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Enjoy A Traditional Turkey Dinner!

Are you looking forward to a "traditional turkey dinner" for Thanksgiving?
Have you heard great things about
a traditional turkey dinner?
Have your ancestors long celebrated Thanksgiving by eating a traditional turkey dinner?
Are you looking for recipes for a traditional turkey dinner?

Well, here's some information that should help you...

According to the book The Wild Turkey: Biology and Management

Turkeys consume ["a traditional turkey dinner"]:

75% plant foods, 25% insects, including:

  • leaves, seeds of grasses & sedges, fruits, and acorns
  • beetles, grasshoppers, and ants make up 80% of the insect food

The top plant foods include: acorns; beechnuts; dogwood fruit; seeds and leaves of grasses; corn; the fruit and seeds of grapes; poison ivy and sumac; and the fruits and leaves of forbs and vines

So... as the human body is designed for a raw plant-based diet, consuming a "traditional turkey dinner" could be a good choice, although I would suggest leaving out the insects, though our early ancestors (pre-cooking/pre-hunting) may (or may not) have included a few insects in their diet. Of course, as fresh wild plant-foods are a natural food for us, ingestion of an occasional insect was, and is, unavoidable (especially those teeny, tiny, microscopic, evasive ones).

Not only would a meal of fresh raw organic berries along with a few nuts and seeds be much more healthful than a modern Thanksgiving dinner, but it would also resemble, much more closely, the First Thanksgiving. As the first "Thanksgiving" was actually a traditional celebration of harvest for Native Americans, the meal would have been predominantly a plant-based one, although there likely would have been some cooked food. One example would be a likely main course: corn meal mush! The animal foods, such as venison, would likely have been side-dishes. According to The First Vegetarian Thanksgiving - by historian Rynn Berry, "there is a live possibility that turkey wasn't even served"!


Other articles about the diets of wild turkeys:

Wild Turkey: Foraging

"Wild Turkeys are omnivorous, foraging on the ground or climbing shrubs and small trees to feed. They prefer eating hard mast such as acorns and nuts of various trees, including hazel, chestnut, hickory, and pinyon pine as well as various seeds, berries such as juniper and bearberry, roots and insects. Turkeys are also known to occasionally consume small vertebrates like snakes, frogs or salamanders. Poults have been observed eating insects, berries, and seeds. Wild turkeys often feed in cow pastures. They sometimes visit backyard bird feeders to search for seed on the ground. Turkeys are also known to eat a wide variety of grasses. Moreover, around 80% of a turkey's diet is made up of grass.

Turkey populations can reach large numbers in small areas because of their ability to forage for different types of food. Early morning and late afternoon are the desired times for eating."

 

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble: Turkey Tastes

"Turkeys are what are known as opportunistic feeders - that is they eat whatever is available. During the spring and summer, they feed on insects, berries, green leaves and grass seeds. You'll often see turkeys in fields of alfalfa searching for insects. Favorite insects include grasshoppers, beetles, and ants. Other favorite plant foods include dogwood fruits, wild grape, cherry, blue grasses, sedges, vibernums, blueberry, blackberry, buttercups and violets."

"During the fall and winter, turkeys feed more on acorns and fruits of trees like oak, hop hornbeam, maple, ash, pine, and beech. Turkeys also seek out corn, wheat, oats, and other grains in farm fields. They eat a lot in late winter to store up food reserves for the breeding season. Hens eat snails and other sources of calcium and minerals to help them produce eggs."

 

Eastern Wild Turkey: What do they eat?

"Adult turkeys consume mostly acorns, nuts, leaves, buds, seeds, and fruit. Young birds tend to eat mostly insects, snails, and spiders."

 

The Return of the Wild Turkey: Foods

"Poults rely on a yolk reserve to sustain them during the first four days of life. During the first few days, poults learn to catch the insects that provide the protein required for rapid growth and development. At approximately six weeks of age, poults begin to include some plant material in their diet.

Once turkeys reach adulthood, they exhibit a widely varied diet that includes soft mast (e.g., grapes and blackberries), hard mast (e.g., beechnuts and acorns), grain (e.g., corn and oats), grasses, ferns, and insects. Studies have revealed that over 600 different species of plant and animals are consumed by wild turkeys.

In northern environments, deep snow may limit the mobility of wild turkeys. However, during these extreme conditions, wild turkeys will often roost near agricultural fields and fly to manure spreads or standing cornfields. If food is unavailable because of deep snow, wild turkeys can fast for about two weeks, and are capable of losing up to 50% of their body weight before dying."

 

Feel free to visit: A Thanksgiving Story:"The Turkeys' Revenge"

 

Support the turkeys (and other animals) in their efforts to avoid being killed for a holiday "celebration": have a vegetarian (vegan) Thanksgiving!

To learn how to have a vegetarian/vegan Thanksgiving, visit our web page devoted to a plant-based Thanksgiving:
A Very Vegetarian Thanksgiving!

[Note: We do not select the specific advertisements. They are based on web page content. Most ads on our site are vegetarian or vegan-related. Our apologies if they are otherwise!]



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