November 15, 2023
Most people can’t think of Thanksgiving without thinking about the turkey that has become synonymous with the holiday. But if you’re of the sustainable living mindset you might also be thinking about how to make this seasonal staple a little more planet-friendly. Whether you want to simply be more mindful when shopping for your Thanksgiving meal ingredients or you want to swap out the turkey all together, there are some easy alternatives that are both kind to the planet and satisfying to the palate.
How to Choose a More Sustainable Turkey
- Opt for locally sourced, organic, and free-range turkeys. Locally sourced turkeys have a lower carbon footprint as they haven't traveled long distances to reach your table.
- Look for certification labels such as "Certified Organic" or "Animal Welfare Approved," ensuring that the turkey was raised with ethical and sustainable practices.
- Look for “Heritage Breed” turkeys. Heritage breed turkeys are traditional, slow-growing varieties that are often more sustainable than their industrially bred counterparts. They also tend to have a more diverse genetic makeup, making them hardier and less reliant on antibiotics or artificial interventions.
Plant-Based Turkey Alternatives
- It’s never been easier to swap out your turkey for a plant-based alternative. Brands like Tofurky and Field Roast offer plant-based roasts that mimic the taste and texture of traditional turkey.
- If you prefer to stay away from the fake meats, try roasting a whole cauliflower as your meal centerpiece or simply opt for another crowd pleasing dish like lasagna!
- When in doubt, extra plant-based side dishes are always a good idea. From macaroni and cheese to green bean casserole, most side dishes are already vegetarian and can easily be made vegan with a few swaps.
And, as with any gathering, try to use these tips for reducing food waste and shopping for more sustainable ingredients.