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Toxins vs. Tradition – What Will Win On Your Thanksgiving Table?

Thanksgiving is by far one of my favorite holidays – there is something so special about the sense of community, thankfulness, family tradition, and overall togetherness it brings each year.

It’s also a perfect day to teach and influence your family to eat less processed food and make better choices at the grocery store. I know it’s tricky messing with handed down time honored traditions but using canned mushroom soup that is full of GMOs and MSG to make grandmother’s green bean casserole recipe just has to stop.

42% of us will be obese by 2030, our children are expected to have a shorter life span than us and 41% of us are going to inevitably get cancer. This doesn’t have to happen. We can alter this trajectory if we spread as much information about the chemicals in food as possible – specifically the chemicals that can be directly linked to obesity and cancer and that are slowly poisoning us and making us suffer as a society.

This is why I think it is absolutely critical to detail out the ingredients in popular holiday meal products that are on sale and lining conventional grocery stores all over the country right now.

Slide1

Let’s talk turkey…. choosing a conventional turkey is a bad idea because it’s pumped full of preservatives, natural flavors and antibiotics – it also could be raised with a very controversial drug that has been banned in 160 countries.

Manufactured natural flavor that is often found in conventional turkey, processed foods and other meat products is contributing to what David Kessler (former head of the FDA) calls a “food carnival” in your mouth. This makes it difficult to stop eating or drinking because the flavors they have synthesized trick your mind into wanting more and more. Butterball and other food companies use this natural flavoring to just give you the best 1 millionth part of the taste so we only want more of that product, which in turns fills their pockets. When companies use manufactured flavor, they literally are “hijacking” your taste buds one-by-one.

Natural flavor, unfortunately, is not the worst consequence of choosing a conventional turkey – 83% of farms that raise turkeys in the United States likely use antibiotics in the feed to make the turkey grow bigger and prevent them from getting sick in terrible living conditions. When I met General Wesley Clark who is a retired general from the US Army – he expressed to me that the use of antibiotics in the food supply concerned him the most out of any food related issue and we as a nation needed to address the threat of antibiotic resistant superbugs. Factory farms use 80% of the nations antibiotics and it is being leached into our soil, water and air – we are being exposed to them at an alarming rate causing anti-biotic resistant infections that should worry all of us, not just the General.

Turkey Tip: Order a turkey in advance that hasn’t been fed antibiotics from your local farmers market or natural grocery store. There are some mail order options available if you can’t find one near you. Check all the ingredients in the turkey before you buy. 

Slide2

The amount of ingredients in popular stuffing brands like “Pepperidge Farm” and “Kraft’s Stove top” should alone trigger an alarm signal in your brain. They both are made with cheap white flour, transfat, nasty preservatives and high fructose corn syrup, a.k.a. “HFCS”. Studies show HFCS causes significantly more weight gain in people when compared to the consumption of conventional sugar and is linked to the increase in obesity.

Stuffing Tip: Try these 2 AMAZING homemade versions of stuffing instead – Cornbread and Raw (yes – one recipe is completely raw and seriously delicious!).

Slide3

Sodium Bisulfite and many of the other preservatives that are found in Betty Crocker’s Creamy Butter Potatoes, Hungry Jack’s Mashed Potatoes are preservatives that no one should be consuming. BHA for example, is linked to cancer, fertility issues and kidney problems and is considered a carcinogen by U.S. Health and Human Services, yet the FDA still allows it in our food.

Mash Potato Tip – Try this homemade recipe for mash potatoes that “sneaks” in a vegetable serving using cauliflower from Vanessa at The Chic Life.

Slide4

The amount of Monosodium Glutamate “MSG” that can end up in your food is not regulated by the FDA and soup manufacturers like Campbell’s know this. When rats were given MSG laden food they ate more of it, linking this “flavor enhancer” to obesity. MSG is also an excitotoxin that, in some cases, can excite brain cells to death and cause adverse reactions in some people including “skin rashes, itching, hives, nausea, vomiting, migraine headaches, asthma, heart irregularities, depression and even seizures.”  This list of hidden MSG names is helpful in understanding the various names for MSG so you can look for it on the label and avoid it.

Green Bean Casserole Tip: Try this homemade version of condensed mushroom soup by Lisa at 100 Days of Real Food to make your casserole MSG free.

