Climate change could threaten much of the Thanksgiving Day meal:
The "turkey belt" of the United States is in the South, where states like Virginia, North Carolina, and Arkansas contribute the bulk of our national annual haul of over a quarter of a billion birds. But if you're worried about keeping turkey on your Thanksgiving table into the future, you might turn your attention to the Midwest. After this summer's record-breaking heat and drought in the Corn Belt, the grain supplies that plump the birds up for market dwindled, prices spiked, and as of fall turkeys are the most expensive per pound they've been in 10 years.
Your cranberries aren't safe either:
Over in Wisconsin—where growers typically produce more cranberries than any other state—the cranberry is actually the official state fruit. Like most woody perennials, cranberry plants go dormant for part of the year, and Wisconsin's typically bone-chilling winters are great for this important stage. Tod Planer, a coordinator with the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association, says that during recent mild winters, berries have failed to freeze, forcing farmers to cover their crops in fresh water every few days to make sure oxygen reaches the plants. One Wisconsin farmer told Grow magazine that he saw his first cranberry blossom in mid-May this year, the earliest he's ever witnessed.
(Image: Partial view of an infographic on how to have a locavore Thanksgiving)