There are more than 120,000 US citizens resident in the UK. Most of them are going to want to celebrate Thanksgiving Day by eating a traditional dinner. With the campaign to reduce food miles in mind, can an environmentally-conscious ex-pat United States citizen source traditional Thanksgiving Day food grown in Britain? The answer is yes.
How US Ex-Pats Can Reduce Thanksgiving Food Miles by Buying British
The UK government authority on population and immigration figures, the Office for National Statistics, estimated that in the year to March 2016 there were some 126,000 ex-pat United States nationals living in the UK. That figure does not include the annual 3.5 million or so North American short stay vacation and business visitors (ONS Travel Trends ).
Some, if not all, of those US Citizens, as well as a proportion of North American visitors who are in the UK at the end of November, will want to celebrate Thanksgiving Day with a traditional slap up meal of turkey, cranberries, pumpkin pie and all the trimmings. How easy or difficult is it for the environmentally aware Thanksgiving celebrant to buy British ingredients for the occasion?
Planning a Typical Thanksgiving Day Menu in Britain
For the purposes of this article the following Thanksgiving Day dinner menu was selected. It has been compiled from a subset of the extensive range of dishes that were served up by the Obama family to their 50 guests when they celebrated their first Thanksgiving Day at the White House. The dishes selected from that list are those which are common across other menus widely available on the internet.
- Roast turkey
- Cranberry sauce
- Cornbread stuffing
- Oyster stuffing
- Sweet potatoes
- Green beans
- Mashed potatoes
- Pumpkin pie
Sourcing Typical Thanksgiving Dinner Ingredients Grown in Britain
Finding a British grown sweet potato is nigh on improbable but not impossible with a bit of planning well ahead of the day. The next most difficult item to source is the cranberries for the cranberry sauce. Although these lush red berries were once a common wild plant indigenous to Britain, most of their traditional growing areas have been lost. This article on where to find UK grown cranberries gives some ideas.
The rest of the ingredients are pretty easy to source from the UK although this article on British oysters will help source the stuffing ingredients for the Thanksgiving Day dinner. The Obama menu does not specify the type of green beans used but as British grown green beans are readily available throughout the year, particularly in the freezers of supermarkets, all that needs to be done is check the label for country of origin.
British grown ingredients for cornbread stuffing are also extremely easy to source as are pumpkins for the pie.