Monday, November 24, 2008

Gobble Gobble Gobble

I've been trying to encourage students in my Environmental Science class at Lasell College to think more about their food. I not only want students to have a better understanding of the source of their food but also of the amount of energy that went into producing that food. Local food is an idea I have been working with students to consider as part of their foodprint and Thanksgiving provides an interesting opportunity to apply this concept particularly as the meal occured here in Massachusetts.

Almost all food consumed in early colonial times was local. With the exception of a few spices that may have been transported on ships most of the food was of local origin. So what was on the original menu? Not potatoes, not pumpkin pie, not cranberry sauce, and maybe not even turkey as Karla Reed points out. Sugar was not available for cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie and potatoes were unheard of. So what did these true locavores eat?
  • Wild fowl
  • Pumpkin
  • Squash
  • Fish
  • Lobsters
  • Eel
  • Mussels
  • Oysters
  • Corn
  • Parsnips
  • Collards
  • Turnips
  • Spinach
  • Onions
  • Dried Beans
  • Dried Blueberries
  • Grapes
  • Nuts
Thanksgiving was originally a harvest celebration. As you sit down for your meal this year consider what has been harvested locally. Hopefully at least the squash is coming from a local farm. Is it right that we celebrate food that was harvested 3000 miles away?

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