Whether you enjoy random trivia, or want to be prepared just in case you are demoted to the curious kids' table on Thanksgiving day, you should probably know where your Thanksgiving dinner comes from. Believe it or not the answer isn't just, "the grocery store!"
Of course we all know that the very first Thanksgiving dinner was scraped together from the meager stashes of pioneers in a new land. They didn't have the luxury of orange cranberry sauce and green bean casserole. Their food all came from within a very short distance of Plymouth, not because they were locavore hipsters, but because they had to grow what they ate.
With industrialized agriculture, our relationship to our food has changed and we often have no idea where our food originates, or how it got to us for that matter! But did you know that small, family owned trucking companies are behind many of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes? Keep reading for the tasty details.
The meal of the day for 88% of American households is turkey. If you are enjoying a turkey on Turkey Day, you definitely have a few truckers to thank. Turkeys are raised and prepared all over the US, but the five highest producing states (in decending order) are Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Virginia, and Missouri.
How do those turkey's make it to your local Hy-Vee or Walmart? Your delicious bird may make one or two stops on it's journey to a regional distribution center where it will then be shipped off to your local store. It was likely hauled by anywhere from 2-5 different truck drivers to get to your plate!
Stove Top Stuffing
Apparently Kraft Foods keeps a really tight lock and key on where they make their famous Stove Top Stuffing. But while the exact location of their top secret deliciousness-producing facility remains unknown, we do know that it still had to come to most stores on a truck. Now you just need to decide if stuffing goes inside the bird or in a dish on the side. Good luck with that.
The gold standard for Thanksgiving day is mashed potatoes and gravy, but many families branch out in to hashbrown casserole or even herbed potatoes cooked alongside the turkey. Whatever your potato fancy, your spuds likely got to your local store on a truck from Idaho, Wisconsin, Colorado or North Dakota!
Wisconsin is definitely the top cranberry-producing state in the US. Cranberries are best grown in natural wetlands, so the primary producers of these sweet and sour delights are in Wisonsin, Massachusetts, Washington, and Oregon where there is plenty of marshland. Whether you're enjoying delicious canned cranberries or gourmet orange cranbery sauce, you should thank truckers.
What is a Thanksgiving dinner without a piece of pumpkin pie? Chances are that if you are using canned pumpkin it came from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, or California. Do you like Cool Whip topping on that pie? A trucker pulling a refrigerated trailer brought it to you all the way from Avon, New York!
This year, when you sit down to eat, don't forget that the food on your table is there thanks to the hard work and long hours put in by American truckers; many working for small, family owned trucking companies. And it doesn't just go straight from the producer to your local store. There are many stops and many trucks that transport the food along the way.
So to all those drivers who keep America running, whether today finds you at home or on the road providing for other families; have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving Day!
- K & J Trucking