Friday, November 6, 2015

Turkey Myths

It is  November, which means golden turkeys, over eating, and desserts to die for. A time to go over the hill and through the wood to grandma's house. A day to put your diet aside and wear stretchy pantsfor more room in your stomach. The month women call "No Shave November" then regret that decision in December.

But the turkey! Soft, warm, juicey. Then the food coma and leftovers. What do we really know about this bird? And is it true? Here are some common myths that have been debunked.

1. Turkey makes you sleepy
Turkey meat has the amino acid, L-tryptophan, which does help put people to sleep. However there is not enough in the bird alone to make you pads out. There is barely enough to make you drowsy. You would need to eat out tryptophan on an empty stomach in order for it to make you fall asleep.

2. Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey as our national symbol
Ben never said he wanted the turkey. He wanted Moses parting the Red Sea. Probably because of the similarities of Moses and U.S. overcoming insurmountable obstacles. He wrote a letter to his daughter that ranted about how he didn't like the bald eagle. He said it was a bird of "bad moral character".

3. Rinse turkey under cold water
Stop! Don't turn that faucet! By rinsing your turkey in water, hot or cold, you are at risk of spreading salmonella all over your gorgeous bird, sink, and countertop, not to mention your hands. Molly Stevens, author of the James Beard awarded cookbook, All About Roasting, suggests to salt the skin and let it thaw in your refrigerator for a couple days. This will give you a crispier skin after cooking.

4. Gobble gobble
Only male turkeys gobble. The females haf a high pitched yelp. However, both have a choppy honl that signals danger to the other members of the flock.

5. Colorful feathers
Wild turkeys tend to have a variety of colors, but the farm raised turkeys do not. The darker feathers leave spots, so the white feathers of the farm turkeys we buy from the store leave a blemish free skin, which many people find more desirable, making them want to eat that bird.

6. Plastic thermometer
That plastic pop-up thermometer that comes with store bought turkey doesn't tell you when the turkey is done. It tells you that it's overcooked. So you now have dry turkey instead of juicy. A meat thermometer is better. You need an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) for the perfect bird.

7. No fly Zone
Turkeys can fly, but spend most of their time pecking for food on the ground. S wild turkey can fly up to 100 yards (91.4 meters) at a time, but seldom do. Farm turkeys are top heavy, making flight near impossible.

8. Dark vs White
White meat does have fewer calories and fat than dark meat, but it is so infantismal that you might as well eat dark meat if you like it. There is no shame in likeimg the dark side.

9. Drowning
Turkeys do look up at the rain, but they rarely drown. Tom Sabage, a poltury scientist, said its actually a genetic disorder that causes the bird to look up.

10. No Brains
The wild turkey is intelligent and personable. However, the farm raised turkeys is not. They are bred to be eaten, so they mainly want to eat.

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