Nokyoung Xayasane
November 22, 2012

Turkeys Aren’t Just For Eating, They Have Jobs Too


The food coma that comes after Thanksgiving is a given. We accept and love it, just like we accept and love the tasty turkey that causes it. But did you know that these birds are more than a tasty holiday dish? It’s true — turkeys are actually helping humanity in more ways than just by being delicious.

As we nurture our inevitable food babies (that’s the belly pouch that comes from eating too many goodies), let’s remember that these red-necked turkeys have jobs too. Jobs like:

1. Powering a plant

Thousands of turkeys power a plant in Benson, Minnesota using only the power of their poop. Fibrominn LLC uses poultry-litter biomass as a source of electricity. This is an awesome strategy, since Minnesota produces the largest number of turkeys in the U.S. The small city, with a population of 3,776 residents, was also the first of its kind to launch a diaper recycling intiative in the ’80s. Way to be eco-friendly, Minnesota!

2. Curing cancer

Americans eat about 46 million turkeys a year at Thanksgiving alone! That’s a whole lotta turkeys. To keep up with this demand, farms are pumping out millions of pounds of turkeys a year (or 736 million pounds every Thanksgiving). At this point, turkeys have basically become domesticated animals, and because of this change, they’re also more prone to cancer. Scientists, like Roger Coulombe, are researching cancer in turkeys and applying their findings to human cancers. Turkeys may save us all.

3. Being an American symbol


When we think about turkeys, we don’t really envision a bird of respect and admiration like the bald eagle. But Benjamin Franklin thought differently. Basically, Franklin called out the bald eagle for being a lazy coward who takes his food from other hardworking birds. On the other hand, turkeys, although a “little vain and silly,” are a symbol of courage and strength and demand our respect.

So, while we sit down this Thanksgiving for our holiday feast, let’s not forget that the dude who invented both the lightning rod and bifocals thought turkeys were the badasses of the bird world. Show a little respect, will ya?