Slide5

Trans fats are commonly found in many of the foods listed here – like in the Jiffy Corn Bread and Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. Trans fat has been shown to be deadly even in small amounts. “A 40-calorie-per-day increase in trans fat can create a 23% higher risk of heart disease.” 40 calories is a mere 2% of a typical 2000 calorie per day diet – and could easily be the amount of trans fat found in many of these products. Can you imagine how much transfat you would be consuming eating all these products in one day at one meal and then the left overs for days later? Sheesh!

Corn Bread Tip: Start from scratch – get 100% organic corn meal to avoid GMOs and try my organic vegan corn bread recipe here instead.

I seriously couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw there was artificial food coloring in Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, Pie Crust and Marshmallows! The most widely used dyes are contaminated with known carcinogens, linked to cancer and known to cause hyperactivity in children.  Also please note the “caramel coloring” found in McCormick’s gravy mix that sounds natural, is anything but! Caramel color is often manufactured by heating ammonia and sulfites under high pressure, which creates carcinogenic compounds that are also linked to cancer.

Slide6

All of these popular holiday products have genetically modified organisms a.k.a. “GMOs.” Yes, every single one of them! GMOs can even be hidden in the corn/soy feed given to the Butterball conventional turkeys or the citric acid used in Pillsbury Pie Crust. GMO’s are in 80-90% of processed food and you should make it a point to eliminate them entirely from your kitchen. No long term human health studies have been conducted, however many of the animals studies conducted have produced horrifying results. Mass consumption of GMOs pose a serious risk to our health because they have not undergone mandatory safety assessments – a risk I believe no one should be taking.

Dessert Tips:  Try this decadent Pumpkin Pie recipe made with coconut milk and my Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake recipe here. Instead of marshmallows on top of sweet potato casserole – try candied pecans and/or homemade meringue. Both “Truwhip” and “So Delicious” have some products you can try to replace chemical filled Cool Whip – however it is still very processed, so I recommend making homemade coconut whipped cream instead.

A few closing thoughts…

If you are going to cook – please avoid all these products and ingredients in your recipes – it’s not too late to take back items you may have already purchased. Check the ingredients on all the products that you buy – especially for hidden GMOs that can be in just about everything and in every store – even Whole Foods.

If you are going to someone’s house for thanksgiving – share this information with them. I know the thought of this may initially seem rude – but so is sitting back and watching the food industry continue to poison us, our friends and our families. Your power and influence is greater than you think – please use it to spread the word, it’s the only way we are going to end the corruption of our food supply.

Also, consider boycotting these brands and other brands that continue to use these harmful ingredients all together – I have personally done so and boy does it feel good!

Happy Thanksgiving to You and Your Family,

Vani

 

 

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126 responses to “Toxins vs. Tradition – What Will Win On Your Thanksgiving Table?

  1. Could you provide the source of the stats in this paragraph?
    42% of us will be obese by 2030, our children are expected to have a shorter life span than us and 41% of us are going to inevitably get cancer.

      1. lol those are hardly sources…. I don’t disagree but certainly you should know the difference between reliable scientific sources and mainstream media, yes?

      2. Not sure if you have a subscription to the British Medical Journal, but here is the empirical research article that validates the statistics. Also listed as a source in the ABC news article is the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

        http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e3276
        “By 2030 the situation will be worse, the journal article authors predicted at a press briefing: about 42% of US adults will be obese (with a body mass index of ≥30).”

      3. Wait, foodbabe cited a bull**it reference and more non-science. That never happens. Taking advice from this woman is like palm reading.

      4. This article is not really about the percentage points of the obesity epidemic in America. This is about the chemicals and poisons being put in the processed foods cited. And if you need a resource other than the actual label to know that these are not suppose to be eaten then then the country has far more to worry about than proving the exact percentage increase of obesity/cancer.

      5. So we shouldn’t trust corporate food sources but we should trust corporate media sources? I appreciate the post and what you do but credible sources would help the cause.

  2. Thanks for the info – although I was thinking it would be gret if you provided alternatives to those items for people….

  3. I’m seriously crying just thinking about this! I’m going to 3 Thanksgivings this year. 2 are ordering from a local grocery store! 🙁 I can just imagine what’s in their stuff. How do I politely not eat all that crap? 🙁

    1. Just have the turkey and salad. They will have some crap in them but WAY less than the cranberry sauce, stuffing, etc. I personally bring a quinoa salad to thanksgiving and people love it. I use only organic ingredients (except olive oil can’t afford that yet 🙂 and I eat a lot of that. I obviously stay away from the colas and other drinks. Just junk.

