Gobbling up Turkey Economics: A Thanksgiving Feast for Your Brain!

Written By Jason Williams

Updated January 10, 2024

First off…

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope today finds you with better things to do than reading about turkey economics…

But if you're sneaking in a moment of calm or just need a break from the action, I've got a platter of fun facts and playful insights ready for you.

So let's dive into the fascinating world of turkey economics — it's not just about gobbling up, but also about understanding the bird behind the feast.

Ready to impress your family with some juicy tidbits later tonight? Let's get started!

"Turkey Talk: The Numbers Behind the Bird"

A Flock of Facts: The United States is not just about the American dream; it's also about the American turkey dream!

american turkey dream

We lead the world in turkey production, with over 240 million turkeys raised annually. That's a whole lot of gobbling!

This industry doesn't just strut around; it's a significant contributor to the agricultural sector, adding billions of dollars each year.

Minnesota's Turkey Triumph: Among the states, Minnesota deserves a special mention.

Raising 40–45 million birds a year, it's the top turkey-producing state, a true "Gobbler's Paradise."

Imagine the number of turkeys walking around Minnesota — it's like a turkey-themed amusement park, but for farming!

Turkey Economics 101: It's not just about quantity; quality matters too…

The turkey industry contributes significantly to the economy, creating jobs in farming, processing, and retail.

From the farm to your table, the journey of a turkey is an economic tale worth telling.

"Feathered Finances: The Cost of Raising a Turkey"

The Price of Plumpness: Raising a turkey is more than feeding it corn and waiting for Thanksgiving.

The cost of bringing up these birds has soared, primarily due to the hike in feed prices. Over the past decade, those have about doubled…

cost of turkey feed

It's a delicate balance of nutrition and economics, ensuring turkeys are healthy and ready for the holiday season.

A Hefty Investment: Farmers invest in quality feed, health care, and sustainable farming practices to raise turkeys.

This investment reflects in the price of the turkey on your Thanksgiving table. That’s why you can get a commercial bird for $1 a pound but an organic one costs $4 or more per pound.

It's not just a bird; it's a product of careful financial planning and dedication.

Economic Ripples: The turkey's journey impacts various sectors — from the grain used in feed to the transportation of birds to markets.

turkey supply chain

Each step in the turkey's life cycle contributes to the broader economic picture, making it a feathered force in agricultural economics.

"Globe-Trotting Gobblers: Turkey Consumption Around the World"

Turkey's International Passport: While Americans adore their Thanksgiving turkey, this bird is a global citizen.

Israel, for instance, leads the world in turkey consumption per capita, consuming about 62 pounds of turkey per person per year…

It's not just a Thanksgiving delicacy; it's a year-round favorite in many countries.

Cultural Adaptations: Turkey has found its way into various cuisines, adapting to local flavors and traditions.

globetrotting turkey

From the American Thanksgiving table to the shawarma stands in Israel, the versatility of turkey is a testament to its global appeal.

A Feathered Phenomenon: The popularity of turkey worldwide highlights changing dietary trends and the globalization of food cultures.

As proven by the Israeli penchant, Turkey is no longer just an American icon; it's a global gastronomic star.

"The Side Dish Saga: Economics Beyond the Bird"

More Than Just Turkey: When we talk about Thanksgiving, it's not just the turkey that gets the spotlight.

Side dishes like potatoes, cranberries, and green beans also play a starring role…

These industries experience a significant boost during the holiday season, contributing to their respective agricultural sectors.

Wisconsin's Cranberry Crown: My buddy Dan is going to appreciate this one…

Did you know that Wisconsin, not Massachusetts, leads the U.S. in cranberry production?

These little red berries are an integral part of Thanksgiving, and their economic impact is as vibrant as their color.

cranberry farming turkey

Cranberry farming is a crucial industry in regions like Wisconsin, providing jobs and contributing to local economies.

Diverse Dishes, Diverse Economics: Each side dish on your Thanksgiving table represents a unique segment of agriculture.

From the potato fields to the green bean farms, these crops add diversity and richness to the agricultural tapestry, just as they add flavor and variety to our holiday meals.

