Whether north or south of the 49th parallel, the season for gratitude and gorging is almost upon us. Yet let us give thanks this year, both organically and ethically, for options – for there are alternatives to noshing on chemically injected fowl and pesticide-soaked produce. Herewith my guide to greening your gobbler…and assorted Thanksgiving goodies:

The Turkey

Because white meat is so desirable, turkeys – of which more than 70 million are killed in the U. S. annually for Thanksgiving dinner – are bred for increasingly large breasts (stop snickering). The birds grow like something out of a sci-fi flick, and by five or six months are so huge they can barely stand up and often suffer broken legs from the weight. Not only is this unhealthy – not to mention painful – for the turkeys, it’s unhealthy for us…and generally results in a tasteless meal.

Fortunately, for fowl fanatics, there is an alternative that’s almost cruelty-free. Consider an organic bird that is truly free-range or a heritage turkey. Both options promote genetic diversity and are hormone and antibiotic free.

If you’ve lost your appetite for real turkey altogether, tofurkey is not only fun to say, but fans also claim it’s delicious. A caveat however - look for soy that is organic as most is genetically modified, another sci-fi type procedure that involves gene splicing.

Gone, clearly, are the days when farming was a natural undertaking. To find a heritage or organic bird, check out farmers markets or visit www. localharvest. org online.

The Potatoes

A 2006 United States Department of Agriculture test found 81% of potatoes tested still contained pesticides after being washed and peeled. Considering the potato has one of the highest pesticide contents of 43 fruits and vegetables tested, according to the Environmental Working Group, it’s definitely worth buying organic spuds. Incidentally, it’s the perfect season to source locally grown sweet potato, carrots and turnips.

The Cranberry Sauce

It might surprise you to learn that cranberry sauce is not cylindrical goo but comes from an actual…berry. To make your own sauce, you only need a cup of sugar, a cup of water or orange juice and about 4 cups of cranberries. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat until ingredients are all mixed together. You can likely find local, organic cranberries right now at farmers markets.

The Wine

Let’s give thanks for the drink that renders the company of our dysfunctional families so much more pleasant. But let us enjoy it in moderation and organically, keeping pesticides out of our wine glasses and ensuring that the only toxic presence at the table is our drunken uncle.

Leslie Garrett is a national award-winning journalist, author and editor, based near Toronto, Canada. She is the author of The Virtuous Consumer: Your Essential Shopping Guide for a Better, Kinder, Healthier World and she has also written a dozen children’s books, including a biography of renowned environmentalist David Suzuki and “EarthSmart”, a book for young children on protecting the environment.

Visit: http://www. virtuousconsumer. com/

Via:www.greenmuze. ??m

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