Just how local was last week's feast?
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Christina Williams is the editor of Sustainable Business Oregon. Click through to learn more about Oregon's ag sector courtesy of 1000 Friends of Oregon.
I didn't cook one, but I learned a few things about turkeys last week.
First, Rob Smith, Portland Business Journal's editor, wrote a fascinating blog about the lackluster turkey industry in Oregon. It was a once-thriving sector for Oregon farmers but a number of factors — including some bad publicity from a contaminated shipment —have dissipated turkey production.
Still, my local New Seasons proudly offered three varieties of at least somewhat-local turkey. While its main supplier is the Diestel Family Turkey Ranch in Sonora, Calif., New Seasons also offered turkeys from Champoeg Farms in St. Paul and Inspiration Plantation in Ridgefield, Wash.
Amy Brown, director of marketing for New Seasons, told me sales were strong for New Seasons this Thanksgiving, with double-digit sales increases over last year.
|See which Thanksgiving foods are grown in Oregon >>|
By then we'd already started to poll our readers asking them if their mind was on local sourcing when they were planning their Thanksgiving meals. Our non-scientific sampling tells me that most of our readers gave it some thought, plenty didn't and some actually pulled it off.
The poll caught the attention of Craig Beebe, communications coordinator for the nonprofit 1000 Friends of Oregon. He pointed out that 1000 Friends volunteers and staff had pulled together a fascinating infographic about which Thanksgiving foods are produced in Oregon.
And this simple infographic (you can flip through it by clicking on the gallery above) provided a wealth of interesting facts about Oregon's agricultural picture. For example, did you know Oregon produces about 31 million more pounds of cranberries than its residents consume? The state also produces 209 million more pounds of snap beans, more than 2 billion more pounds of potatoes and 64 million more pounds of pumpkin than we eat.
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