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3 Tips for a Healthy & Green Thanksgiving

Today, land clearing to making room for expansive ranches, and farms to grow feed for cattle, are a leading driver of climate change and forest destruction. In the Brazilian Amazon, cattle ranching now occupies 32 million acres of former rainforest, an area nearly the size of Germany.

If more of your diet comes from veggies, and little of it from meat (especially beef), youíll make a positive impact both on your health and the planet.

Homemade is best. The pilgrims didnít have the option of ordering in, or opening cans or frozen packages to prepare their meal. While these things certainly are convenient, nothing quite compares to the flavor and comfort of home-cooked dishes. Starting with whole ingredients (especially those grown locally) means less energy has gone into processing, packaging and transporting food to your table. And it means you will know what is in the dish you are eating, and how and when it was made.

If canned yams and green-bean casserole with frozen beans have become your Thanksgiving menu mainstays, think about swapping them out with raw and fresh alternatives. Although the washing, chopping, and other prep may take you a bit longer, your meal will retain more nutrients. Why not view cooking as an opportunity to create something with your family that you can all enjoy once itís ready?

Sarene Marshall is the Managing Director for The Nature Conservancy’s Global Climate Change Team. She holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and an MA in International Studies from University of Pennsylvania, and is fluent in Spanish. Sarene, a mother of two, enjoys gardening and gourmet cooking.

Image: Thanksgiving dinner. Credit: Flickr user Roger Smith via a Creative Commons license.

Read more: Eco-friendly tips, Food, Green, Green Kitchen Tips, Thanksgiving, , , , , , ,

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6:42PM PST on Nov 27, 2011

Thanks for posting.

10:02PM PST on Nov 25, 2011

what a lovely looking feast!

8:51PM PST on Nov 25, 2011

Day late when I read this, but doesn't matter. After reading all the articles on what turkeys are fed and how they're treated it wasn't something I was going to eat anyway. Good vegetables dishes are just as satisfying to me. Please do not take this wrong! I am in no way trying to tell anybody not to enjoy their traditional family dinner! The enjoyment of coming together to share this celebratory feast is worth much more than being a fuss-budget about what you will or will not eat on this day!
Sigh...I have to add this caveat, because of the fervid comments that sometime appear on this site.

8:40PM PST on Nov 25, 2011

Even better to eat no meat at all. Thanks for posting.

4:05PM PST on Nov 25, 2011

Thank you.

8:30AM PST on Nov 25, 2011

noted

1:03AM PST on Nov 25, 2011

thanks for sharing

4:33PM PST on Nov 24, 2011

I´M HUNGRY NOW

4:14PM PST on Nov 24, 2011

thanks

3:18PM PST on Nov 24, 2011

Thanks for posting.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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