Americans Ready to Celebrate Thanksgiving with 46 Million ‘Respectable’ Birds

US - If one of America’s founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, had his way in the late 1700s, the turkey would have been the US national bird instead of the bald eagle — a majestic but imposing raptor that Franklin thought had a “bad moral character.”
calendar icon 24 November 2016
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The turkey, he insisted in a letter to his daughter, was a “much more respectable bird” to represent the country, reports Poultry Health Today.

The turkey will most certainly be respected this Thursday, November 24, when 88% of Americans make the farm-raised variety of the bird the centerpiece of their Thanksgiving feast, according to the National Turkey Federation (NTF).

That translates to about 46 million turkeys or nearly 20% of the country’s annual crop, NTF reports.

The average weight of turkeys purchased for a Thanksgiving feast is 16 pounds, meaning that approximately 736 million pounds of turkey will be consumed over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Some purchased birds will tip the scales to 25 to 30 pounds.

Consumer Reports published an article November 13 urging Americans to buy organic turkeys or, at the very least, turkeys raised without antibiotics. But surprisingly, the editors neglected to report the cost difference between the two varieties.

Last week prices for fresh, conventionally raised whole turkeys averaged $1.70 a pound, according to the USDA National Retail Report for turkeys. USDA doesn’t track consumer prices for whole birds raised without antibiotics. However, breast meat from what the USDA calls “specialty” birds — those raised on all-vegetable diets without antibiotics — averaged $5.99 a pound, more than twice the cost of the $2.93 breast meat from fresh turkeys given FDA-approved antibiotics under veterinary supervision.

In addition to their many blessings, it seems Americans can be thankful for their choices at the meat counter.

Sending thanks, blessings and appreciation to our thousands of enthusiastic followers worldwide.

Ludmila Starostina

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