A new survey from MSU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources found that 72 percent of those surveyed are limiting their Thanksgiving plans. Even though there will be smaller Thanksgiving gatherings, you can still find ways to enjoy Michigan turkeys.
“Turkeys that are raised in Michigan are predominantly heavy toms—those are male birds,” said Allison Brink, executive director of the Michigan Allied Poultry Industries (MAPI). “What you eat at Thanksgiving or traditionally think of eating at Thanksgiving is a hen. However, our turkeys are processed into further products. One of the ideal cuts we get from our birds we raise in Michigan is a turkey breast.”
Brink says those breasts are ideal for a smaller Thanksgiving, and they can be purchased at Costco or Gordon Food Service. If you purchase a bigger turkey for your meal, producer Jeff Smith of Smith Turkey Farms said there’s no shortage of what you can do with the leftovers.
“They’re great for sandwich meat,” said Smith. “If you’re going to make a chicken and rice soup, substitute the chicken for turkey. Really, anything you put chicken [or beef] in, you can substitute for turkey.”
After Thanksgiving is in the books, Brink and Smith want consumers to know that turkey is a great protein to be eaten all year round.
“It’s high in protein, low in fat and calories and you can use turkey in all your favorite recipes—tacos, white chili, or lasagna,” said Brink.
“Anytime you’re going into a restaurant or going into a store and buy a turkey, it may not be a Michigan turkey product, but you’re still helping the turkey industry and that’s huge as a whole,” added Smith.
The bottom line? Eat more turkey.