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Food for Thought: Holiday Dinner Costs Soar


Thanksgiving is a time to gather with friends and family. For many, the holiday also evokes images of football, cornucopias, pilgrims and a table filled with traditional food, including pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce and roasted turkey with stuffing.

In fact, nearly 88 percent of American families are expected to eat turkey on Thanksgiving. But the economics of hosting Thanksgiving dinner for extended family can be challenging. This year, as food prices continue to rise, some might want to pass their wallets along with the peas and carrots.

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s survey, turkey dinner and all the fixings for 10 people will cost $49.48, or about 35 percent more than it did when the Renewable Fuel Standard was first passed in 2005.

This is a result of the worst drought in more than 50 years and an energy policy that diverts 40 percent of our corn crop away from food and animal feed in order to meet the current ethanol mandate. Prioritizing fuel over food has real impacts on global poverty rates, our national security and the prices we pay at the supermarket.

The below infographic details the widespread impact of the Renewable Fuel Standard on the food spectrum and Thanksgiving dinner in particular.

If you believe there is a smarter way forward, tell your family and friends about ethanol’s negative impact on your Thanksgiving dinner and sign up to receive updates from SmarterFuelFuture.org.