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There Could Be A Shortage of This Thanksgiving Food

Growing this fruit has been more challenging than normal this year.
homemade cranberry sauce with cranberries outside the bowl

Thanksgiving was already destined to look different this year because of the pandemic. As if being separated from family and friends wasn't bad enough, you may also find yourself without cranberry sauce on Turkey Day—or you may at least have to pay a higher price for it.

Grown in bogs between April and November, cranberries need at least an inch of water every week to grow. Because of a dry and hot summer, harvests from cranberry farms in the Northeast are yielding fewer barrels of the coveted holiday berry this season, according to The Ellsworth American in Maine.

Related: 8 Grocery Items That May Soon Be in Short Supply

One local farmer said a June frost combined with soaring temperatures in August means she'll harvest less than half of the 50,000 to 80,000 pounds of cranberries from a typical year. Another told the newspaper that while there won't be a shortage, her cranberries will have an increased price tag.

Luckily, this trend isn't the same for growers across the country. Unlike Maine and Northeastern farmers, the only casualties of 2020 for Wisconsin cranberry growers have been visitors from guest tours and school field trips. One cranberry producer told WIZM News in La Crosse that she was optimistic for a "beautiful crop" this year.

It's safe to say a cranberry shortage won't be another challenge to deal with in an otherwise complicated year. Fresh berries and processed berries for cranberry juice and dried berries will most likely make their way to a grocery store shelf near you.

Need some healthy cranberry recipe ideas? Here's a pistachio and cranberry cheese ball recipe, a low-sugar cranberry orange scone, and an easy apple-cranberry crisp recipe. And for Thanksgiving itself, try this 90-minute roasted turkey with orange-cranberry relish.

Amanda McDonald
Amanda is a staff writer for Eat This, Not That!. Read more