The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 when 50 Pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians joined together to celebrate harvest. It is believed that the first Thanksgiving dinner likely included venison, duck, goose, oysters, lobster, eels, fish, pumpkins and cranberries. Thanksgiving has evolved greatly since that first celebration. Thanks to agricultural technology advancements the dinner menu now look very different.

The common Thanksgiving menu now includes turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, corn, green bean casserole, yams, pumpkin pie, pecan pie and much more. 

This year for Thanksgiving Americans will purchase approximately:

  • 365 million pounds of turkey 
  • 250 million pounds of potatoes
  • 77 million pounds of ham 
  • 28 million pies 
  • 40.5 million rolls
  • 483 million pounds of fresh pumpkins for pumpkin pie 

In addition hungry feasters spend: 

  • $88.8 million on pre-cooked deli foods 
  • $4.3 million on brussel sprouts 
  • $4 million on kale 
  • $137 million on frozen vegetables 
  • $50 million on pre-made pie filling 

This year while you’re sitting around the table with your family and friends don’t forget to say a special thanks to the farmers that helped provide your modern menu. 


Bob Vila™ “Here’s How Much of Each Popular Thanksgiving Food Gets Consumed Each Year”

WorldStrides® “9 Fun Facts about Thanksgiving”