Friday, November 20, 2009
The Seven Days of Thanksgiving, Day 1: Talking Turkey
Approximately 90% of American households eat turkey on Thanksgiving.
The average American consumes more than seventeen pounds of turkey per year.
According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, 250 million turkeys were raised in the United States in 2009, with 45.5 million alone raised in the state of Minnesota. After Minnesota, the top turkey-producing states are North Carolina at 37.5 million, Arkansas at 28 million, Missouri at 21 million, Virginia at 16.4 million, and California at 15 million.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 45 million turkeys are eaten in the United States every Thanksgiving. This number accounts for one sixth of all turkeys sold in the U.S. annually.
Over 675 million pounds of turkey are consumed on Thanksgiving Day
According to the National Turkey Federation, approximately 24% of Americans buy their Thanksgiving turkeys fresh, as opposed to 69% who buy them frozen.
The most popular method of serving leftover turkey is in a sandwich.
While making history as the first men to set foot on the moon, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin ate the astronaut equivalent of a roast turkey dinner.
For those who eschew meat (as opposed to those who chew meat), tofurkey is a non-meat substitute, usually made from wheat or soybean protein, which can be roasted or baked. Tofurky (note the absence of the “e”) is a specific brand of tofurkey.
During the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation, held at the White House each year, the National Turkey Federation presents the President of the United States with a live turkey. The first President to take part in this tradition was Harry S. Truman. The first President to grant the turkey a presidential pardon - now an annual tradition in its own right - was George H.W. Bush.
Although domesticated turkeys cannot fly, wild turkeys are able to not only fly for short distances, but also trot at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour.
A wild turkey’s field of vision is approximately 270 degrees. By comparison, a human being’s field of vision is less than 180.
A fully-grown turkey has approximately 3,500 feathers.