Our Greatest American Meal…

… and it’s not the BigMac.

Thanksgiving is celebrated by almost all Americans, but all it really breaks down to is a meal. Most holidays are centered on some activity – Christmas (presents/the tree), Easter (church/egg-hunts), July 4th (fireworks) – but Thanksgiving is the only one that’s all about the meal. Of course, family is a huge part of the holiday too.

This year will be my first Thanksgiving away from my parents’ home. I have celebrated the holiday in the same way, in the very same house all my life. I probably cleaned a few windows or vacuumed some rugs in preparation all those years, but never did I have to handle the food.

Since I am buying all these ingredients myself to make this great meal, I thought it would be interesting to find out where each item comes from. With the option of the Athens Farmers Market, it’s hard not to wonder why so many people around Athens still decide to buy all their groceries at Walmart. So for my experiment, I bought all MY food at Walmart, just for this one meal.

What I found out was startling, but I knew in the back of my mind what the reality surely was. My Thanksgiving meal came from all over the US, requiring hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel to transport the food to my local Walmart.

Here is an interactive graphic I created to show the results of my little experiment. Hope you enjoy!

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