      1. Winn-Dixie has organic olive oil buy one get one free this week. Keep your eye out, they do that every now and then!

  4. I just want to encourage the cooks out there that it is not that hard to make things from scratch and then you know what is going into your food. It doesn’t take that much more time either. Happy Thanksgiving!

      1. Second that ! I did my own scientific study! For 1 year I ate only organic, grass fed and humanly raised meats, and skipped everything in a package !
        Amazing! My mind body and soul are healthy! Studying traditional cultures they did not have these diseases we do today! That’s plenty of scientific study for me!

      2. I agree, Patty! I’ve gotten so used to organic, “clean” foods that if I happen to eat something processed & filled with who-knows-what, I literally feel ill within 5 minutes – my body rejects it!

  5. Another great post! I have been shopping at WF and Earthfate for so long in NY and now Charlotte, I can’t even comprehend eating the foods form the companies that you are boycotting. It is like putting poison into your body. You are right, though regarding WF and Earthfare and even though it is the “gold” standard for Grocery in Charlotte, you have to be careful to read labels. I try to buy everything organic and basically eat a plant based diet.

  6. great post as usual Food Babe. i always appreciate the hard work you do to inform us!
    i guess i need to start cooking!!!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  7. The cranberry alternate recipe links back to Alton Brown’s turkey recipe. Thanks for all of the suggestions! We are hosting my family this year so I’m excited to use some new recipes!

  8. GREAT post!!! I pretty much offer to bring a lot of the dinner. This year I’m making pies, stuffing, and potatoes from scratch and I ordered my mom the pastured turkey our farm offers. I’ve been slowly taking over every year LOL 🙂

    1. I love it “slowly taking over”…. this year will be tricky for me, I won’t be cooking because I am going to a destination wedding that is being held the day after Thanksgiving….

  9. Food babe thank you for all your efforts. You are changing people one meal at a time. Keep up the great work.

  10. Thank you SO much for this post! I have been a little stressed trying to figure out healthy recipes for thanksgiving for all of my favorites! You Rock Food Babe!

  11. As much as we understand the misconceptions of the food industry and their practice. The whole system is based on less truths. So why celebrate Thankgiving in the first place? What is being celebrated on this day? Get me? Eventually, these days are based on patriotic deceit, just as ”religious” holidays which are now in the control of commercial business making huge profits during these periods. Boycott the food, boycott the day (find out the rea events which led to Thanksgiving) and begin an commercially independent lifestyle. Chrismas is not far behind, it’s all commercials hidden behind patriachy/religion etc. Boycott Boycott!!!!

  12. Great post and perfect timing…after just talking about the tradition of “traditional cream of mushroom soup” green bean casserole recipe with my husband.

  13. Thanks so much for the great info! I am very sensitive to all the arificial junk and suffer from migraines when I am not extra careful. I appreciate all you do!

  14. Thanks for another great post! I’m doing an organic, vegan Thanksgiving for myself this year and making almost everything from scratch, so I know exactly what’s in my food.

      1. Tofurky roast, vegan gravy, organic mashed sweet potatoes with organic maple syrup & pecans, steamed organic green beans, organic cranberries & vegan pumpkin pie with coconut milk whipped topping. I may try making some vegan steamed buns, too.

      2. Thanksgiving is a holocaust for turkeys.They are grown so big that they have heart attacks, fall over, and must be artificially inseminated. then they are blUDGEONED to death. People actually say grace and thank their higher power for this delightful dead bird in the middle of their table/
        I no longe rattend feasts such as this as it is too upsetting.I have been an ethical vegetarian/vegan since 1984 and am now 84.
        am also glutenallergic.
        “What do you peole eat-you eat chicken don’t you?”

      3. @ Pat – I use the day to give thanks for my family & friends and prepare an all-vegetarian/vegan meal. No animal products on my table!

    1. Oh my stars, that sounds AMAZING!!! I wish I was coming to your house for Thanksgiving, Tammi! 😀

  15. Thank you SOOO much for posting this! I’m not a big fan of most of the traditional sides, anyways, but maybe that was due to always having the “box” super processed versions growing up. I can’t wait to test out some of the sides you mentioned! Thanks for making the switch to real foods more do-able! 🙂

  16. Thanks for the info! I have assigned my mom to the green bean casserole (she’s NOT much of a cook) and I need a replacement for cream of mushroom. I never buy it or look for it since I’m lactose intolerant, but do you think there are healthier options in the health food section of my grocery store? Thanks for the post!

