Holiday meals are a great way to share your love for family and friends, support local farmers, and protect the environment.

Thanksgiving 2020 is causing many of us to rethink our time-honored family traditions and gatherings. Whether we’re canceling travel plans or downsizing holiday gatherings, we can still make the day special by giving attention to our food choices. In Wisconsin, we are blessed with a very diverse food sector that produces many of the staples of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner: turkey, cranberries, potatoes, fruits, and veggies. And don’t forget the local beer and wine! Buying local is good for our state’s economy, makes farmers more likely to keep land in production rather than sell it to developers, and reduces the environmental impact of long supply chains. Many local stores such as Outpost Natural Foods share information about their local suppliers.

The other responsible choice is to not over-buy. If your gathering is smaller, consider downsizing the meal to avoid food waste. Approximately one-third of all food produced in the US is wasted, most in the supply chain. But you can do your part by controlling how much you buy and serve. Whatever way you celebrate, take a moment to give thanks for our bountiful Earth!

If you have ideas to share or would like to write one of the weekly columns, please contact Earth Ministry committee chair, Rob Zimmerman.