Editor’s Note: Navigating the Thanksgiving Table


With a historic election now behind us, some pundits seem to think that discussions around the Thanksgiving table will be a little more … shall we say … “spirited” than in past years.

We at the IFIC Foundation have found that there is indeed a political divide even when it comes to food, and that food discussions can sometimes be fraught with emotions. Our hefty consumption of books, movies and news about the food system can add still more fuel to the fire.

While we can’t give you advice on how to cross the political chasm, we can offer you some tips on how to keep your food dialogues civil and respectful. The keys are transparency, facts, asking questions, stimulating debate courteously, and empathizing.

No matter your perspective on issues like agriculture production, food ingredients, or GMOs we are all united in at least one crucial way. Every one of us wants a food supply that is safe, healthful, affordable and abundant—not to mention tasty—even if we might disagree on how to get there.

So before Americans dig into their ham, turkey, and all of the other trimmings, we can give thanks that we live in a time where so much progress has been made toward realizing our most cherished values around food.

Then we can fill our plates, raise our forks, and gobble gobble.