    1. Maren, it’s easy to make cream of mushroom soup from scratch. In a saucepan, melt 1/4 c. butter; add 1/2 c. chopped mushrooms & saute for a few minutes. Stir in 1/4 c. flour, 1/4 tsp. salt & 1/8 tsp. pepper. Cook & stir over medium heat until smooth & bubbly. Gradually stir in milk & heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil & stir for 1 minute or till thickened. Can use this in place of a can of cream of mushroom. If your mom’s ‘not much of a cook’, you might want to make this & give it to her to use in the green bean casserole! 🙂

      1. Also check Fatfree Vegan online and on fb. She has a great recipe for that and everything else you could want, and she really isn’t fat-free, just doesn’t use processed oils!

  17. Whether you eating organic or GMO, my question remains … what are Americans trully celebrating? I’m disappointed Food Babe doesn’t see the relevance of this question. The point is celebration days increase profit, and we end up eating wrong food. Humanity is brought together through a dinner table, but why are we seating in a dinner table in the first place?

    You are what you eat, and rational is your morale.

  18. Not all of us use, or have ever used, ALL processed food in our Thanksgiving dinners. And unfortunately, not all of us can afford $90-130 for a turkey from our local farm either (yes, that is the price listed at SVLocalMarket for pastured turkeys). Most of us just do the best we can!

  19. We buy all the ingredients and either make the entire meal ourselves or hand out ingredients/recipes to our parents so they can make “approved” food. Thankfully they’re ok with this approach!

  20. This is such great info and you are right, a great opportunity to educate those we love. I am not sure what I am preparing yet because my local organic CSA is preparing a thanksgiving box, so it will be a fun surprise. You can consider everything on you list banned! And you mentioned even items in whole foods have GMOs, any you are talking about in particular? Thanks for all you do!

  21. Love this! Hopefully my family will give me the “okay” to bring some alternatives to the usual Thanksgiving food…or else I won’t be eating much 🙂

    On an unrelated topic: I am very interested to know what types of cleaning products and household products you use. Speaking of the holidays, I know people clean a lot more and its always nice to use non-toxic cleaners. I have been using a lemon and vinegar cleaner for a while (I put my lemons rinds that I use each morning into a container in the refrigerator and when it is full I fill it with vinegar and let it sit for around a week or so and then I add water and have a safe cleaner). I also use a tea-tree oil/vinegar/water cleaner as well. But I would like some other ideas of cleaners such as laundry detergents, dish detergents, etc.

    Thanks 🙂

  22. Really, people – what are we celebrating?! How about just the chance to get together with friends and family to laugh and have a holiday? Not happening enough in the USA if you ask me!

    1. no one wants to answer that, people are sinking their heads in the sand … the real events that led to Thanksgiving are genocidal, truth shall set humanity free.

  23. Convenience is at a cost, and one must be more diligent and use common sense. We, as a society, have become so dependent on the FDA for trust, and believe everything in the store is safe. This is all wrong.

    Research, Research and finally Research!

    You have one body, why let others abuse it for their profits.

  24. WTF oh I hope you only like eating dessert… BULLSH** don’t just tell us what’s bad for us and then say oh well… Give us other F***ING options a**hole… I’m gonna eat all that shit and die young, because I don’t want to live in a world full of a**holes who just want to complain and not give other options…

    1. you’re participating in an informative thread. The information here is not to protect only you, think about it. Your language though, what a way to show your anger. First thing to do my friend, ask yourself why you are celebrating Thannkgiving … find the truth between the lines of Columbus’ version of history, you shall find your freedom there.

      As for food, for every problem, there’s a solution. For all the items listed here, there are alternative healthier food. You look like you have internet, that’s a good start. Goodluck!

    2. why do those angry folks who disagree with certain ideologies resort to such bad language, perhaps they know no other way to express their biases and prejudices based on nigorance,

  25. Now I’m sad I missed your Thanksgiving last year. I heard your Pumpkin Icecream Cake was delish! You should put the recipe for your artichoke dip on here sometime. It’s so yum!…And as for the posts on here arguing, being angry and saying there are no options- really people- read carefully. Also, about the expensive turkey and products. If you’ve ever read FB before you know this is a lifestyle choice like any other that requires dedication and sacrifice. Read her first articles about walking to save money on gas and sharing a car. Then look at FB’s body and skin and see how she glows from a healthy lifestyle and try to argue! Seriously.

