Steven Dubner, of Freakonomics fame, recently told Marketplace that almost 100 percent of Thanksgiving turkeys are the product of artificial insemination. The problem, apparently, is Americans' appetite for gigantic breasts.
"The modern turkey has quite large turkey breasts, and it actually physically gets in the way when the male and the female try to create offspring," says Julie Long of the USDA. That never seems to be a problem in porn!
This may be industrial agriculture at its most absurd, but it's far from automated. Dubner:
A team of workers has to pick up each male breeder, the tom, which might weigh as much as 70 pounds, secure his contribution — as they call it in the trade — and then bring that to the hen house to inseminate each hen.
Americans eat so many turkeys that this is happening once a week for five or six months out of every year. If you want an old-fashioned turkey, produced the way evolution intended it, you'll have to go with a "heritage" turkey.
- Your Thanksgiving Turkey Is Probably A Product Of Artificial Insemination , American Public Media
Get Grist in your inbox