Many writers will tell you they love writing, yet coming up with ideas to write about can be a struggle.
I was searching on-line for one of those ideas and discovered that June is Turkey lover’s month. And with Thanksgiving just around the corner it seemed like the perfect time to write this article.
Granted, I think most turkey lovers don’t love turkeys the way I do but that’s where being a creative writer comes in!
Loving turkey for most of us entails eating turkey on Thanksgiving and the subsequent turkey sandwiches the week after. After that there is usually some turkey roll or turkey breast enjoyed throughout the year.
Why is turkey so popular?
One reason turkey is so well received is it is touted as a healthy alternative to red meat.
Is this really true?
Like red meat turkey contains no fiber and is void of most nutrients. However, turkey actually has more fat (some saturated), and cholesterol than certain kinds of beef. Turkey is also too high in protein linking it to a higher risk of kidney problems, colon cancer, and osteoporosis.
Excess protein in the diet, especially animal protein, leads to calcium losses in the body. The calcium in the bones is leeched out to buffer the acidity created by the protein.
Chickens, Turkeys, and Salmonella
Just like chickens, a high percentage of turkeys contain salmonella. In fact, just last year the FDA recalled over 50,000 pounds of “natural” turkey burgers because of salmonella contamination.
Turkey products are a prime example of deception in label practices, too.
The FDA allows a product, including these “natural” turkey burgers, to say natural even though the food is highly processed and may contain pesticides, GMOs, and/or high fructose corn syrup.
Another unnatural aspect of raising turkeys for food is their weight.
Have you noticed larger turkeys at Thanksgiving time?
In the last 45 years the average turkey’s weight has increased by almost 60 percent.
Why is this?
To maximize the breast meat obtained from the animal after it has been slaughtered. This huge amount of excess weight in the form of breast meat is from the standard use of antibiotics in commercial farming and leads to complications for the bird in terms of debilitating foot and leg problems.
Why I love turkeys
Many times I have visited Farm Sanctuary, a farm which rescues and rehabilitates abused farm animals located in Watkins Glen, New York.
This is where I encountered a real live turkey for the first time.
He was big and white with the standard caruncle and snood. These are probably parts of the turkey you aren’t familiar with! The caruncle is the reddish-pinkish fleshy growth on the top of the turkey’s head and top part of his neck, and the snood is the flap of skin that hangs over the bird’s bill.
Anyway, the turkey’s caruncle was surprisingly warm and the turkey was very friendly and seemed to enjoy the attention I was giving him!
It was amazing to visit this majestic bird in person — and did you know that Benjamin Franklin once proposed making the turkey our national bird? Perhaps he was a turkey lover, too.
Hopefully one day, this will be the way we all love turkeys!