  26. Thank you for all the info. We attend our big family Thanksgiving every year and are served all the toxic foods listed, that we do not eat, but smile and take a bit of what we want to be polite to our loved ones. You forgot to add the wilted broccoli with spray cheese as a NO food! :o) Two years ago we began our own Thanksgiving and Christmas meal after we left the ‘big family’ one. So, as we sit and watch everyone eat we smile as we know that we will return home to prepare our Real Foods meal. We have ordered our pasture raised organic turkey, I make organic pumpkin/ginger pie, quinoa stuffing (Food Babe, you should try this one…it is devine), sweet potatoes with garlic and onions…nothing sweet on them for us…and fresh green beans…no creamy sticky sauce. Have yet to try the homemade bread, maybe this year.

    Keep educating!

  27. Instead of stuffing a turkey, we have chosen to stuff raviolis!
    We make the pasta from scratch. Freshly ground wheat (which is cheap and easy to grind- our grinder cost as much as most people’s microwaves), and water for the pasta.
    We then use any kind of filling that catches our fancy. Any type of vegetables, organic cheeses, and/or organic meat.
    We then cook it all in an organic heavy creme sauce mixed with whatever spices we feel like adding along with a little bit or organic cornstarch to thicken it. (the spice choices are endless and fun – my son really has had a lot of fun playing around with them)
    The spice choices can be: Nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamon
    Or to do something totally different, curry, turmeric, ginger
    Or basil, thyme and tarragon
    (Like I said, the choices are endless and really fun to play with- the secret is to start off with a small amount, like 1/2 teaspoon, and increase the amount 1/4 teaspoon at a time, to ones preference, tasting the sauce often)

    Then for dessert, we had a fruit salad with freshly whipped pure organic creme on top. (Cost the same as Cool whip)
    We had so much fun making this together as a family last year! And, we didn’t have that tired tryptophan hangover that turkey causes. We also didn’t have a bunch of dishes to clean up. It was great.

    And because we didn’t feel heavy and sick on GMO turkey and stuffing as well as GMO desserts, we able to stay up into the evening playing family games!
    We all decided that it was our favorite Thanksgiving ever!
    We are really looking forward to it again this year.

  28. Love this blog post, ones like these are my favorite. and you stated it perfectly on your fb page, “a little dagger through your heart” when you see loved ones eat crap. My feeling everyday and I’m constantly saying how hard it is to see people you care about making toxic decisions with food. Not sure what people are talking about not giving us alternatives to the crap…while reading the article I was excited to see links to recipes on other pages. I plan on try all your thanksgiving recipes for my boyfriend and I to enjoy.
    Thanks!

  29. Keep up the good work! I”m committed to cook a GMO FREE Thanksgiving dinner I just order my fresh Turkey from Whole Foods! is going to be HEALTHY THANKSGIVING at the Thompson’s this year!

  30. Absolutely love the article and I am sharing this with family and friends and customers on my facebook page. I am not(unfortunately) making my Thanksgiving dinner this year so I know that some of the stuff above that I avoid will be served. Yikes!

  31. I am excited to read the homemade condensed cream of mushroom soup. I don’t make green bean casserole, but I like it for other things. The best brands don’t come in the size I need and are expensive enough that I can’t afford it.
    Pastured turkey is good- if you can get it.
    The people I wanted to buy my turkey from lost most of their turkeys this summer due to the excessive heat/drought.
    I have learned I can’t cut out all the GMOs, but I try to minimize as much as possible.

  32. Thank you for doing this and pointing all the bad out. It’s not hard to find obviously. And it’s good to know. We can all make changes, one thing at a time.

    Last year I ordered a free range organic fresh turkey. This year I planned to do the same, however, our financial situation is different. I cannot justify spending $3.99/lb for the turkey when the local grocer has it advertised for $0.37/lb. I cannot spend $80 on our turkey knowing I could of gotten it for $8. That difference is horrendous. This leads me back to the thinking that it’s unfair and devious that growers/manufacturers/farmers and whoever else is providing this food isn’t making it safe and consumable for optimal health. If the facts are indeed facts then why is it impossible to regulate it? I promote making your own decisions and choosing what is healthy avoiding what’s not and trying to do the best for your family – but it would a lot easier if corporations had morals and felt an obligation to provide healthy products for the masses instead of healthy profits for themselves. It’s ridiculous. Please don’t judge those who would rather avoid the harmful additives, but who just cannot afford it.

  33. I think I’m just going to order from Whole Foods this year they have organic options, or if we end up being on a budget Fresh and Easy, they have all natural options. I am very thankful that we aren’t going to see family this year, I would be so tempted…..I really love stuffing. =X If anyone knows of any organic/ gmo free options for stuffing let me know.

