Happy Thanksgiving folks! It’s our third holiday of thanks with the wonderful Fooducate community. A BIG THANKS for your participation, discussion, proofreading, words of encouragement, and most importantly for showing up here to learn about better food choices.
Here are some interesting facts you can share with your dinner guests tonight:
1. 91% of Americans eat Turkey on Thanksgiving.
2. The turkey we consume today is nothing like the turkey Americans ate 100 or 200 years ago. It has been bred for an extra large breast, just like its chicken cousin. In fact, the turkey’s body is so warped it cannot walk very well, nor can a turkey couple consumate their love in a natural manner – breeding is aided with technology.
3. There is a resurgence in heritage turkeys in the last few years, with some birds fetching prices of $100 or more for a 13 pounder.
4. Real turkeys can fly, but not the ones commercially grown.
5. The name “turkey” comes from the country of Turkey. A few hundreds of years ago, merchants from the Ottoman empire (headquartered in Turkey) brought fowl from Madagascar and traded it with the rest of Europe. Eventually the “Turkey Fowl” found its way to the new world, where it was bred with native wild fowl for consumption. The name “turkey fowl” was shortened to “turkey”.
6. If Ben Franklin would have had his way, the turkey would be our national bird, not the eagle. Thomas Jefferson said No, and ever since, a male turkey is also known as a “Tom”.
7. The original Thanksgiving feasts celebrated by the Pilgrims did NOT include turkey. They did most likely eat: wild game, berries, acorns, squash, fish, maple syrup, and cranberries.
8. The average turkey weighs 15 pounds, but the largest one clocked in at over 80 lbs!
9. Turkeys can die of heart attacks. How do we know. In the 1950′s when the Air Force test flights started breaking the sound barrier, nearby turkeys dropped dead. Turns out they were scared to death…
10. The presidential turkey pardon, in which 2 lucky birds’ lives are ceremonially spared by the US president, is a tradition that started with president Harry Truman.