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The Benefits Of A Locally Sourced Feast This Thanksgiving

Today’s article is all about promoting a “local” Thanksgiving Day feast. Since we’re in Ontario, this article will speak exclusively to foods grown here. However, this is something that can be applied to local produce nationwide.

The premise of a local Thanksgiving is that the majority of food and ingredients you purchase to feed your guests should be grown in Ontario.

Generally speaking,  I believe that many of us resonate with the concept of purchasing locally grown food and supporting Ontario Farmers, but we might not always know how that actually plays out in the grocery store.

Ontario Grows More Food Than You Think!

In addition to over 50 varieties of fruit and vegetables, all types of meat, poultry, fish, eggs and legumes ( beans, lentils) are grown and raised right here in Ontario.

So how do you know if the food you are about to purchase is locally produced? Keep your eyes peeled for the Foodland Ontario logo and don’t be afraid to ask where your grocer or butcher where your food is coming from.

Why go local?

Aside from the noble gesture of supporting Ontario’s farms and farmers, you are also supporting the environment when you purchase food that has not had to be shipped in from somewhere miles away.

Locally produced food also tends to be fresher, tastier and more affordable too.

What Does Ontario Grow In October?

Did you know that cranberries, pears, plums, beets, carrots, brussels sprouts and pumpkin are among the fruits and veggies that are available locally grown this October?

In addition to purchasing an Ontario-raised turkey, here are my top recommendations for a very healthy, very local Thanksgiving  day feast:

  1. Use locally grown pumpkin to put together our super healthy pumpkin pie recipe.
  2. Offer your guests a selection of locally grown whole plums and pears to choose from as a healthy dessert alternative.
  3. Use local cranberries for your cranberry sauce. I recommend this simple and healthy recipe from Fannetastic Food, which also incorporates maple syrup (another local gem).
  4. Try our locally-sourced  Roasted Veggie Medley recipe listed below.

Locally-sourced Roasted Veggie Medley

I put this recipe together to offer something that not only includes locally available produce, but is also an extraordinarily healthy, vibrant and delicious dish to serve alongside your turkey this Thanksgiving.

Here’s what you need:

2 yellow potatoes, diced

3 beets, diced

2 cups Brussel sprouts, halved

2 cups carrots, chopped to ¼ ‘ diameter pieces

2 tbsp olive oil

4 garlic cloves minced

½ tbsp onion powder

1 tsp black pepper

½ tbsp chili powder

Pinch of salt


  1. Soften potatoes,  beets and carrots before dicing  by microwaving each for 3 minutes
  2. Place on lightly oiled cooking sheet, dress with olive oil and spices as per ingredient list and roast at 350F for ½ hour or until desired doneness.
  3. Serve as a side dish to main course as a more vibrant and nutrient dense alternative to rice or mashed potatoes.

Ready for a local thanksgiving?

If today’s article has got you extra excited about going local for your Thanksgiving feast this year, I recommend taking a look at the Farmers Markets Ontario website, where you can find a farmer’s market near you and get the best prices on the freshest Ontario food for this year’s celebration.

Final Thoughts

I encourage you to take on the challenge of a fully local Thanksgiving feast this year. I promise that it will be your most nutritious, delicious and affordable Thanksgiving yet!

Andy is a Toronto-based private practice dietitian and nutrition writer/blogger. He also holds a master’s degree in public health nutrition from the University of Toronto. If you are interested in learning more about Andy and his services, or you’d like to read more of this nutrition content, you can do so at


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