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Thanksgiving is the official holiday, but Friendsgiving 'might even be a little bit more fun'

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Turkey is a classic main course for Thanksgiving dinner, but that doesn't mean you have to serve it.

Friendsgiving is an unofficial holiday when friends get together for a celebration centered around food and fun. And some of that food might not be turkey.

Thanksgiving has evolved. The traditional family holiday with a turkey dinner doesn't have to involve family or turkey.

The term Friendsgiving didn't come around until 2007 and grew partly because of recession and the migration of young people to big cities, according to Amy Adamczyk, a professor of sociology at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at City University of New York.

"This holiday comes around and maybe they don't have jobs or they can't get a lot of time off of work or don't have a lot of money to travel home," she said. "So they get together with their friends and they say OK, Friendsgiving. And in some cases, not only is it more economically feasible because you don't have to travel, but it might even be a little bit more fun depending on who your friends are."

And 6% of U.S. consumers are vegan.

"Plant based diets are becoming kind of the new normal or as people are becoming omnivores," said Armando Turco, North America executive director of brand and creative for Oatly, which has started a vegan hotline to help plant eaters navigate traditional Thanksgiving dinners.

"Certainly there are more options available and we actually hear a lot excitement from our fans and followers," Turco said.

  • Amy Adamczyk, professor of sociology at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at City University of New York
  • Armando Turco, North America Executive Director of Brand and Creative for Oatly
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As senior producer of Up To Date, I want our listeners to hear familiar and new voices that shine light on the issues and challenges facing the myriad communities KCUR serves, and to expose our audiences to the wonderful and the creative in the Kansas City area. Just as important to me is an obligation to mentor the next generation of producers to ensure that the important conversations continue. Reach me at alexanderdk@kcur.org.
Reginald David is an assistant producer with Up To Date. You can reach him at reginalddavid@kcur.org.
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