Home-grown Thanksgiving

Turkey-free recipes using products within a 160-kilometre radius of Kingston

Honey-glazed pork chops offer an environmentally-friendly alternative to the conventional turkey dinner this Thanksgiving.
Image by: Megan Cui
Honey-glazed pork chops offer an environmentally-friendly alternative to the conventional turkey dinner this Thanksgiving.

For many the Thanksgiving season is synonymous with a road trip to grandma’s house and coma-inducing feasts, but the downside of the holiday is that it can put a strain on the environment.

When you account for the extra carbon emissions from the 18-wheelers working overtime to bring turkeys to your local grocery store, eating local seems like a responsible alternative. The Kingston public market downtown on Market Street showcases the fertile southern Ontario greenbelt’s gastronomic party of artisan dairy products, quality meat and fresh produce.

It might seem daunting to join the 100-mile challenge and make a Thanksgiving feast from local ingredients.

But finding delicious ingredients within 160 kilometres of your home isn’t as difficult as you might think. Turkey will traditionally dominate dinner tables this holiday weekend, but there are alternatives that are environmentally-friendly.

Any locally-raised chicken will still have to travel to a larger government-regulated slaughterhouse before reaching your plate.

Canada’s strict federal regulations for poultry production pose a challenge for independent farmers who aren’t able to process their chickens on-site on a large scale. The best option then is to skip poultry altogether and try beef dishes or a pork chop recipe instead.

Julia Segal, the owner and founder of Kingston by Fork food tour, said Pykeview Meadows Farms on Wolfe Island specializes in naturally-raised bison.

Through her work with the food tour, Segal knows many growers and producers in the Kingston area.

Her goal is to expose the vibrant local food community in Kingston and its locally-sourced and seasonal ingredients.

Segal said the key is to make small changes first. “Eating locally could mean making the effort when it comes to grabbing local foods instead of the same from another part of the world when you’re out grocery shopping,” she said.

We often take for granted many staples like sugar, olive oil, salt and citrus fruits.

The 100-mile challenge is difficult because the reality is food imports are now a large part of modern food culture. Having to give up things like coffee has deterred many prospective 100-mile challengers from making any long-lasting lifestyle changes.

Limiting sacrifices to one meal, like Thanksgiving dinner, might yield more success.

The recipes here are created with produce currently in season around the Kingston area.


Food, Kingston

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