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This week, families all across the United States will come together on Thanksgiving to spend time with their loved ones and eat a signature Thanksgiving dinner. Chances are most of their favorite Thanksgiving food staples will be grown and raised here in America. But did you know that people all over the world love American-grown Thanksgiving fare too?
Here’s a sampling of traditional Thanksgiving foods exported from the United States to food-lovers throughout the world.
Turkey is the centerpiece of Thanksgiving in America, the signature dish that brings everything together. Apparently, Americans aren’t the only ones who love a good turkey; the United States exported over $520 million in fresh, frozen, whole or cut turkey to the world in 2011.
Potatoes any way, be it mashed, baked, au gratin, fried, or French fried, almost always make their way into our Thanksgiving meals. The United States exported $255 million of that super starch to the world in 2011.
No Thanksgiving meal is complete without the requisite side dish of cranberry sauce. Fresh cranberries can also be added to a salad, or dessert and many people also enjoy drinking a glass of cranberry juice. In 2011, the U.S. exported $19 million worth of fresh cranberries to the world.
The dessert table at Thanksgiving dinners wouldn’t be complete without the customary apple pie, a signature American dish. Last year, the United States exported $952 million worth of apples, which represented a 13% increase from the amount exported the year before.
During the holiday season, many people like to relax and enjoy a glass of wine with friends and family. From Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day, people around the world will kick back with wine exported from the United States. In fact, our wine exports totaled almost $1.25 billion last year. This billion dollar industry is branching out worldwide, and supports jobs here at home.
Whether used in soup, salad or traditional pumpkin pie, pumpkins are another must-have at any Thanksgiving dinner. In 2011, the United States exported $2 million worth of pumpkin seeds.
In addition to the traditional apple and pumpkin pies, many people around the country will enjoy a slice of warm pecan pie for dessert on Thanksgiving Day. In 2011, the United States exported $183 million of pecans.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that every $1 billion of U.S. agricultural exports supports approximately 8,400 jobs on and off the farm. Those export-supported jobs enable farmers, ranchers, and workers to provide for their families and communities all across America. In 2011, the United States exported $137.4 billion worth of agricultural products to the rest of the world in support of more than one million U.S. jobs. That’s why here at USTR, we are thankful for international trade that enables U.S. exporters to ship billions of dollars worth of agricultural products grown and raised in America to customers around the world.