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The Production, Distribution, And Consumption Of Turkey Food Products

1443 words - 6 pages

Thanksgiving is an annual national holiday marked by religious observances and a traditional meal including turkey. In Charles Mann’s National Geographic article, America Found and Lost, discussed the first known Thanksgiving holiday dinner in English America. It was celebrated on December 4th, 1619 at Berkely Hundred, a brand new plantation around thirty miles west of James town. During the first Thanksgiving dinner the colonists ate a rather large feast which most likely involved the consumption of turkey meat. This is believed to be true based on the fact that wild turkey was beyond plentiful in the region and a common food source for both English settlers and Native Americans. Back then, turkeys were undomesticated animals who fed off of the natural food sources available to them in nature. That is no longer the case for turkeys and other poultry livestock that are utilized for human consumption. Ever since 1996, farmers in animal agriculture have been feeding genetically modified grains such as corn and oilseeds to their livestock. The multiple processes in which the birds are produced and distributed have also changed dramatically over the years. This has also inevitably led to a significant increase in the consumption levels of poultry products on a global scale. All of these factors have led to the stimulation of many countries’ economies but also caused an increased need of genetically modified animal feed in order to maintain the balance between supply and demand.
Poultry production is a very important and diverse component of Northern American agriculture. Poultry products including eggs, chicken and turkey meat have been an essential part of the diets of most Americans throughout history and other individuals all around the world. Poultry production encompasses a number of different species such as chickens, ducks, hens, geese, and turkeys. Each species and particular type of production is uniquely different. Modern day poultry production occurs primarily in enclosed buildings in order to protect the birds from a multitude of harmful elements such as weather, potential predators, and the threat of diseases from wild birds. This practice has allowed farmers to greatly increase their production efficiency levels while simultaneously reducing the amount of labor required to carry out their jobs. Nearly 99,700 farms were producing poultry and poultry products in the year 1997 alone. In previous decades, turkeys have been primarily considered more of a holiday food-product. However, due to the advances of food processing methodology as well as an increasingly health-conscious population in the United States, the turkey has become a popular, year round meal. This caused a dramatic shift in the supply and demand equilibrium. Farmers had to now work twice as hard to produce enough turkeys to satisfy the general public.
Raising turkeys takes a little more time than raising other birds because turkeys take longer to fully mature. A turkey is...

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