On this day each year, the United States commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. That document declared independence from Great Britain. Not everyone in the colonies was thrilled about this development, but to the victors go the spoils and so the Fourth of July has become a festive day of parades, picnics, family and community gatherings, and, most of all, fireworks. Last year, the United States imported more than $218 million worth of fireworks from China (and many of those fireworks were set off on the 4th of July).
Back in 1776 there were an estimated 2.5 million people living in the colonies on the east coast. Today over 315 million people will celebrate America’s independence from coast to coast. Part of that celebration will include food (and lots of it). Here are some interesting facts from the U.S. Census Bureau about the food people are likely to consumer today:
- Chances are that the pork hot dogs and sausages consumed on the Fourth of July originated in Iowa. The Hawkeye State was home to 20.3 million hogs and pigs.
- Chances are good that the beef hot dogs, steaks and burgers on your backyard grill came from the Lone Star State, which accounted for nearly one-sixth of the nation’s total production. And if the beef did not come from Texas, it very well may have come from Nebraska (estimated at 5.1 billion pounds) or Kansas (estimated at 3.8 billion pounds).
- There is a good chance that one of these states — Georgia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi or Texas — is the source of your barbecued chicken.
- And it probably comes as no surprise that the main ingredient in your potato salad comes from Idaho (which has 345 million acres of land dedicated to the crop).
Regardless of what you eat, who you are with, or how you celebrate, we hope the day is filled with happiness and joy. And please, be careful and have a safe holiday!