The Facts Are In—People Hate Turkey

A blog about business and economics.
Nov. 27 2013 3:32 PM

Chicken > Turkey

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Don't eat me! I don't even taste very good!

Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

Every Thanksgiving a tedious debate erupts on the Internet between joy-killing trolls who argue that turkey is a bad food to eat, and sentimental liars who claim to think turkey is delicious. But you can actually just look this up. Not only is turkey not delicious, nobody thinks that it's delicious. The numbers don't lie.

Consider these striking facts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistical Service's latest report on poultry production (PDF).

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It reveals that in the United States in 2012, we produced a staggering 49.5 billion pounds of chicken meat worth an aggregate of $24.8 billion.

By contrast, we raised a paltry 7.3 billion pounds of turkey worth just $5 billion.

If everybody likes turkey so much, then why aren't you buying any? Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the masses are always correct. Lamb, for example, is both delicious and unpopular in the United States. But here at Slate, we think it's very important to be clear on what's a contrarian take and what's the conventional wisdom. And the conventional wisdom is that turkey is bad and you should eat chicken if you're interested in some not-very-flavorful poultry. People eat turkey on Thanksgiving because it's traditional, but people do not enjoy eating turkey.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

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