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Everyone has heard of fast food, but Thanksgiving is a time to think about "slow food." No, I don't mean the bad service you get at your favorite greasy spoon.
Slow Food is a worldwide movement celebrating the pleasure of fresh, local food and traditional cooking. Promoted as an alternative to fast food, it strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages the farming of plants and livestock that are more native.
And what could be more local than the food you have grown yourself? The garden is like a seasonal supermarket.
This, we have apples, pears, potatoes, squash, onions, and garlic from the garden to use for this year's feast. Kale and carrots are still growing, and green beans are in the freezer. Cider comes from the orchard down the road. How far will the food on your Thanksgiving table travel?
Most of us buy our groceries at the supermarket without ever thinking about the people who worked to produce that food or how far it has traveled. If you think trying to eat locally grown food isn't worth the effort, in the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver writes, "If every US citizen ate just one meal a week composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country's oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil a week."
Cooking with fresh local ingredients is something we have to be thankful for, and so is taking the time to enjoy the day and appreciate the food we eat. Time is one of the things in short supply these days, so time spent with family and friends is the greatest gift of all. Slow down and enjoy it!