It's that time of year again and it's not too late to start thinking about your Thanksgiving meal and how to make it as sustainable as possible. The most effective thing to do is to focus on providing foods that are in season, local and organic.
You've already heard me blathering on (and on) about the reasons for eating locally, but here's a reminder: On average, for each plate of food obtained locally, 2.2 pounds of CO2 emissions are prevented. (This is from a University of WA study, so I'm not sure how it extrapolates out to other areas of the country.)
So, in another effort to encourage you to do more, you can pledge to Eat Local for Thanksgiving by adding a comment to this post. In your pledge you can state what you are planning to do, whether that be acquiring a local turkey to getting all your vegetables at a farmer's market, etc. It's totally up to you. The point is to think about where each food source comes from and buy it locally or don't serve it if it's out of season or has to travel miles to get to your plate.
Now, we all have our family favorites, and I'm sure Aunt Agnes might be upset when she doesn't see her favorite green bean casserole because the season is over in your neck of the woods and you neglected to can or freeze any. So, for those of you who want to take the opportunity during your Thanksgiving meal to discuss the issues surrounding food and where it comes from, the Puget Sound Fresh website has some printable discussion cards for your Thanksgiving table that may help you explain why certain things are missing.
Between now and Thanksgiving, I'll keep a running counter in the sidebar for the amount of CO2 emissions prevented based on the number of people pledging to eat local.*
What are we doing? Well, we are getting a local, pasture ranged heritage turkey from Thundering Hooves that we ordered way back in July. In addition, I'm sure we'll be serving all sorts of local potatoes, greens and apple pie, plus pumpkin pie from my pumpkins.
How are you choosing local for Thanksgiving this year?
*This won't be extremely scientific, but I'll just assume one plate worth of savings for each pledge, unless you specify otherwise. In other words, if you know you'll be serving all local food to 10 people, I'll count that as 10 plates worth.