"Turkey Tech: Innovation in the Poultry Industry"

Technological Transformation: The turkey industry isn't just about tradition; it's about innovation, too…

From advanced farming techniques to sustainable practices, technology plays a crucial role in turkey production.

These advancements ensure better quality, efficiency, and sustainability.

Sustainable Strides: Farmers are increasingly adopting eco-friendly practices, from reducing water usage to implementing renewable energy sources.

These steps not only make the industry more sustainable but also improve the overall quality of the turkeys.

Future Feathers: As technology continues to evolve, the turkey industry is poised for even more advancements.

From genetic research to precision agriculture, the future of turkey farming actually could be an exciting space to watch.

Robot turkey, anyone?…

robot turkey

"The Leftover Lowdown: What Happens After Thanksgiving?"

Beyond the Feast: The story of turkey doesn't end with Thanksgiving leftovers.

The demand for turkey extends into sandwiches, soups, and even pet food. This ensures that every part of the turkey is used, minimizing waste and maximizing utility.

The Art of Leftovers: Leftover turkey is a culinary canvas for creativity.

It's not just about sandwiches; chefs and home cooks alike find innovative ways to repurpose turkey into new, delicious dishes.

Ever heard of a Bobbie (also known as a Gobbler)? It’s a hero sub with all the Thanksgiving fixings. And it’s delicious!

Economic Efficiency: The use of leftovers is not just a culinary practice; it's an economic one.

Utilizing every part of the turkey maximizes the economic value of the bird, reflecting a broader trend of sustainability and efficiency in food consumption.

"Turkey Trivia: Fun Facts to Wow Your Family"

Presidential Pardons: The tradition of pardoning a turkey dates back to George H.W. Bush in 1989 (broccoli was not so lucky)…

pardoning turkey

This quirky tradition has quickly become a beloved part of American culture, adding a touch of humor and humanity to the office of the presidency.

A Rafter of Turkeys: Here's a conversation starter — a group of wild turkeys is called a "rafter."

Imagine telling your family, "I saw a rafter of turkeys today!" It's a fun fact that adds a bit of linguistic flair to your turkey talk.

World Record Wonders: Did you know that the heaviest turkey ever recorded weighed a whopping 86 pounds?

I thought our 20-pound bird was big this year. But that’s really a lot of turkey!

These kinds of fun facts not only entertain but also highlight the surprising aspects of turkey farming.

"The Future of Feasting: Trends in Turkey Consumption"

Health and Sustainability: As health and environmental awareness grows, turkey stands out as a lean and sustainable meat option.

workout turkey

This trend suggests that turkey consumption will continue to evolve, focusing on health-conscious and eco-friendly practices.

Culinary Innovations: The future of turkey isn't just about farming; it's also about culinary creativity…

Chefs and food enthusiasts are constantly finding new ways to incorporate turkey into diverse cuisines, expanding its appeal and versatility.

Economic Implications: These changing trends in turkey consumption have broad economic implications.

From farm to table, every shift in consumer preference influences farming practices, market demand, and overall industry dynamics.

"Time to Fly the Coop!"

And that's a wrap on our turkey tour!

I hope these facts and insights have added some flavor to your Thanksgiving Day.

Now, go enjoy the rest of your holiday — eat, laugh, and make memories.

And keep an eye out for my articles next week; we'll delve into far more serious financial topics.

Until then, have a fantastic Thanksgiving, and remember, there's always something to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

To your wealth,


Jason Williams

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After graduating Cum Laude in finance and economics, Jason designed and analyzed complex projects for the U.S. Army. He made the jump to the private sector as an investment banking analyst at Morgan Stanley, where he eventually led his own team responsible for billions of dollars in daily trading. Jason left Wall Street to found his own investment office and now shares the strategies he used and the network he built with you. Jason is the founder of Main Street Ventures, a pre-IPO investment newsletter; the founder of Future Giants, a nano cap investing service; and authors The Wealth Advisory income stock newsletter. He is also the managing editor of Wealth Daily. To learn more about Jason, click here.

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