Turkey Day Trivia
Don’t try sneaking up on a turkey. It’s not going to happen. Or, at least, not easily anyway. Turkeys have amazing hearing and a super wide field of vision of 270 degrees.
National bird (almost)
Did you know that the turkey almost became America’s national bird? If it had been up to Ben Franklin, that is. Apparently, there was much hubbub in choosing which animal to use as the centerpiece for America’s Great Seal. After the eagle was chosen, Ben Franklin expressed his disapproval in a letter to his daughter. He wrote, “For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country.” He went on to say that although the turkey was “a little vain and silly”, he was courageous, as opposed to the bald eagle who was a “coward” and a “bird of bad moral character.”
Americans chow down on over 46 million pounds of turkey each Thanksgiving. That’s approximately three pounds per person, which is about a fifth of all the turkey we consume in a whole year.
Stop using turkey as an excuse for your after-dinner nap. Although it is true that turkey contains L-Tryptophan (an amino acid proven to cause drowsiness), it only works if you take it on an empty stomach. So give that poor turkey a break and admit the truth! You just want a break from Great Aunt Edna’s never-ending lecture on her impressive sea monkey collection and top picks for over-the-counter stool softeners.
The tastiest turkeys are old toms and young hens. Young male turkeys have stringy flesh and older females have meat that is very tough.
Catch that turkey! Turkeys are faster than you’d imagine. They can run at speeds of up to 25 miles an hour and fly at up to 55 miles an hour.
White House turkey pardon
Talk about wacky traditions! Each year the President formally pardons a turkey presented to him by the National Turkey Federation. The tradition is said to go back to Abraham Lincoln, who made the first turkey pardon when he chose not to cook a turkey named Jack that his son had befriended. From 2005-2009, pardoned turkeys were sent off to Disneyland where they received the high honor of leading the Thanksgiving parade. Which lucky bird will get the free pass this year?