Surprising Things About Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving Day is fast approaching and its time once again. It is time once again for that Thanksgiving turkey to become the main feature on the dining table. But before taking that first slice, here are some surprising things that you should know about this popular fixture on the Thanksgiving dinner menu.

That “Natural” labeled turkey may not be natural after all.

You might think that choosing a turkey labeled “natural” for Thanksgiving is the healthy choice. But the fact of the matter is that the label may not be as accurate as you might think. According to the USDA, turkeys may be labeled as “natural” as long as it does not contain any artificial ingredients or if it only went through minimal processing. There are other matters that may be left out of the discussion.

With the USDA’s definition of what turkeys may be labeled as “natural”, this may not include how the turkeys were raised. Turkeys can be fed soy and corn meal that may have been previously treated with synthetic pesticides. They can also be treated with antibiotics for so-called illnesses but can also be used to promote growth. This can be done and still have the turkeys labeled “natural” at the supermarket.

“Fresh” turkeys may not be so fresh after all.

According to the USDA, turkeys may be considered fresh if their internal temperature have never fallen below 26 degrees Fahrenheit. Without the mention of time in its definition of “fresh”, it might be possible that a turkey may be processed in September and October, frozen for two months and yet be labeled “fresh”in November.

Basted or plumped turkeys have 10 times the sodium levels.

Basted or plumped turkey that you find at the supermarket is injected with a mixture that contains water, butter and other fats, flavor enhancers and other ingredients which includes sodium phosphate. This solution can be injected in turkeys for up to 3 percent of their weight.

Turkey skin is the least healthy part to eat.

Turkey skin contains about 482 calories and 44 grams of fat. Buying a fresh turkey with skin contains 231 percent more fat, 23 percent more cholesterol ad 59 percent more calories than a turkey without skin. Doing away with the skin may be a healthier alternative.