November 16, 2016

Celebrate Thanksgiving with A Few Turkey Facts

While turkey numbers in Kentucky have not been counted by the National Agricultural Statistics Service since 1972, Kentucky Poultry Federation Jamie Guffey said that there has been a resurgence in the industry. 

Kentucky is currently home to 24 commercial turkey barns, and most of those turkeys are raised for Farbest Farms and will be used for Boar’s Head lunchmeats.


Fun Turkey Facts from the National Turkey Federation:

Holiday Eating - The National Turkey Federation (NTF) estimates that approximately 46 million turkeys are eaten at Thanksgiving, 22 million at Christmas, and 19 million at Easter.

Turkey on Thanksgiving - 95 percent of Americans surveyed by the NTF eat turkey at Thanksgiving.

Average Weight of Purchased Turkeys - The average weight of turkeys purchased for Thanksgiving is 15 pounds – that’s about 675 million pounds of turkey consumed in the U.S. on Thanksgiving.

Serving Leftover Turkey - The top five most popular ways to serve leftover Thanksgiving turkey are: sandwiches, soups or stews, salads, casseroles and stir-fry.

Does Turkey Cause Sleepiness? - Think turkey causes sleepiness after the Thanksgiving meal? Think again! Recent studies have shown that it is more likely the large, carbohydrate-rich meal rather than just the turkey. The meal releases tryptophans in the brain, causing drowsiness.

U.S. Presidents Pardoning a Turkey Tradition - For over 50 years, the National Turkey Federation has presented the President of the U.S. with a live turkey and two dressed turkeys in celebration of Thanksgiving. Harry Truman was the first president to receive this honor in 1947. Each year, the live turkey is “pardoned” by the president and most recently, the bird and his alternate were on display at Mount Vernon until after the holidays, when they were transferred to live remainder of their lives at beautiful Morven Park in Leesburg, Virginia.

The actual Presidential pardon didn’t officially become standard practice until President George H.W. Bush started the tradition in 1989. Since 1947, Minnesota has had 11 turkey industry representatives bring a turkey to the White House to be pardoned.

Early Explorers to the New World had a Taste for Turkey - Early explorers to the New World quickly acquired a taste for turkey and took birds back to Europe. By the 1500s, turkeys were being raised domestically in Italy, France and England. When the Pilgrims and other settlers arrived in America, they were already familiar with raising and eating turkey and naturally included turkey as part of their Thanksgiving feast.

The First Thanksgiving Dinner - Some experts think the first Thanksgiving dinner was served by the Pilgrims in 1621. Others credit the settlers of Virginia’s Jamestown with celebrating the first Thanksgiving as their version of England’s Harvest Home Festival.

Thanksgiving: Becoming a National Holiday - President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863, supposedly as a response to a campaign organized by magazine editor Sara Joseph Hale. In 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving Day forward one week, as it is presently celebrated.

A baby turkey is called a poult.
A male turkey is called a tom.
A female turkey is called a hen.

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