The weekend before Thanksgiving brings on a rush of shoppers, crowding markets in search of turkeys with all the trimmings.
According to the Turkey Sector page on the USDA Economic Research Service website, “Turkey meat production in the United States over the first nine months of 2013 has totaled 4.4 billion pounds, down 1 percent from the same period in 2012. Total production for the year is forecast at 5.9 billion pounds, also slightly lower than the previous year.”
Any way you slice it, that’s a whole lot of turkey. And the website breaks down all sorts of turkey facts and figures, including answers to questions like, what is the No. 1 turkey producing state (Minnesota), and what is U.S. turkey per capita consumption (16 pounds is the 2013 projection).
And then there’s the news that Butterball, the nation’s largest turkey processor, is reporting a shortage of “large, fresh” (16 pounds and over) Thanksgiving turkeys.
For those concerned with industrial farming practices, there’s some interesting commentary on the Butterball problem — “Is the Butterball Turkey Shortage for Real?”— by Tom Philpott on the Mother Jones website.
Whatever your politics or thoughts on eating turkey, it’s a provocative read.
Are you cooking a turkey this Thanksgiving?
If so, what kind? If not, why?
— By Bob Townsend, AJC Food and More blog.