As the fall and winter holidays approach, many of us will be celebrating in different ways, but one thing that is consistent in most of these celebrations is the role of food.
Many Americans will gather at the end of this month with friends and family and sit down to an abundant Thanksgiving meal of turkey (or tur-duck-en, or to-fur-key), mashed potatoes, candied yams, vegetables, bread, and oh yes, pumpkin (or apple, or chocolate cream) pie. It is a time to savor and give thanks for the food before us, and remember all those throughout our country’s history who sacrificed to put it there. Our food supply has come a long way since the first settlers arrived, imparting abundant flavor and nutrition, while also providing safe, convenient, and affordable food for many.
For me, a large part of what makes this time of year special and a valued tradition is enjoying the food my family and I prepare for our holiday meals. We cook and taste in the kitchen together and then sit down and toast to the happy times we were fortunate enough to have in the last year.
As we round out the year, let’s take this time to just enjoy our food. Sure, there are many conversations, questions, and rumors about the ingredients and components of our food, as well as the methods used to grow and produce it. But the reality is that we are fortunate here in the US to enjoy so much variety. There are great options for people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet; gluten-free options for people with Celiac disease; low-sodium, low-fat, and low- and no-calorie options for people following special diets or watching their weight (or who just like the taste!); and so on. That wasn’t possible 50 years ago, and it’s pretty amazing to have those options today.
This holiday season, let’s not cloud our celebrations with myths and fears we see on TV or online one day and forget about the next. The food in front of us is real and delicious and speaks for itself.
I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!
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