Can You Name The 7 States Producing Your Favorite Thanksgiving Foods?

Why Minnesota belongs in your gratitude journal

Ellen Eastwood


Thanksgiving turkey cooked with potatoes, rosemary and lemon on the side
Photo credit: Monstera at Pexels

If you’ve never thought to Google something, it’s likely in my search history. I have an eclectic sense of curiosity. To paraphrase Tyrion Lannister, “I quip and I know things.”

If you’re enjoying a traditional Thanksgiving feast this week, here are the seven states you should be including in your gratitude journal. They’re the bountiful seven, producing the foods you love to eat.

Thank me later for providing you with a safe topic to discuss with some of your dicier relatives.

Minnesota is the country’s biggest turkey producer

That bird at the center of the table? It may just have come to you from The North Star state. According to a report from the US Department of Agriculture, Minnesota produced more than 40 million turkeys in 2020/2021, compared with the next largest producer, North Carolina at 30 million.

Interestingly, North Carolina produced more pounds of turkey, which tells you they’re producing bigger birds.

Wisconsin may be on your Thanksgiving table twice

The US boasts the world’s largest cranberry harvest and Wisconsin is the front-running producer. So much so that the state apparently has a cranberry trail that generates “a bounty of festivals, unique destinations, and tours all centered on the fruit.”

But that’s not all. If you’re enjoying green bean casserole, that too may be courtesy of The Badger State, which produces 36% of the country’s green beans. In fact, Wisconsin produces more green beans than the rest of the top 5 growing states combined.

Idaho’s got your potatoes

Idaho is hands down the country’s leading producer of potatoes, with Washington a distant second. According to AgFunder: “Idaho produces 13 billion pounds of potatoes per year — most of these are russets, where high starch make them ideal for mashing.”

If sweet potatoes are more your thing, then it’s North Carolina you likely need to thank. In fact, the state grew 64% of the entire…



Ellen Eastwood

Culture and lifestyle writer | Generalist | Curious | Witty on a good day | Contact: