Depending on where you sit down for your Thanksgiving feast, your meal may look a bit different — cornbread dressing in the south, oyster stuffing in the northeast, chiles rellenos in the southwest. But no matter where you are in America, turkey, fixings and pie will likely be on your menu. Flash back to the original holiday, which began as a harvest celebration, and your menu might have included deer, corn and shellfish. You know, local food.
These days the food that makes our Thanksgiving feast doesn’t have to be local, yet over the past decade demand for local food has increased. With the explosion of farmers markets and Community Supported Agriculture Programs, or CSAs, it’s easier than ever to shop for locally produced food. People who eat said food were even given a name. In 2007, the New Oxford American Dictionary officially recognized “locavore.”
“Economically, buying local supports your community by creating jobs and places to gather like farmers markets,” said Barbie Marshall who owns her own sustainable farm outside of Philadelphia. “Environmentally, buying local foods reduces the carbon footprint and emissions from transportation. One of the health advantages you have now is that you can ask the farmer what growing practices were used and when it was harvested.”
The idea of a “local diet,” which has roots in the locavore movement and J.B. MacKinnon’s book, “The 100-Mile Diet,” is as popular as ever today. There are restaurants, grocery stores and even a television series dedicated to the practice.
But then there’s Thanksgiving.
Is it possible to have a Thanksgiving meal prepared with only ingredients from within 100-miles? I talked to several people that have tried some successfully and some not so much for a piece for PBS NewsHour. Read the full story here or on the PBS NewsHour website.