A Heaping Helping of Thanksgiving Trivia

Thanksgiving is fast approaching. As we clean our homes, stock up on groceries, and don elastic pants in preparation for the upcoming feast, let us remember what this holiday is truly about. The good folks at SW would like to wish you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, and an appreciation for the good things in life.

To celebrate this joyous occasion, I would like to offer you these tasty bits of Thanksgiving trivia taken from the U.S. Census Bureau:

47 million

The preliminary estimate of turkeys Minnesota expected to raise in 2010. The Gopher State was tops in turkey production, followed by North Carolina (31.0 million), Arkansas (28.0 million), Missouri (17.5 million), Indiana (16.0 million) and Virginia (15.5 million). These six states together would probably account for about two-thirds of U.S. turkeys produced in 2010.

735 million pounds…

The forecast for U.S. cranberry production in 2010. Wisconsin is expected to lead all states in the production of cranberries, with 435 million pounds, followed by Massachusetts (195 million). New Jersey, Oregon and Washington are also expected to have substantial production, ranging from 14 million to 53 million pounds.

1.9 billion pounds…

The total weight of sweet potatoes — another popular Thanksgiving side dish — produced by major sweet potato producing states in 2009. North Carolina (940 million pounds) produced more sweet potatoes than any other state. It was followed by California (592 million pounds) and Louisiana (162 million pounds).

931 million pounds…

Total production of pumpkins produced in the major pumpkin-producing states in 2009. Illinois led the country by producing 429 million pounds of the vined orange gourd. Pumpkin patches in California and Ohio also provided lots of pumpkins: Each state produced at least 100 million pounds. The value of all pumpkins produced by major pumpkin-producing states was $103 million.

If you prefer cherry pie, you will be pleased to learn that the nation’s forecasted tart cherry production for 2010 totals 195 million pounds, albeit 46 percent below 2009’s forecasted total. Of this 2010 total, the overwhelming majority (140 million) will be produced in Michigan.

2.2 billion bushels…

The total volume of wheat — the essential ingredient of bread, rolls and pie crust — produced in the United States in 2010. North Dakota and Kansas accounted for 33 percent of the nation’s wheat production.

736,680 tons…

The 2010 contracted production of snap (green) beans in major snap (green) bean-producing states. Of this total, Wisconsin led all states (326,900 tons). Many Americans consider green bean casserole a traditional Thanksgiving dish.
Source: The previous data came from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.

$7.3 million…

The value of U.S. imports of live turkeys from January through July of 2010 — 99.1 percent from Canada. When it comes to sweet potatoes, the Dominican Republic was the source of 62.1 percent ($3.4 million) of total imports ($5.5 million). The United States ran a $3.9 million trade deficit in live turkeys during the period but had a surplus of $31.5 million in sweet potatoes.
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics.

13.8 pounds…

The quantity of turkey consumed by the typical American in 2007, with no doubt a hearty helping devoured at Thanksgiving time. Per capita sweet potato consumption was 5.2 pounds.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture as cited in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Tables 212-213. (full article)

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