100-Mile Diet's Thanksgiving page where you can read other readers 100-mile Thanksgiving menus and stories, and check out their Getting Started Guide.
Sustainable Table has re-vamped their web site and their Eat Well Guide in time for the holidays. The East Well Guide allows you to search by zip code for farms and stores that sell sustainably-raised beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish, lamb, goat, dairy and eggs in the US and Canada. It also give you lots of tools to eat locally like an Eat Seasonal page where you can see what foods are in season for your state, and numerous Shopping Guides where you can find CSAs (community supported agriculture), farmers markets and other healthy, local food near you.
Photo Credit: Cooking Cranberries by Tracy Ducasse.