You've got the greenest tree decorated with popcorn strands and felt bobbles. Homemade candles are sustainably wrapped in fabric and loved ones feel blessed by your gift of a healthy environment. Children sing. Snowflakes fall. It's bliss.
Time to turn your attention to the raison d'être of the season — food!
Festivities truly begin once the family has gathered around a feast, often with a turkey at the centre. (Or not — we'll get to that.)
Choose free-range, organic turkey
Once you've tried a free-range organic bird, there's no going back. Besides being succulent and delicious, they're humanely raised by farmers who focus on reducing water pollution, maintaining biodiversity and preserving the long-term integrity of the soil. And organic birds aren't given hormones or genetically modified (GMO) feed. This kind of goodness isn't often found in the big box stores. Talk to your local butcher, farmers association or farmers markets to source a bird that's worthy of the spotlight on your table.
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Veggie holiday meal alternatives
Vegetarian holiday feasts are increasingly popular among eco-minded revellers. But since available life cycle analyses only consider conventionally raised turkeys, I'm not sure organic birds are any less green than processed soy alternatives. If you opt for a veggie version, be sure to look for organic soy products—conventionally grown soy is almost always GMO.
Avoid GMOs at on your holiday table
A few other ways to steer clear of genetically modified organisms:
- Choose organics
- Look for the GMO-Free certification
- Choose olive oil instead of canola—the latter is almost exclusively GMO when conventionally grown
- Use only milk (and foods containing milk products) from Canada
Think local and from scratch
Before you reach for the can of cranberry sauce, ask yourself: Can I make this? The answer, by the way, is a resounding yes. My cranberry sauce recipe is crazy easy and the homemade version offers all of the goodness, without any bisphenol A (BPA) from the can lining!
Don't waste a thing
Canadians waste more that $27 billion dollars worth of food annually and half of that is household waste. Start the New Year off right by resolving to be part of the solution and make the most of your holiday feast!
How will you green your holiday table this year?
Tovah Paglaro, a fellow Queen of Green