Celebrate Thanksgiving with all-Virginia Grown Thanksgiving dinner
Thanksgiving is a day of thanks, family, football and great food. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), encourages you to make this year’s holiday more about great food by using fresh Virginia Grown products in your holiday meal. As agriculture is Virginia’s top private industry, contributing $70 billion annually to the Commonwealth, there are plenty of excellent food options to choose from.
“I hope you and your family enjoy a variety of Virginia foods and beverages this holiday season. Purchasing Virginia grown products helps boost our state’s economy and supports Virginia farmers,” said VDACS Commissioner Jewel Bronaugh “When you buy from Virginia farmers, you get maximum freshness and taste because your food travels far less from farm to table. Saving on food miles also means saving valuable energy, as food comes from down the road, not across the country.”
Turkeys are one of Virginia’s top agricultural products, with most being sold around the country and the world. There are several local farms around the state that sell free range turkey or choose from a large selection of Virginia grown chicken, beef, seafood and pork. Use the Buy Virginia Grown link at www.virginiagrown.com to perform searches for farmers’ markets and farms that sell local turkeys and other Virginia grown meats and products.
You can also find delicious, locally grown products throughout the Commonwealth at local farmers’ markets and farm stands this fall or look for signs in your local supermarket that indicate local products. This time of year that could include all kinds of squash, pie pumpkins, leafy fall vegetables, white and sweet potatoes, peanuts, apples, honey, milk and dairy products, wine, apple cider, eggs, meats, fish and seafood. Local produce is usually easy to find; many store managers post signs saying Locally Grown or Virginia Grown right on the bins. Most milk is distributed within miles of its farm of origin, but for cheese, yogurt, and butter, look for labels that state the product is manufactured in Virginia. Don’t forget the pumpkins, gourds, mums and a variety of other fall décor items to decorate your home for the season.
Virginia also offers a great variety of processed products. Look for the Virginia’s Finest label and you’ll know you’re not only getting local products, you’re getting the very best of the best. Virginia’s Finest products include wine and other beverages, sauces, peanuts, hams, jellies and jams, honey, meats, seafood, dairy products, baked goods, snacks and much more. You’ll find listings atwww.virginiasfinest.com.