  34. Thank you for the recipes. I’ve started a folder for healthier, cleaner Thanksgiving ideas that I know will come in handy. Even if the folks in my extended family — who, like most, are used to the typical American diet of highly processed foodlike products — bring the typical Thanksgiving dishes, I know at the very least, mine will be conversation starters. If it means by having one conversation with a relative about why I made the dish that I did, I think that’s great. At the very least, it’ll gets the wheels turning in their head about what they’ve been eating.

  35. I agree with your food philosophy – I don’t eat that stuff – but I disagree with being a guest at someone’s Thanksgiving and using the opportunity to “educate” them. I’m sorry, but that IS rude to someone who’s graciously hosting you. It’d be much more appropriate to play host/hostess yourself and explain how you got/made your food to people who ask. I’m not saying you shouldn’t inform other people, but someone else’s table is not the place to do so.

    I have a host of food allergies and health problems so I KNOW how bad this processed crud is. Don’t get me wrong. But there are much better ways to share this information so that we don’t all look like snobs.

  36. Thank you for your efforts, we need more sites like this. I’ve been replacing processed foods in my diet for a few months now, I’m already seeing an improvement in the number of allergy & asthma episodes; this past spring I had no episodes at all. Slowly but surely I’m getting back to cooking from scratch and loving it.
    Lanita

  37. The food industry feeds the medical industry don’t get caught on the loop!!! Choose your food buy choosing foods that are unprocessed. It’s not that hard.

  38. I’m amazed that people need some scientific references to back this up! Open your eyes and take a look at society and use some freaking common sense! It shouldn’t matter if there isn’t one shred of scientific evidence to back up to the “actual” numbers”. It is what it is and anyone who doesn’t think that artificial ANYTHING is worse for you than natural ANYTHING is an idiot and should keep eating the garbage so we can rid the world of your gene pool.

    1. I had to laugh at your comment, Amy… (thanks for making it!) because I thought the same thing when I read some of these posts. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that eating foods that have cheap, crap ingredients and genetically modified ingredients in them isn’t good for you. What does it matter what the stats are? Just LOOK AROUND YOU!!! And if you don’t like Food Babe’s column? Then why are you here? Just go and continue grazing on the GMOs and toxins being offered to you… no one is stopping you. This page is for those who actually CARE about themselves and their families. 😉

  39. My whole Thanksgiving meal (exception of cranberry sauce – but I purchase that organic) I make myself. I’ve never used boxed potato flakes (ugghh!) or a packaged gravy. For example, there is nothing in the world like making your own giblet gravy and using flour or organic (non-GMO) corn starch to make it. Some people worry about having lumps in their gravy if they make it from scratch… but if you know that you take two ice cubes and place them in shallow water (or milk) and THEN add your corn starch and mix it with the VERY cold water/milk, you will not have one single lump! 😉 You then add it to your cooked/diced giblets with turkey drippings and chopped onions, celery, hard boiled egg and cilantro… It’s the best gravy ever! I love cooking and having healthy, fresh ingredients makes you feel so good about doing it! 🙂

  40. Thank your for these alternate recipes. I’m making a shopping list now. I plan to bring a seperate meal for my kids and I to my in-laws Thursday. I’ve tried to “suck it up” and just eat the meals for awhile now and I physically can’t do it any longer. I hate that it might come off offensive, but as much as I’ve tried, my parents and in-laws refuse to buy/prepare non-processed, organic foods. Everything is from a box, a can and with a stick of butter.

    My kids have food allergies which prevent us from eating most of the meal due to milk/butter; however, it makes it easier on me to say, “I brought food,” knowing it is real, whole food without GMOs, HFCS, refined sugar and other garbage.

    Looking forward to some of your recipes. Thanks for all your great information!

  41. Simple solution to the additives in farm grown turkeys – I go out and hunt my own. They taste better and I’m reasonably certain they’ve eaten nothing but berries, acorns and the odd beetle or two. Can’t get more organic than free range feral turkeys.

  42. Due to our family’s food allergies/intolerances we had to bring out own version of Thanksgiving to my parents house last year (they wouldn’t budge on their traditional foods… 🙁 all of them are the ones you listed above).

    I have to say I was so surprised how EASY real cranberries are to make and they taste WAAAY better than the canned version!!

    Here’s a recipe: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/cranberry_sauce/

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