Americans gobble up 46 million turkeys at Thanksgiving. That works out to almost 3 pounds of poultry per person who partakes in the feast, according to statistics from the National Turkey Federation.
At an average weight of 16 pounds apiece, last year's Thanksgiving turkeys weighed 736 million pounds altogether. And at an average cost of $1.19 per pound, Americans spent $875 million buying those birds for the big day.
All that may sound like a lot, but as it turns out, we're a turkey-loving nation the rest of the year, too. More than 226 million turkeys were consumed in the United States in 2010; the 46 million Thanksgiving birds represent just one-fifth of that total. We also ate 22 million at Christmas and 19 million at Easter. The rest, 139 million turkeys, were devoured in club sandwiches and the like.
Turkey consumption has nearly doubled over the past 25 years, according to the National Turkey Federation. Per-person turkey consumption is currently 16.4 pounds per year, compared with 8.3 pounds per year in 1975.
"It's easy to see why when you consider the many benefits of turkey," notes the poultry-proud NTF on its website, EatTurkey.com. The group advocates turkey as a healthful protein source, with zero saturated fat, fewer calories from fat and 8 percent more protein than chicken.