This Is Where Your Thanksgiving Meal Is Actually Grown

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Whether you make your entire Thanksgiving meal from scratch or enjoy dishes prepared by loved ones, odds are that you don't know where this food ​actually​ comes from. Yes, you typically buy it at a grocery store, but what about the location where it is produced?

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In a November 2021 article, Chef's Pencil utilized USDA data to figure out the top states that produce our Thanksgiving food. This is especially interesting when you consider that all of those ingredients truly add up.

About 46 million turkeys are eaten every Thanksgiving, for instance, according to the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, per ​The Seattle Times​. Most of these turkeys are from leading producer Minnesota, followed by Arkansas and North Carolina.

When it comes to potatoes, Idaho farmers are to thank for most of them. In fact, the Idaho State Department of Agriculture reports that over 100 million hundredweight of potatoes are produced annually on more than 300,000 acres. In second place, we have Washington state.

As for the sweet potato, most are grown in southern states like North Carolina and Mississippi. That's because the crop prefers warm weather. Another place where you can expect to find sweet potatoes growing is California.

Though green bean casserole is a divisive dish, Campbell's states that the food is served at 20 million Thanksgiving dinners each year. And where do those green beans come from? Wisconsin is the leading producer, followed by New York, Michigan, and Oregon.

On almost every Thanksgiving table, you're bound to find a bowl of cranberry sauce. Since this is a wetland crop that likes cool weather, you can find it in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Oregon, and New Jersey.

So this Thanksgiving, when you look at all the delicious food before you, remember to thank the farmers that work tirelessly to produce these beloved crops each and every year.

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Anna is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor who covers lifestyle and design content for Hunker. She's written for Apartment Therapy, the L.A. Times, Forge, and more. She previously worked as the lifestyle editor at HelloGiggles and deputy editor at So Yummy. Her email: anna.gragert@hunker.com