In many parts of the United States, fall harvest is beginning to wind down. With only 5% of the corn crop and 4% of the soybean crop still standing it looks like harvest will be over for a majority of farmers, just in time for Thanksgiving. 

Every year on the fourth Thursday of November people gather around the table with their families and friends to celebrate, be thankful, and eat food. However, many do not realize that Thanksgiving started to celebrate the harvest and other blessings of the past year. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in October of 1621 after the pilgrims had their first harvest. 

While the first harvest may seem like it took place so long ago, we would not be able to continue our Thanksgiving traditions without a fall harvest each year. The average U.S. farmer feeds 155 people throughout the year and their accomplishments need to be celebrated at Thanksgiving.

While Thanksgiving may look a little different this year many people still plan to cook a Thanksgiving meal for their immediate families. Here are some numbers from the past on the quantities of food purchased for Thanksgiving meals:

  • 46 million turkeys are consumed on Thanksgiving.
  • Americans consume 80 million pounds of cranberries on Thanksgiving and we produce 841 million pounds of cranberries in a year. 
  • 214 million pounds of potatoes and 50 million pounds of sweet potatoes will be purchased for Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Americans purchase 483,000 pounds of pumpkin for Thanksgiving. 
  • 77 million pounds of ham is purchased. 
  • 40.5 million rolls will be bought.

Farmers work year-round to produce the food that goes onto our table. Whether that is through fruits and vegetables, grain crops, or feeding livestock they all work together to feed the world. This year when you are going around the table discussing what you are thankful for don’t forget to thank the American Farmer. 

Sources:
http://sfntoday.com/turkey-facts-for-thanksgiving-day/
https://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/here-s-how-much-of-each-popular-thanksgiving-food-gets-consumed-each-year-52445
https://wsfb.com/remember-to-thank-a-farmer-this-thanksgiving/
https://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/history-of-thanksgiving