Counting America's agricultural blessings

Counting America's agricultural blessings

We’re at that schizophrenic season where one moment we’re thankful for all we have right before we bull-rush the box stores and move down the aisles with all the grace and decorum of a blitzing linebacker.

Just how thankful we are depends a lot on our own personal perspective. Yes, some are more thankful than others and there are those who could stand to be a bit more thankful than they let on or express.

Sunday afternoon I stopped at a local restaurant to order a bit of what I will consume on Thanksgiving and the days thereafter. We may be the only country with restaurants that prepare large meals ahead of time and make them so culinary-challenged single folks can eat well.

After that it was off to the grocery store where countless others were on a similar mission: buy food for the big feast.

America’s agricultural self-sufficiency is truly remarkable when you think about it. At our founding we had to be self-sufficient out of sheer preservation; today we’re still self-sufficient in spite of the fact that trade agreements and transportation could make us less dependent on domestically-produced products.

While much credit goes to the farmer who grew and raised the bounty we’ll consume on Thanksgiving and the following days until we tire of it and toss it, the American farmer would not be in that position were it not for the land grant universities and private entrepreneurs who developed technologies to make us more efficient.

Our ability to not merely sustain ourselves but to eat until we’re uncomfortable and then throw absurd amounts of what we just cooked in the trash because we can presents some challenges we can’t lose sight of.

For instance, figuring out how to reduce the significant amount of food waste in this country would be most helpful in light of the land and water challenges we face. I’m sure by Black Friday we’ll all have tossed enough food away to feed more people than we can count.

For now though let’s not lose sight of the true cornucopia of blessings we have as we continue to meet all of our domestic food needs, wants and desires and let’s continue to work together to sustain the productive methods we now have and will develop in order to play our significant part in providing food for a growing world population.

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