Thanksgiving began as a harvest festival—a celebration and appreciation of the earth's bounty. Now it's easier than ever to honor that tradition with an organic, authentic, and delicious Thanksgiving feast.
Go to farmers' markets and farm stands, or at least a grocer that buys from local farmers. When you buy from a local producer, you get the freshest food, which tastes best and is most nutritious. And buying locally saves on energy (less used to package and transport the food to you). Last but not least, when you support your local farmers you help them to stay in business, preserving invaluable open spaces in your area. To find the farms nearest you, visit the Local Harvest Website and you can search by zip code.
The original Thanksgiving feast included some of the foods we eat today, like pumpkins and turkey (or at least wild fowl of various kinds), because they were abundant and in season in New England at that time. Try to include in your Thanksgiving feast what's in season where you live. The freshest and best-tasting food always is what's in season. The Natural Resources Defense Council has created a handy look-up so you can see what's in season in your state.
Most of us today eat farm-raised rather than wild turkey on Thanksgiving. Get an organic turkey, which is raised with access to fresh air and fed a healthy, all-natural diet, which the latest research shows make them more nutritious than factory-raised meat. You can get organic or free-range turkeys from local farmers and at many grocery stores. If you can't find one, you still have time to buy one online and have it shipped to you.
Try these sources:
When it comes to dishes and utensils, the most eco-friendly are those you can wash and reuse when the feast is done. But if you must use disposable ones, look for those made of recycled or biodegradable materials, like corn or sugarcane, rather than one-time-use plastic.
We have so much to be thankful for in this country, especially for the abundance of food and the chance to choose where and how we get it. You can show your gratitude and enjoy your best and most satisfying Thanksgiving ever when you buy organic and local.
Read The Pleasure of Eating, by Wendell Berry.