Let the bounty of British Columbia's vast agricultural industry be the centrepiece of your Thanksgiving weekend is the advice being provided by local food advocate and B.C. Minister of Agriculture Don McRae.
"Thanksgiving is an opportunity to share and reflect upon all the positive things our communities and province offer. To me, that includes being thankful for the immense range of high-quality food British Columbians produce and enjoy year-round," said McRae. "Buying local is mainstream thinking for British Columbians, but it is also important to be thankful for the health, environmental and economic benefits provided by local agriculture."
Selecting B.C.-produced foods from farms, markets or grocery stores supports and thanks British Columbian farmers and producers for the great-tasting and trusted food they provide, and for the contribution they make to communities and the economy. British Columbians produced more than 200 different commodities in 2010, making B.C. Canada's most diverse agricultural province.
Meal planners can choose from local turkeys and hams, to roasts, soy-meat-substitutes and seafood for main courses and dozens of different field and greenhouse vegetables for salads and sides. B.C.-made sauces and spices are there for toppings and seasonings, and fresh or frozen B.C. fruits and dairy products are standing by for dessert. A serving of B.C. wine, beer, juice or other beverage and centrepiece of B.C. flowers can complete your table.
"A family trip to the pumpkin patch, a local market or a food artisan should be on our Thanksgiving shopping lists," added McRae. "It is a wonderful opportunity to learn about our communities and connect with the people who produce our food and support our economy."
B.C. agri-food producers and processors generated $9.6 billion in revenues in 2010, and directly employed 61,000 people.
A report on the production, value and exports of B.C. agriculture is posted at: www.agf.gov.bc.ca/indcomp/2010YIR.pdf
A photo of McRae visiting a B.C. turkey farm for media use is at: http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/ministries/agriculture/
Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Agriculture