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Turkey has come a long way

November 21, 2012

Take a good look at that bird you’re about to slice today.
Look familiar?
Maybe not. But it should.
In the race for top billing among America’s most-consumed meat and poultry products, the venerable turkey still trots far behind chicken, beef and pork.
But turkey’s made some great strides in recent years, and it’s no thanks to Thanksgiving Day.
The ugly duckling of the protein parade isn’t just for holidays anymore. A combination of savvy marketing and growing consumer demand for lean, low-fat protein products have turned turkey into everyday food that often arrives at our plate in a gallery of gastronomic disguise.
Think turkey sausage, ground turkey, turkey cutlets and the oxymoronic “turkey ham.”
“Research indicates that the market for turkey expanded most significantly in the late 1980s,” according to Norma Farrell, a spokeswoman for the National Turkey Federation in Washington, D.C.
“The excessive amount of fat in the American diet was under review and it was an easy comparison to note that turkey was a great protein containing smaller amounts of fat than other proteins.”

Read more in our print edition.


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