THINK GREEN THIS
From the Virginia
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer
Services encourages you to “think green” this
Thanksgiving. This is not an early promotion for
Christmas trees. This is green as in
environmentally responsible. So how do you make
your Thanksgiving dinner green? – quite simply, buy
When you buy from local farmers, you get maximum
freshness, taste and nutrition because your food travels
far less from farm to table. You’re saving food
miles because green food comes from down the road, not
across the country. The less time your food is en
route, the quicker it gets to you and the more flavor,
vitamins and nutrients are preserved. Saving on
food miles also means saving valuable energy.
When you buy green, you also help the local and state
economies. Buying locally keeps food dollars in the
region and within the state and keeps Virginia’s largest
industry, agriculture, healthy.
So how can you buy green this Thanksgiving? Look
for signs in your local supermarket that indicate local
products. This time of year that could include all
kinds of squash, pie pumpkins, leafy fall vegetables,
white and sweet potatoes, peanuts, apples, milk and dairy
products, wine, apple cider, eggs, meats, fish and
Local produce is usually easy to find; many store
managers post signs saying Locally Grown or Virginia
Grown right on the bins. Most milk is distributed
within miles of its farm of origin, but for cheese,
yogurt and butter, look for labels that state the product
is manufactured in Virginia. If you order a fresh
turkey, specify that you want a bird raised on a Virginia
farm. Ham is easy – look for some of the famous
Virginia brand names.
Virginia also offers a great variety of processed
products. Look for the Virginia’s Finest label and
you’ll know you’re not only getting local products,
you’re getting the very best of the best.
Virginia’s Finest products include wine and other
beverages, sauces, peanuts, hams, jellies and jams,
honey, meats, seafood, dairy products, baked goods,
snacks and much more.
While you’re enjoying your delicious, nutritious,
environmentally-responsible Thanksgiving menu, entertain
your dinner guests with these facts about what they’re
Virginia’s largest single ag commodity.
Turkeys alone account for cash receipts of
$260,709,000 each year.
If you’re having
ham for Thanksgiving, realize that you’re not alone.
Hogs bring in $69,680,000 annually to Virginia
farmers, and Virginia ham has a reputation that
other states envy and try to copy.
Virginia ranks 6th
in the nation in summer potato production and 9th in
sweet potato production.
Virginia ranks 6th
among all the states in apple production. Cash
receipts for apples were $22,410,000 last year.
industry has grown from a handful of wineries 20
years ago to nearly 120 wineries in production
today. And the reputation of Virginia wine has
blossomed along with the industry. This past
summer, Travel+Leisure magazine listed
Virginia as one of the top five wine destinations in
falls are excellent for producing fall vegetables:
green beans, late tomatoes, greens, broccoli,
squash, pumpkins, and more.