Not at my home – $38 Thanksgiving Dinner

I saw over at the Eat Local Challenge a link to a Farm Bureau report that explains that the typical American Thanksgiving dinner – enough food to feed 10 people – costs about $38.

I have gotten used to paying a lot more for food in the last few years, so this figure shocks me. Our turkey alone generally costs at least twice that amount. True, the meal described in the report doesn’t account for many leftovers – a 16-lb turkey, 3 lb. of sweet potatoes, one pumpkin pie (for ten people), etc. But still – on average, we pay under a dollar a pound for a factory-farmed turkey. Oh, and the 10-15% of the weight of the bird that is actually salt water and GMO corn oil.

I know not everyone has the means to buy a free-range, natural turkey. I remember when a Butterball the size of a large chicken was all we could afford. I also remember the year we bought a small factory bird and a small organic bird. the difference was so striking, we’ve never gone back.

It depresses me sometimes that at this celebration of thankfulness, so many people still buy the cheapest, easiest meal they can. Whole dinners, pre-cooked at the grocery store deli and delivered in foil trays. Organic’s too expensive for this many people, so for this meal we’ll buy the cheapest of everything. Seems backwards to me.

Gah. My thoughts on this are so ineloquent. It’s just so sad that when we bring our families together with gratitude in our hearts, we look for the cheapest thing, which happens to be a bird bred to incompetence so it has big breasts, raised in muck in a tiny cage, slaughtered by a machine, injected with salty, greasy swill, and baked to a uniform dryness because we’re afraid of the germs it picked up from its impossibly wretched living conditions. And one-tenth of a pumpkin pie. 😦



  1. farm mom said,

    November 16, 2007 at 8:31 am

    I couldn’t agree more. I’m hosting thanksgiving this year, and my family (knowing me) knows there’s going to be some changes. But my mother still insists on bringing things like cheap cranberry jelly in the can!! Ugh! But I keep my mouth shut, and I’ll serve it right along my own, homemade, made with (gasp) real, whole cranberries!! 🙂 Hopefully they’ll like a few of the changes and won’t be so afraid to try more real food in the future.

  2. Cloud said,

    December 28, 2011 at 5:19 pm


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