The culture of Thanksgiving revolves around turkey. Parade floats and table spreads across the country surround the idea of both celebrating and consuming the bird. But have you ever taken the time to really think about the reason we eat turkey on Thanksgiving?
There is significant historical significance to the reason that turkey is consumed on November 27, and it all starts with the Plymouth Colonists and Wampanoag Native Americans. However, turkey wasn’t as big of an installation as one might think because other forms of protein were also plentiful. Nonetheless, turkey was most likely present thanks to Edward Winslow. Interestingly, the turkey also holds significance to America because of Benjamin Franklin's declaration that the turkey was a more suitable national bird for the United States than the bald eagle... more suitable for eating, maybe!
Historical significance aside, people gravitate towards turkey because it is practical, affordable, and delicious. When you have a group of hungry people what better way to feed them than with a turkey? Turkeys are quite a bit larger than ducks, chickens, and an assortment of accessible birds—making them the ideal choice. Not to mention, turkeys are a great deal for all of the food that you can garner from them.
Turkeys are also known to contain tryptophan, a chemical that causes sleepiness. It’s no secret that Thanksgiving is a holiday where you can relax and enjoy time with your loved ones—perhaps even through in a quick nap. So, when you’re enjoying your turkey-everything leftovers, be sure to take a minute to think about why you’re eating it in the first place.