Thanksgiving is at its heart a harvest festival, and here in New York many traditional Thanksgiving foods are available in-season and grown locally!
Keep it Local
For a fresher and more economical Thanksgiving, base your menu around the abundant produce available in November in our area, including Acorn Squash, Apples, Beets, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Cabbage, Carrots, Carnival Squash, Cauliflower, Celery, Celery Root/Celeriac, Chard, Collard Greens, Cranberries, Cranberry Beans, Delicata Squash, Fennel, Hubbard Squash, Kabocha Squash (Green and Red), Kale, Mushrooms, Mustard Greens, Onions, Parsnips, Pumpkins, Rutabaga, and Turnips.
By buying locally grown produce, you’re helping to support local (and cooperatively managed) farms and reducing unnecessary carbon emissions. For items that can’t be grown locally, like cinnamon or coffee, choose a fair trade option to help ensure fair pay for farmers and support sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices.
Keep it Contained
It’s estimated that in America 305 million pounds of food annually are wasted from Thanksgiving dinner alone.
Try following these four steps to reduce waste this Thanksgiving:
1. Plan Ahead.
Check out this chart to estimate what to purchase or make this year:
2. Save scraps for items like soup stocks and compost after use.
3. Send leftovers home with your guests or donate them to food pantry or community fridge. You can even ask your guests to bring their own containers to fill!
4. Turn leftovers into new dishes!
Keep it Simple
Instead of creating complicated appetizers, try setting out a selection of fresh local fruits and cheeses or sliced vegetables and dips. Don’t think your crowd will polish off a whole pie? Make or purchase smaller desserts like cookies, puddings, or spiced nuts (these will also store well in a glass jar for future snacking)!
You can check out even more ideas for Thanksgiving planning, including vegan and gluten-free options, on our Pinterest.