Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Planning a Local Thanksgiving: Is it expensive?

In a word, yes.  

Amy from Eggs on Sunday, who share her menu with Ithaca's Food Web, said that she put down a $40 deposit on her local turkey.  "To me, it was just important to support a local farmer who I knew was raising his animals humanely and caring for the land. Frankly, I think it's downright frightening how they've bred commercial turkeys to be so breast-heavy and not able to reproduce on their own -- that is not something I feel I can be aware of and still choose to eat."

Amy says she did plan some more economical meals earlier in the month to compensate for the money she knew she'd be spending on Thanksgiving.  Soups, along with meals based on grains or beans, were more prominent than usual, for example.

"Hosting a big holiday dinner always entails more expense, regardless of whether or you're using very expensive ingredients or not -- I think that's just a function of trying to feed a crowd," she explains.  To save on little of the expense, she is having her guests bring a few of the dishes, and she's preparing several relatively simple dishes that are based on the vegetables, fruits, and herbs found at the farmers market, along with pantry staples like stock, cream, and butter.

"It's worth the increased price to me to know I'm supporting local farmers and getting great produce and meat...but I also recognize that's a choice that I can make and that not all people are able to do the same," she says.

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