thanksgiving-turkey-facts-pin-v2

 

Thanksgiving food checklist:

Green bean casserole?

Check.

Stuffing?

Check.

Grandma’s sweet potato pie? (Yum.)

Double check.

And turkey! What would a Thanksgiving be without a big, juicy, golden brown, oven cooked bird sitting in the middle of the table?

But wait – Why in the world do we eat turkey every Thanksgiving anyway? How did this big unattractive bird earn its illustrious place of honor at the center of every Thanksgiving meal? Why is this “Thanksgiving food”?? The weird truth is that no one really knows for sure. Historians have a few different theories.

Related Content: An Easy Thanksgiving Centerpiece that you Can Make with the Kids

Thanks to early American settler’s impeccable record keeping, we know that when the colonists and the Wampanoag Indians sat down together for dinner, fowl and beef were documented as being on the menu. (This historical meal, of course, would later become known as the first Thanksgiving.) But the fowl family encompasses all kinds of birds hunted as game. We’re talking duck, geese, and even pigeons.

The reason why historians went with turkey is because of a letter written by pilgrim Edward Winslow. In it, he mentions having gone on a turkey hunting trip prior to getting his grub on with the Indians. Put two and two together, and I think you can reasonably state that there was a good possibility that turkey was on the menu on that first Thanksgiving day… That is, if Mr. Winslow’s turkey hunting trip was actually a success. But I guess we’ll never know.

Like that story? Well check out 20 more amazing Thanksgiving turkey facts below.

88% of Americans surveyed by the National Turkey Federation eat turkey on Thanksgiving.

88% of Americans surveyed by the National Turkey Federation eat turkey on Thanksgiving.

The wild turkey is native to northern Mexico and the eastern United States.

The wild turkey is native to northern Mexico and the eastern United States.

A 15 pound turkey usually has about 70 percent white meat and 30 percent dark meat.

A 15 pound turkey usually has about 70 percent white meat and 30 percent dark meat.

The average weight of a turkey purchased at Thanksgiving is 15 pounds.

The average weight of a turkey purchased at Thanksgiving is 15 pounds.

The heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds, about the size of a large dog.

The heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds, about the size of a large dog.

In 1970, 50% of all turkey consumed was during the holidays, now just 29% of all turkey consumed is during the holidays as more turkey is eaten year-round.

In 1970, 50% of all turkey consumed was during the holidays, now just 29% of all turkey consumed is during the holidays as more turkey is eaten year-round.

The turkey industry employs 20,000 to 25,000 persons in the United States.

The turkey industry employs 20,000 to 25,000 persons in the United States.

In 2013, turkey was the #4 protein choice for American consumers behind chicken, beef and pork.

In 2013, turkey was the #4 protein choice for American consumers behind chicken, beef and pork.

The male turkey is called a tom.

The male turkey is called a tom.

The female turkey is called a hen.

The female turkey is called a hen.

Henry VIII was the first English King to enjoy turkey and Edward VII made turkey eating fashionable at Christmas.

Henry VIII was the first English King to enjoy turkey and Edward VII made turkey eating fashionable at Christmas.

Turkeys lived almost ten million years ago.

Turkeys lived almost ten million years ago.

Turkey eggs are tan with brown specks and are larger than chicken eggs.

Turkey eggs are tan with brown specks and are larger than chicken eggs.

In 1920, U.S. turkey growers produced one turkey for every 29 persons in the U.S. Today growers produce nearly one turkey for every person in the country.

In 1920, U.S. turkey growers produced one turkey for every 29 persons in the U.S. Today growers produce nearly one turkey for every person in the country.

Male turkeys gobble. Hens do not. They make a clicking noise.

Male turkeys gobble. Hens do not. They make a clicking noise.

Wild turkeys spend the night in trees. They prefer oak trees.

Wild turkeys spend the night in trees. They prefer oak trees.

Wild turkeys were almost wiped out in the early 1900's. Today there are wild turkeys in every state except Alaska.

Wild turkeys were almost wiped out in the early 1900's. Today there are wild turkeys in every state except Alaska.

Commercially raised turkeys cannot fly.

Commercially raised turkeys cannot fly.

Wild turkeys can fly for short distances up to 55 mph and can run 20 mph.

Wild turkeys can fly for short distances up to 55 mph and can run 20 mph.

June is National Turkey Lover’s Month. (Why it's not in November is a mystery.)

June is National Turkey Lover’s Month. (Why it's not in November is a mystery.)

*Facts via Urbanext.Illinois.edu

No Comment

What's on your mind?....

learning-games-for-kids-leaptv-featured
Previous post

LeapFrog LeapTV : The Only Video Gaming System your 3 to 8-year-old Needs

pressure-cooker-tips-t-fal-clipso-feat
Next post

Pressure Cookers 101: What they are and Why You Need One This Holiday Season [Giveaway Closed]