Eating Turkey Is More Wasteful Than Eating Chicken


Photo: Flickr

This Thanksgiving, Americans will buy 581 million pounds of Turkey meat. Most of the big bird will end up in our stomachs, but at least 35 per cent, or about 204 million pounds of that good turkey meat, will be tossed into the garbage, according to Dana Gunders of the Natural Resource defence Council.The statistic comes from a 2011 USDA report, which provides estimates for the amount of food that is thrown away, on everything from meats to eggs to nuts, during preparation or consumption.  

Interestingly, the report notes that the estimate of food loss for turkey is more than double that of chicken, which stands at 15 per cent. 

The USDA says this is “possibly because turkey is more often eaten during holidays when consumers may tend to discard relatively more uneaten food than on other days.” 

We think the answer is even more simple than that: Turkeys are bigger than chickens, meaning they’re harder to finish, meaning more turkey ends up in the trash. 

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