Ready for Thanksgiving America!? Before you start stuffing your face-hole with buttery wads of starch and turkey, you might want to check out these shocking Thanksgiving food facts.
Stuffing Was Originally Called “Forcemeat”
Before Thanksgiving stuffing was called… stuffing, it was traditionally called “forcemeat.”
Where does the name forcemeat come from? Good question. If you know, please tell us in the comments. But we’ll take a wild guess that it means stuff that was forced inside the meat. Thus, the name forcemeat.
Grandma, please pass the forcemeat. Yummy!
Americans Only Eat 1% Of All Farmed Corn
The United States is the #1 producer of corn in the world. But Americans (aka the “Other Animals” in the chart below), only eat 1% of the corn that we produce. The other 99% is used to feed livestock or create fuel, like ethanol.
Your Thanksgiving Turkey Has Giant Turkey Boobs And Was Artificially Inseminated
Unlike the wild turkeys consumed by our pioneering ancestors, today’s turkeys have a lot more meat on their bones. To increase output, scientists have genetically modified farm-raised turkeys to have bigger breasts.
A side-effect of this genetic modification means these turkeys can’t physically reproduce on their own. These larger breasts are perfect for the grocery store. But they are so big that it “physically gets in the way when the male and the female try to create offspring” according to Julie Long from Freakonomics Radio. As a result, almost all farm-raised turkeys are now artificially inseminated. Of course, the one exception is the Kramer Turkey.
Eating Wild Potatoes Can Kill You
The next time you find yourself hungry and stranded in the wilderness, don’t forage for wild potatoes. Why? Unlike farm-raised potatoes, wild potatoes are poisonous, unless you dip them in clay “gravy.” That’s right, eating wild potatoes can kill you.
Wild potatoes are laced with solanine and tomatine, toxic compounds believed to defend the plants against attacks from dangerous organisms like fungi, bacteria and human beings. Cooking often breaks down such chemical defenses, but solanine and tomatine are unaffected by heat. In the mountains, guanaco and vicuña (wild relatives of the llama) lick clay before eating poisonous plants. The toxins stick—more technically, “adsorb”—to the fine clay particles in the animals’ stomachs, passing through the digestive system without affecting it. Mimicking this process, mountain peoples apparently learned to dunk wild potatoes in a “gravy” made of clay and water. Eventually, they bred less-toxic potatoes, though some of the old, poisonous varieties remain, favored for their resistance to frost. Clay dust is still sold in Peruvian and Bolivian markets to accompany them.Source: Smithsonian Mag
Most Canned Pumpkin Pie Mix Is Flavored Butternut Squash
After Thanksgiving dinner, would you rather eat a slice of pumpkin pie or butternut squash pie for Thanksgiving dessert? Before you reach for the pumpkin pie, read the ingredients. Shockingly, most canned pumpkin pie mix is actually flavored butternut squash.
Why use butternut squash instead of pumpkin? Have you ever tried making pumpkin pie from a carved out pumpkin? Most pumpkins are very bitter tasting. It’s much easier to just add pumpkin flavoring to butternut squash.
Botanically, Cranberries Aren’t Even Classified As Berries
Do you normally have a side of cranberry sauce with your Thanksgiving meal? Cranberry sauce is a popular side dish to serve alongside turkey during Christmas and Thanksgiving celebrations in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
But sadly, the “cranberry” itself is another lie. Botanically speaking, the cranberry isn’t even a berry.
NERD NOTE: The United States, Canada and Chile account for the vast majority of global cranberry production. The great majority of these cranberries are processed into products such as juice, sauce, jam and sweetened dried cranberries, with only a small proportion sold fresh to consumers.
A Sweet Potato Is Biologically Closer To A Flower Than A Potato
The sweet potato is a Thanksgiving staple. However, biologically, sweet potatoes are closer to a Marigold flower than a potato.
“Grandma, how many scoops of mashed sweet Marigold flowers would you like with your artificially inseminated turkey?”
Shocking Thanksgiving Food Facts
Poisonous starch, false ingredients, and artificially inseminated meats aside, we hope you have a nice Thanksgiving holiday. Also, we’re thankful you are reading this article about Thanksgiving food facts. Out of all of the websites on the Internet, somehow you ended up here reading this article. Thank you! And please have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Frank Wilson is a retired teacher with over 30 years of combined experience in the education, small business technology, and real estate business. He now blogs as a hobby and spends most days tinkering with old computers. Wilson is passionate about tech, enjoys fishing, and loves drinking beer.