Will There Be A Cranberry Shortage For Thanksgiving 2022?

Hosting and planning Thanksgiving is always an ordeal. In the weeks leading to the November holiday, there's much to prepare and consider. Organizing your to-do list and grocery shopping can feel overwhelming. And, unfortunately, this year has added yet another concern to the plate.

A cranberry shortage poses a challenge for Thanksgiving feasts across America. Climate change has brought high temperatures and droughts to cranberry fields, per the New York Post. Such extremes have created harsh conditions for cranberry crop production, particularly in the Northeast. Normally, cranberries grow in flood fields with the help of freshwater, but this year's dry climate has created an inconsistent growing system that jeopardizes a bountiful harvest. 

In September 2022, Southern Living similarly reported a bleak forecast for cranberries, with the caveat that the growing season isn't over yet. Now, a month out from those reports, the current outlook for all those Post-Thanksgiving day sandwiches may actually be positive, after all.

There is still hope for cranberry lovers

According to Raw Story, 2021 saw some of the worst cranberry crops. However, the future is looking a little brighter — or, at least, a little redder. While 2022 has brought plenty of droughts, some cranberry crop farmers used pumps and water to maintain their crops' health. In Massachusetts, 2022 is even looking like one of the biggest crops ever. Raw Story notes a predicted 1.9 million barrels of cranberries in that state alone. That prediction equates to roughly 180 pounds.

Farmers have clearly learned to adapt and respond to climate change. While environmental conditions remain erratic and inconsistent, Thanksgiving, at least for now, seems to be in the clear. Celebrate this news, and forgo a jar of canned cranberry sauce to make your own savory version from scratch. North America actually produces the most cranberries of any country in the world. So now is the time to pull out all the stops for this Thanksgiving staple.

Although it's looking like cranberry sauce is here to stay, adapting to climate change remains of the utmost importance. The state of the environment impacts livelihoods, nature's longevity, and, of course, what gets put on our dinner plates.