This week we ring in Thanksgiving—the holidays are upon us! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year. It's not the stuffed-silly feeling I am so excited for; instead, I love to use Thanksgiving as a time to celebrate what food does for our families, communities, and culture. Maybe you feel the same. Ever the great uniter, food brings people together in a way nothing else can. The warmth it gives, from inside to out, instills a sense of community no matter what the gathering. Large or small, lavish or ordinary, gathering over a meal is one of few universal pleasures.
Personally, I see food not just as a necessity, but a journey to be shared. This will be my third turkey-less Thanksgiving as a vegetarian, and simply the meat out of the equation has made me even more grateful for the bounty beyond the turkey breast. Better yet, my odd decision to shirk the bird has been a conversation starter with my family and friends, a chance to encourage them to think about their own food choices and impact.
Since the meal is so central to this holiday in particular, I think it's important to be grateful for the ways in which our food culture sustains us. Take stock of your own food journey; look around your table and see if tastes are changing. Start the conversation with those around you about how to keep our resources strong, and encourage others to turn to local, sustainable, and ethical food choices.
And of course, be mindful of those in need and give openly to your community in any way you can.
This is the perfect time to show gratitude for our food, even in the smallest ways. How will you be celebrating this holiday around the table?
• Locally-Grown Turkey Directory
• Roundup: More Vegetarian Thanksgiving Ideas
• Turkey Alternatives: A Review of 4 Meatless Roasts
(Image: Amber Byfield for Re-Nest.)