Matthew Gates 3m 627 #thanksgiving
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Every year, as is the tradition of the United States of America, we all celebrate a national holiday that has been celebrated since many of our forefathers and distant relatives came to America. The holiday was first celebrated by the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock with the Native Americans. It is unknown exactly how that very first event went, as very little was written down about it, but as traditions have it, we sit down at the table with our families, extended families, and even friends, and we share a feast. This day is known as Thanksgiving.
While there are no gifts that are exchanged during this holiday, the tradition is completely meal-based and spending time with family. During this usually large meal, a turkey is often the primary course, but many other foods have since been introduced, such as ham, pork, duck, or even turducken. Before this, soup and salad may be served. Sides are usually bread, cranberry, cornbread, green beans, casseroles, corn, squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, mashed potatoes, and a variety of different vegetables, fruits, and sides. And desert often comes in the form of chocolate pie, apple pie, pumpkin pie, strawberry pie, blueberry pie, or even peach cobbler. This is just a random sample of what the Thanksgiving meal consists of and many other families may cook different things, but this is generally what is consumed on this day.
In America, the government keeps track of the amount of food consumed on this day, as this day often leads to a boost in the economy, as almost every family in America celebrates this national holiday. We often give thanks on this day, though we should always be grateful to our farmers who truly make this day possible. Throughout the U.S., almost every state produces a certain amount of turkeys and a variety of foods for the entirety of the country. Every year, over 200 million turkeys are raised which produces nearly 6 billion pounds of poultry, equating to about 26 pounds per bird, generating about $5 billion in revenue.
Minnesota leads the nation in turkey production, while Wisconsin grows 59% of all cranberries. North Carolina assists in the sweet potato production at nearly 2 billion pounds, or 55%, while California comes in second place at almost 900 million pounds or 26% of production. About 8 to 9 million barrels of cranberries are produced every year, with Massachusetts producing around 2 million barrels, accounting for 27% of production.
Potatoes often remain an absolute staple of the America diet, producing almost 50 billion pounds a year and accounting for nearly $4 billion in revenue. Aside from holding the title for growing the most cranberries and being famous for their cheese, Wisconsin also produces the most green beans at over 600 million pounds. Pumpkins and pumpkin pie are very popular staples during this traditional meal, with Illinois being the top producer, at 15,900 acres of pumpkins, and Pennsylvania coming in at second place.
Every year, over 3 million agricultural workers throughout the United States continue to work hard to supply the demand that this traditional American holiday demands. You may be grateful to the cook in the kitchen, who is likely one or both of your parents. You may be thankful to the good grace of the Lord. You may be grateful for this country and those who serve. You may look at your family and if you’ve made it through dinner, you appreciate their presence and the moments you still get to cherish with them. But if there is any one to salute and be grateful for, it is that even during COVID-19, our farmers and agricultural workers are still doing their part in ensuring that we can still have a Happy Thanksgiving.
For more information on the facts of Thanksgiving, check out the full infographic at USAFacts.org: https://usafacts.org/articles/thanksgiving-dinner-by-the-government-numbers/