TURKEYS are once again making headlines this Thanksgiving.
Popcorn, a four month old turkey, was issued a Presidential pardon this week after users of social media decided President Obama should free the bird – by voting with the hashtag #TeamPopcorn. Caramel, whose gobble was described as quick, clear and frequent, received no such pardon and was summarily eaten.
The tradition of American Presidents picking a turkey to pardon before Thanksgiving dates back to 1987, started by Ronald Reagan as a joke over the Iran-Contra affair.
This Thanksgiving turkeys are departing the US in record numbers. More than 412.7m pounds of turkey will head to Mexico which remains the largest buyer of US turkey.
Meanwhile American appetites for the bird are waning. After consistently rising throughout the 1980s, per-capita turkey consumption has levelled off since the mid-1990s at around 16 pounds. But US farmers haven’t slowed, this year they will produce nearly 5.8bn pounds of meat from less than 242m turkeys.