More than 250 million turkeys are slaughtered in the industrial system each year in the United States, and about 46 million of those are for Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful, warm holiday, full of family time, great traditions and good food. Unfortunately, there are many not-so-good things about the Thanksgiving turkeys most grocery stores offer to their customers.
The status quo for raising turkeys and other meat birds is the industrial, factory farming system. The conditions in which factory farmed turkeys are raised is horrendous. It’s cramped, with each bird given about 3 feet of space to live its life. So that these cramped and stressed turkeys won’t turn to pecking at each other, prior to confinement their beaks and the tips of their toes are cut off (processes some liken to having the tips of a child’s fingers and toes chopped off). These turkeys, raised in gigantic warehouses, are denied their natural instincts and can’t eat their natural diet of seeds, vegetation and insects. They’re also bred to grow so rapidly that it puts an incredible strain on their bodies. Some researchers estimate that factory farmed turkeys spend at least a third of their lives in chronic pain.
There have been at least two cases of salmonella food poisoning caused by tainted ground turkey in the U.S. so far this summer. Strangely enough, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention knew where these tainted meats were coming from two weeks ago, but they did not issue a recall on the poisonous food because they “simply did not have enough information,” according to Fox News.
“There were two cases in the same state, and in two days we were able to confirm that the two cases were related to the [Cargill meat plant in Springdale, Arkansas],” said Dr. David Goldman, an assistant administrator from the USDA-Food Safety and Inspection Service.
That sounds like enough information to issue a recall to me, but Goldman claims that this really isn’t enough to warrant one.
Hot dogs might not measure up to most gourmet fare, but they are a big part of some of America’s favorite pastimes. National Hot Dog Day falls on July 23, which is conveniently right in the middle of baseball and summer grilling season.
While you often hear that hot dogs are nutritionally unsavory, there are a lot of lighter options out there for anyone who wants keep things on the healthier side.
Whether you’re buying beef, pork, turkey, chicken or veggie hot dogs, you should always pay attention to whether or not the hot dog has added nitrites or nitrates. Once digested, nitrites and nitrates can form compounds that have been known to cause cancer. To make your hot dog meal healthier, you can serve it topped with fiber-rich sauerkraut, in a whole-wheat bun or alongside a full plate of brightly-colored fruits and vegetables.
However, if you want to avoid the nutritional trap of hot dogs entirely, you can look to five of our favorite healthier hot dogs to satisfy your cravings without an added helping of guilt.
Summer is in full swing and many of us have the sunburn and mosquito bites to prove it. If you’ve been spending a lot of time outdoors then odds are, you’ve attended a picnic, backyard party or cook out under the sun and are beginning to tire of hamburgers, hot dogs and grilled chicken.
Next time you’re planning the menu, look for inventive new dishes that will kick off your party on the right note. Whether you’re in the mood for light lunch fare like salads or sandwiches, something hot off the grill or a stick-t0-your ribs meal that will stand up to the heat, you don’t need to ditch your diet to have fun this summer.
Salads & Sandwiches:
Arroz con Pollo Salad: Chicken and rice sounds like a heavy meal but not when you put it into a refreshing salad form. If you’re entertaining in your back yard this is a great option for anyone who wants to indulge without the guilt.
We chatted with David Venable, host of QVC’s In the Kitchen with David, about how to slim down and add more nutrition to your meals when you’re grilling this summer.
If you eat burgers frequently during the summertime, choose turkey once in a while. Turkey has a wonderful flavor and less fat than most beef burgers.
“There are two kinds of ground turkey you can buy,” said Venable. “One is all turkey breast meat and the other is a blend of white and dark turkey meat. If you want to go very lean, choose all white meat.”