The Pilgrims didn’t need to look far for food sources when they celebrated the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth Plantation in 1621. Most of those original dishes were local to the area, and included shellfish, venison, fruit, and nuts in addition to turkey. However, as America has grown, not only in population, but in expanse, Thanksgiving dinner has taken on new regional flavors and demands that span the breadth of the entire country. As food in the modern age must now travel hundreds of miles to reach the dinner table, consumers are becoming more concerned about the origins of their consumption choices. Thanksgiving is no exception.
Through GIS technology, we can now see exactly where each part of our Thanksgiving meal came from. Four maps show the locations in the United States that four different staples of Thanksgiving dinner are produced. These maps can be explored easily by clicking through the Where Did Your Thanksgiving Dinner Come From? Story Map.
Now, through smart mapping resources like Esri’s integration of USDA farm census data into United States basemaps, you can see the distribution of farms that produce these foods across the country.
See where your Thanksgiving dinner started at http://storymaps.esri.com/stories/thanksgiving/