Last Thursday on November 24th we celebrated Thanking, because that is what we do on the last Thursday of November. As I was sitting at the dinner table with my meal in front of me, I noticed the pile of Turkey in front of me. I have always wondered what the big deal was with turkey during Thanksgiving, I wanted to find out more about it. I enjoy eating turkey very much so on Thanksgiving day, so does the rest of the United States. In fact 88 percent of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving. So this blog post will attack why we choose to eat this special kind of bird on this special day as well as some information to go along with it.
As I decided to attack this turkey research, I found out there is more than one type of turkey that people consume on Thanksgiving day. The most popular turkey is a frozen turkey. But do not get discouraged by the name “frozen”. Turkeys that are chilled below 0* Fahrenheit must have the frozen label on the package. The biggest benefit of a frozen turkey is that it can be frozen and kept in one’s freezer for months before the big day when it is needed. Frozen turkeys can sometimes be fresher than “fresh turkeys” because fresh turkeys often sit around I the store for days and they are not frozen. Now on to fresh turkeys. For a turkey to be labeled fresh, it must never have been chilled below 26* Fahrenheit. Interestingly enough, a frozen turkey freezes at 26* Fahrenheit, not 32*Fahrenheit. The next type of turkey is the free range turkey, which means that the turkey is permitted to range over common ground for minutes in a day. What caught my attention was that not every turkey has to go outside to be considered a free range turkey, they are grouped by the flock. The danger to a free range turkey is the disease and insects that it can bring back into the coop. All these distinct turkey types are intriguing but why do we eat turkeys on Thanksgiving though?
The next question that I was pondering and decided to research was the reason for consuming turkey on the holiday. I found various articles and studies describing many different scenarios about the reasoning behind it. It all started with the first Thanksgiving. Beef and some unknown fowl was consumed by the pilgrims. A famous pilgrim by the name of Edward Winslow wrote about hunting turkeys prior to that day. One other famous idea as to why we eat turkey on Thanksgiving comes from Queen Elizabeth eating goose and inspiring pilgrims to roast a turkey. Believe it or not, Benjamin Franklin was a major advocate of turkeys; he even tried changing the nations national bird from an eagle to a turkey. The most logical reason that I coincided during this research is that the turkey is a native of North America, and that is why the real we consume it on Thanksgiving.
As I was going shopping over break I noticed that the price of a turkey actually decreases. It does not increase, which shocked me greatly. Was it due to Black Friday ? Turkeys are discounted at several stores during the Thanksgiving time, this is due to inflation. In fact in November of 2014 there were more sales than in March of 2014. One would think that there would be a rise in price because the demand is so high, but that is not the case at all. When the prices drop, both the demand and the supply will go up.
After doing all of this research I learned many fascinating things about America’s favorite bird. The conclusion that I have come to during all of this is that the turkey is very essential to a thanksgiving meal and we may never actually know where the turkey idea came from on Thanksgiving.