Thanksgiving: 10 Tips for a Healthier Feast

This season, give thanks with a healthier and more eco-friendly dinner!!  Remember, you vote with your dollar every time you make a purchase at the market.  So vote for a cleaner and healthier future by supporting products made with fewer pesticides and less processing!

This Thanksgiving:

  1. Eat Locally - Try an organic or locally raised turkey, or perhaps even a climate-smart center piece such as a stuffed winter squash!
  2. Avoid BpA Exposure - Canned green beans and cranberries are both high in pesticide residues and, because of their canned storage, are also high in BPA (an endocrine disrupting chemical). Try using the fresh and organic forms of these ingredients. Maybe it’s a good opportunity to improve your cooking skills too!
  3. Minimize the Fat - Some experts estimate that the average person consumes the equivalent of 3 sticks of butter at the Thanksgiving table. Use heart-healthy and GMO-free oils if you can.
  4. Avoid Pesticides - Substitute white mashed potatoes, which are high in pesticides, with that made from sweet potatoes (low in pesticides). 
  5. Avoid Pesticides - Replace high pesticide stuffing ingredients such as celery and carrots with their organic substitutes. 
  6. Waste Less – While it might be tempting to use disposable plates and cutlery when hosting for a large group of people, this amounts to much wasted production energy, excess garbage to our landfills, and air pollution (from waste incineration).  Using glass/china plates, glasses, and regular silverware is much more environmentally sound.  If you choose to wash your dishes by hand, using lower temperature faucet water is even more eco-friendly!
  7. Recycle- Don’t forget to recycle the items used to make your Thanksgiving meal, such as aluminum foil, metal cans, cardboard egg cartons, food boxes, glass/plastic bottles, jars, etc.
  8. Use Tap Water - Serve your guests tap water.  Bottled water creates mountains of plastic waste and is actually no healthier than tap water in the U.S.  In fact, studies have shown bottled water to have a higher bacteria count than tap!
  9. Save Leftovers - Sadly, the average American wastes roughly $600 of food annually.  This Thanksgiving, be sure to send leftovers home with your guests if you can’t finish them singlehandedly.
  10. Store Smart - Package your leftover food in reusable containers as opposed to tin/aluminum foil and plastic wrap.
Be sure to share these tips with family and friends! And remember, where YOU cut down on waste and energy demand, you enable a future world in which your children and your children’s children can enjoy the same quality of life and opportunity for a healthy environment that you’ve enjoyed!  

For information on where to purchase locally grown produce, visit:

For information on where to purchase antibiotic-free meat, visit:

For information on the carbon footprint associated with various food products, visit:

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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                                                                                                -Shahir Masri, MS