Thanking for the things on the table…


We are blessed with an abundance of natural resources in the United States of America and the freedom to produce and use these resources as we see fit.

In 1789, Congress asked George Washington to declare a “day of public thanksgiving and prayer.” The first president responded with a proclamation of thanksgiving in which he said: “… then may we all unite to offer him our sincere and humble thanks…For the greatest amount … of abundance, which we have enjoyed … and, in general, for all the great and various favors which he has been pleased to bestow upon us.

Washington was in many ways a brilliant and hugely successful man, but it is unlikely he could have understood the extent to which the United States was then and still is extremely blessed, especially when it comes to resources.

The Thanksgiving dinner table is a good example. Was there turkey on the table? If so, it’s a good reminder that America is the world’s largest producer of turkey. Turkeys eat a lot of corn and the US is also the world’s largest corn producer. In fact, a close look at the rest of the table reveals that a great deal of gratitude is warranted for the abundance of wealth with which the United States has been blessed.

Did you also have ham or pork sausage on the table in your filling? The US is the second largest pig producer in the world (China is first) and the pigs eat a lot of corn and soybeans – the US is also the second largest soybean producer in the world after Brazil.

Don’t forget the wheat in your buns and the bread in the filling – the US ranks fourth in global wheat production. And the US ranks fifth and ninth respectively in white and sweet potato production among 195 countries in the world.

Last to consider is pumpkin pie and yes, America is also the number one pumpkin producer in the world.

Of course, energy was used to produce all these foods and bring them from farm to fork. The energy was used to cook food, heat homes, power televisions, and transport guests to tables by various means of transportation. Little did George Washington know that the country he helped found would become the world’s largest producer of crude oil, natural gas and gasoline.

All this is worth knowing, reflecting on and expressing gratitude, both individually and collectively as a grateful nation.

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