Potential Cranberry Shortage Could Mean One Less Thanksgiving Side

Say it isn’t so!

Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce
Photo: Gado / Contributor/Getty

We don't want anyone to panic, but there may be one less side dish at the Thanksgiving table this year. Whether you're a fan of jellied or a whole berry, store bought or homemade, warm or cold, cranberry sauce is a holiday staple. Unfortunately, thanks to high temperatures and a widespread drought, the nation's cranberry crop is suffering, the New York Post reports. That could lead to a national cranberry shortage this holiday season.

Cranberries are delicate fruits that are particularly susceptible to weather-related catastrophes. Last year, there was too much rain, ruining the crop and this year there isn't enough, which also ruined the crop.

"Farmers wake up every day and they have to face whatever the weather is going to present to them — that's farming," Brian Wick, executive director of the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers' Association, told Grist. "But it's quite clear in talking to many growers over the past several years that this change in climate is very real and it's really starting to impact how they farm."

Luckily, for this year's cranberry sauce prospects, the growing season isn't quite over yet. Farmers have another month before the berries are ready to harvest. That means there is still time to pray for rain and hope the crop makes it from their fields to our Thanksgiving tables. If you can't find cranberry sauce this year, perhaps use it as an opportunity to count your blessings. Remember that Thanksgiving is about being grateful for friends, family, and everything you do have, not the side dish you don't.

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