The most American thing about Thanksgiving dinner might be how different parts of the country play a role in bringing the meal to each table.
ESRI, which specializes in geographic information systems, used data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Census of Agriculture, to map out where a few Thanksgiving staples are grown, raised, and produced, and how much land is dedicated to each. And it turns out that the better part of the mainland United States plays a role in providing not just the bird, but also some of the sides eaten alongside for the feast.
Chances are, for instance, your turkey comes from Minnesota. But Missouri, North Carolina, and West Virginia are reasonable guesses too. And given the rise of smaller producers, there's plenty of other places in the country where your turkey could have come from. As the map above shows, there are now myriad farms—both small and large—tasked with raising the more than 250 million turkeys Americans eat every Thanksgiving.
The green beans, buttered or baked, canned or fresh (ok, most likely canned) are predominantly grown in the South, Midwest and eastern United States, but also in Washington and Oregon, and, to a lesser extent, up in the Pacific Northwest.
The cranberry sauce, which Americans eat more than 5 million pounds of each holiday season, comes almost entirely from Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon, and Massachusetts.
And the sweet potatoes, which the country is growing increasingly fond of, and using for mash, pie, and other sides, are most likely grown in the South, where the weather and soil are more conducive to big harvests.
These are only a few of the vegetables Americans will eat too much of tomorrow evening, but you get the point. When it comes to knowing where your food comes from on Thanksgiving, the answer is pretty much all over the United States.