Infographic: How to Have a 100-Mile Thanksgiving
In the spirit of using less fuel and supporting local farms and food artisans, we challenge you to try a 100-mile Thanksgiving. A 100-mile Thanksgiving uses ingredients sourced from within 100 miles of your dinner table. Think of it as an opportunity to celebrate local food, rather than an obligation to source every last ingredient from within 100 miles. Food miles, or the amount of miles a certain product has traveled to its final destination, are an important consideration when trying to reduce your carbon footprint and the amount of oil and gasoline used in making a meal.
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. Besides, fresh foods that haven’t been sitting on a truck or airplane all week taste better! It’s fun for the chef too—there is nothing more festive than a farmers market the day before Thanksgiving, and it’s often less crowded than the local supermarket.
Shopping locally at Thanksgiving is actually pretty simple. After all, Thanksgiving is in essence our national seasonal feast. Even though every region and every family has its own signature Thanksgiving dishes, the staples of the meal—from pumpkins and cranberries, to sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts—are largely autumn seasonal foods.
The turkey is the one part of the meal where going local may require a bit more forethought, but it’s well worth it. There are many delicious alternatives to the conventional supermarket turkey that has often traveled far from its factory farm to your table.