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Happy
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Virgiia Grown

 

THINK GREEN THIS THANKSGIVING
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 local.

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 seafood. 

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.  LookVA Finest 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 eating:

  • Poultry is 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.
     
  • Virginia’s wine 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 the world.
     
  • Virginia’s mild falls are excellent for producing fall vegetables: green beans, late tomatoes, greens, broccoli, squash, pumpkins, and more.   
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