If you remember back to the stories we learned in school then Thanksgiving is about giving thanks. This is in two specific areas thanks for the fall harvest and gratitude to others (thanks in general).
This Thanksgiving I ask you, the reader, to honor this tradition by getting into the fall harvest. Head to your local farmers market for fall harvest potatoes, vegetables, etc. Stop by your local whole foods for a free range, cage free heritage turkey.
Potatoes at the farmers market should be abundant and cheap (comment if you can’t find a market in your area). At Whole Foods you can special order a turkey (link helps you find a location). I went in and talked to the butcher, he said to estimate about 1.5 pounds per person and the price was $2.50/pound. For my family dinner of 6 people that will be about $25 for the turkey.
The benefits to doing so are numerous and powerful. Supporting a local farmer builds up our Capital foodshed and adds to a sustainable food industry. It reduces pollution in your community and in our water. It even increases you and your family’s health.
If you’ve heard me speak before you know that our current food system is one of the largest polluters in the world. It is also one of the unhealthiest (67% of all adults are overweight). Unfortunately, the alternatives to this food system (farmers markets, coops) constitute only 2% of our food system. Some studies show that if every American were to buy one item at a farmers market each week then that 2% would grow to 10% in one year. Maybe this Thanksgiving is your chance to join in.
Turkey’s are another story altogether and its not a sweet bedtime story. Most turkey’s purchased for this Thanksgiving will be obese and loaded with drugs. Their weight problems and our industrialized food system also make them sterile or unable to reproduce. They are fed an unnatural diet that kills their organs, requiring more drugs. Their cages are indoor factories where they have no room to move (rarely move their whole life) and often sit in their own bathroom stuff.
I won’t scare or bore you with any more details. But, I hope it does give you a motivation to develop a new Thanksgiving tradition this year. If you do you can join several million people around the country and the world who are doing so. In the process we are all making ourselves healthier, the planet cleaner, and creating a sustainable future for our children.