Making Better Decisions: Sustainable Thanksgiving Table

Posted in: Organic Living
By Naturepedic Team
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Making Better Decisions: Sustainable Thanksgiving Table

Sustainable Thanksgiving

By the time November comes around, my little backyard garden produce is exhausted, and my summer CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) weekly shares are complete too. How can I create both a healthier, more sustainable Thanksgiving spread without the convenient access of my weekly farmers’ market or backyard garden?

I know all the benefits of eating local produce. They are fresher, tastier, and there is more variety. I know I can get heirloom tomatoes or a particular variety of pumpkin known to make a fluffier pumpkin pie from my farmers market. Local means I’m avoiding a lot of emissions from shipping, too. Not to mention that when I am also buying organic, I know it is safer for my kids and I.

When Thanksgiving comes around and my usual channels are overwintering so-to-speak, I find myself stuck in the same annual traditions and same Thanksgiving fare, which is not local, sustainable, or organic.

This year, I promised myself we’d do better and as a family make better decisions for our Thanksgiving table.

To start, I’m taking a peak at the Sustainable Table Seasonal Food Guide and the Eat Well Guide, as well as Local Harvest. With those resources, I can see what is in season locally so I know what to look for in my grocery stores, some of which also make a point to stock locally grown produce.

With the Eat Well Guide, I can find farms (and restaurants if you’re eating out this Thanksgiving!) that meet their specific sustainable and often organic criteria.

With Local Harvest, I found farm produce available from some winter markets as well, and thanks to the food guide I know what to expect there when I go. But what happens when you can’t find the center of the feast from a local farm: the Thanksgiving turkey?

Yes, it is possible to go meatless this Thanksgiving, but I’ll be looking for an organic option at my grocery store first. There are also organic options available online. It’s a less-sustainable due to shipping costs but healthier option that I can compromise on.

The big challenge now is finding recipes with the ingredients I’ll have on hand. Most of my go-to recipe websites have an option to search by the main ingredient, but I’m also checking out some new-to-me sites including Cook Thing which suggests additional ingredients after your initial main ingredient search, Super Cook and My Fridge Food.

When it’s time to sit down at the Thanksgiving table with friends and family, consider reusable plates and silverware. (I like an opportunity to break out my grandmother’s glassware once a year anyway.) And those leftovers can be put to good use: A compost bin, ready for next year’s backyard garden.

Tell me, how do you maintain a more sustainable or organic table during the winter?

4 years ago

Making Better Decisions: Sustainable Thanksgiving Table

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