5 Modern Ways to Show Food Gratitude

Use technology to rejuvenate your Thanksgiving traditions.

by Dani Yokhna
Baskets of cranberries and nuts on wooden table, overhead view
Courtesy iStockphoto/Thinkstock
Give thanks in modern ways for the traditional food that graces your Thanksgiving table. Plan a meal using an app or Tweet your #foodthanks.

While celebrating the end of harvest season is a tradition that can be traced back for centuries, modern-day twists on the custom have evolved since the 1621 Plymouth Colony fall feast. Just as pilgrims rejoiced in their first good harvest, Americans today have found meaningful ways to honor the bounty, and express gratitude.

1. Give #foodthanks.
Farmers long ago traded in their oxen for tractors and other technologies to raise nutritious, great-tasting food. This year, a group of farmers and ranchers is cultivating a social media campaign to initiate meaningful conversations about food with Americans on Twitter, Facebook, blogs and beyond, says Kansas farmer Darin Grimm of the AgChat Foundation.

“For farmers on the go, social media is a great way to connect with consumers,” he says. “We’re hoping to see everyone from chefs to foodies to farmers using the #foodthanks hashtag.”

To participate, check out www.foodthanks.com, then tweet what you eat, using the #foodthanks hashtag.

2. Plan your meal with an app.
New recipe and meal-planning applications are a bounty in their own right, and they’ll help you put your homegrown harvest to good use once your holiday houseguests arrive. You can search for them through the iTunes store or other websites.

3. Preserve the flavors of fall.
Early American settlers would salivate over modern-day canning equipment. Once dismissed as a bygone art, canning has attracted a growing number of enthusiasts in recent years, according to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, which provides tips on canning, pickling, freezing and more. To really make a food statement, create your own labels

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4. Host a tasting party.
The holiday table inspires us to create treasured traditions at home, including exploring new foods in the company of friends and family. Home entertaining expert Domenica Marchetti suggests a trend-worthy twist on the wine and cheese tasting party. The author of Big Night In (Chronicle Books, 2008) says, “Embrace the season’s bounty and host an apple-tasting party!”

5. Share in the bounty.
Thanksgiving is a great time to talk with your family about helping others in need, whether it’s a family down the street or a hungry child on the other side of the world. Charitable organizations like Farmers Feeding the World, Heifer International and locally based gleaning networks believe that giving families a source of food, rather than short-term relief, is a more sustainable way to lift them out of poverty and hunger.

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