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Your Thanksgiving Spread: Turkey Is Out and Tofu Is In?

Your Thanksgiving Spread: Turkey Is Out and Tofu Is In?

Angela Colley

Photo via iStock

Photo via iStock

Whether it’s being cooked by your mama or pardoned by the President, turkey has long been the centerpiece of Thanksgiving. But the times might be a-changing. As Maria Lamagna at MarketWatch reports, people aren’t relying on those classic recipes as much anymore: 

“Americans bought nearly 270 million pounds of whole turkeys during Thanksgiving week or the week before in 2015, down from about 305 million in 2011, according to data from research firm Nielsen.

And what they’re giving up in turkey, they’re making up for in kale and tofu.

Consumption of kale for Thanksgiving was up to about 2 million pounds in 2015, up from just 847,000 in 2011; collard greens, quinoa, mashed potatoes, and tofu saw similar spikes.”

Experts say the slowdown might be purely practical. After all, if you’re cooking at home, stopping by the family feast, and attending a Friendsgiving this year, you probably don’t want to eat turkey and stuffing three times. Others say millennials could be behind the switch to more outré eats (because of course).

The reason could also be a financial one. Turkeys are expensive. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, people spent an average of $22.74 on the turkey alone. (And if you’re not brave enough to cook it yourself, the pre-made varieties can cost twice that.) Switching to tofu and more leafy greens could just be easier on your wallet.

If you are going traditional this year, there is some good news: You’ll get a bit of a price break, too (albeit a small one). Lamagna said:

“The Thanksgiving dinner overall will be about 24 cents cheaper than last year’s meal, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation, thanks in large part to a decrease in the price of turkey, pumpkin pie mix, milk, and pre-cut trays of vegetables. Milk production expanded globally in the past year, and pumpkin prices fell after the high prices Americans saw in 2015, when pumpkin production was lower.”

Curious how the rest of your Thanksgiving meal breaks down? Check out “Thanksgiving Dinner in 2016: More Tofu and Less Turkey” at MarketWatch

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