Turkey Day!

Hey everyone, my name is Sydney Allison. Thanksgiving is in just a few days and I want to share a little I’ve learned about the centerpiece of our most special meal – turkey.  When preparing a Thanksgiving meal you and your family are probably taking out your recipes and buying your ingredients to make every bite worth it.  But, have you ever thought about what food your turkey ate to get to its scrumptious 24 lbs? Apparently, we are what we eat and so are our turkeys. I for one hadn’t considered it until I began my research on the chemicals that contribute to breast cancer this semester.

www.whatsonmyfood.org is a helpful database that informs you about pesticides that find their way into your food.  Why be concerned about pesticides on turkey day? Well, mass produced turkeys are given feed that have been contaminated with pesticides.  Pesticides are sprayed onto corn and other grains so that weeds and bugs do not infect and kill the crop.  So apparently, the chemicals then show up in their meat. For instance, the USDA Pesticide Data Program found seven pesticide residues in poultry breasts.  Three of these are known or probable carcinogens and four are suspected hormone disruptors.  Furthermore, in poultry thighs there were eight pesticide residues found.  Four of which are known or probable carcinogens and five are suspected hormone disruptors.  That seems like a lot!

So, what do we do?  One alternative is to buy a certified organic turkey.  This means that your turkey eats organic feed.  Pesticides like piperonyl butoxide, a hormone disruptor, that are often found in conventional turkeys are not present in organic turkeys according to whatonmyfood.org (click on conventional vs. organic).  This Thanksgiving go organic to ensure your meal is free of toxins that lead to breast cancer.  Enjoy every tasty bite just like your turkey did.  Have a Happy Turkey day!

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