Iowa Public Television


Talkin' Turkey

posted on November 24, 2006

Every year at Thanksgiving turkey facts abound and this year is no exception. The U.S. Census Bureau says Thanksgiving became a national holiday in 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving in November. The nation's first Thanksgiving took place in December 1621 when the pilgrims feasted on turkey.

Today, USDA estimates 265 million turkeys are raised in the U.S. That's up 3 percent from 2005. The top turkey producing states are Minnesota (45 million annually), North Carolina (37 million) and Arkansas (30 million).

In 1970, Americans consumed an average of 8.2 pounds of turkey per person annually. By 1980, the figure jumped to 10.3 pounds with Californians leading the nation in turkey consumption -- they eat 3 pounds more than the average American consumer.

Tags: animals birds food holidays news Thanksgiving