Do You Know Where Your Thanksgiving Food Comes From?
When we get the chance to sit down for our Thanksgiving dinner in a couple of weeks (November 25), let's hope we're surrounded by the people that mean the most to us in our lives.
And while we're thinking about the things that we can be thankful for this year, don't forget the hard-working, and often underappreciated people that help to put all of that delicious food on our tables.
Some of them aren't as far away as you might think.
Let's start with the turkey itself.
That stuffed bird most likely came from our neighbors to the east - Minnesota - where they raise a mind-boggling 40 million turkeys each year. The National Turkey Federation estimates that roughly 46 million turkeys are eaten every Thanksgiving.
Another state over is Wisconsin and they are a big supplier for some of the side dishes for our holiday feast.
We all know that Wisconsin is the nation's top cheese producer, but they're also number-one in green beans and cranberries - all things you can't live without on Thanksgiving day.
One of the most popular sides is mashed potatoes and for that look no further than the state synonymous with one of our favorite starches. Idaho farmers produce more than 134 million hundredweight (which is actually 112 pounds) of potatoes every year.
If sweet potatoes are more your thing, then North Carolina is your place. That's where more than half the entire U.S. crop originates.
From sweet potatoes to sweet corn and a bit of a surprise. The most likely producer of sweet corn isn't anywhere in the midwest, but rather the state of Washington.
That's also where you'll find the apples for your apple pies. Washington accounts for close to 70% of the apples grown in America.
The quintessential Thanksgiving dessert is, of course, pumpkin pie and for that, we head back to the nation's midsection where Illinois produces more pumpkins than the next six states on the list combined.
If a nice slice of pecan pie is more to your liking you can thank the farms of Georgia, which are responsible for half of all pecan production.
So do South Dakota farmers have a place at our Thanksgiving table? You bet!
The Mount Rushmore State is seventh in the nation in field corn production, which gets turned into cornmeal for our yummy cornbread. Farmers in the state produce more than 720 million bushels a year.
And while Wisconsin grabs most of the cheese accolades, South Dakota is one of the top ten suppliers in the country with more than 450 million pounds produced annually.
According to a Nielsen report, Americans will consume over 350 million pounds of turkey, 250 million pounds of potatoes, 57 million pounds of sweet potatoes, 80 million pounds of cranberry, and 28 million pies this Thanksgiving.
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