Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Green Thanksgiving

White Christmas is a cultural and traditional icon of our society. Hopefully, sooner rather than later, Green Thanksgiving will also become an American standard.
Naturally, the most eco-friendly meal would be a 100 percent vegan menu. Let’s be honest, though, do you really want to celebrate with turkey-shaped soy? If you do, more power to you. But if a “tofurky” feast isn’t your thing, bear in mind you still have other savory and sustainable options: Choose a turkey that is USDA-Certified organic and free-range, meaning it is given organic feed and is free from confinement. You can find a list of farmers at Local Harvest who use organic methods to raise their birds, perhaps there is one near you?
If you do choose to enjoy soy for Thanksgiving there are many vegetarian and vegan soy “turkeys” available, or you can even try making your own. Click here for an article offering many non-meat turkey options. There are also some vegetarian gravy recipes if you want the full Thanksgiving meal experience.
It’s also the season for pumpkin, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and yams. Traditional Thanksgiving food is usually in season anyway, so why not get the freshest possible ingredients for your mashed potatoes and pies by visiting your local farmer’s market? Eating produce that’s in season -- especially if grown locally -- cuts down on the carbon emissions needed to grow, plow, ship, truck and fly it from the farm to your table. If you can’t find a farmer’s market in your area, try to purchase as many organic, in-season ingredients at the grocery store as you can. Here is a list of recipes by in-season ingredient that you can try for your Thanksgiving meal.
Planning final headcount will help monitor unnecessary food waste, so get those RSVPs early! While we all love leftover turkey sandwiches, inevitably, some food spoils quickly forcing you to toss it; have guests bring a reusable dish to share leftovers. If there are any scraps left, try composting them to limit waste and add nutrients to your garden.
You can also consider, making your Thanksgiving meal a potluck and ask your guests to bring different side dishes so all you have to worry about is getting the best possible turkey. Share vegan, vegetarian, in-season and organic recipes as a little hint for the menu theme. This allows everyone to participate in creating a sustainable soiree....

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