I asked KDHL Farm Director Jerry Groskreutz the other day if Minnesota was not only the largest producer, but the largest consumer of turkeys.

His response led me to do some research.  He said, " I don't know that would be interesting to know."

According to the U.S. Census Bureau 244 million turkeys were raised in the United States in 2016.  Up 4.5 percent from the previous year and about 44.5 million of them were raised in the Gopher state.

California consumes the most turkey per capita in the United States.

51.6 million turkeys were consumed on Thanksgiving alone in the United States but Israel consumes more turkey per capita.

Turkey became Israel's meat of choice many years ago because it was cheaper than imported beef and required less refrigeration than chicken.`

It's interesting to note according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Turkey is sixth on the list of most popular meat around the world.

They are:

  1. Pork.  It commands 36% of the total meat consumed in the world.
  2. Fish
  3. Chicken.  The United States is the largest chicken producer and per capita consumer of chicken.
  4. Beef.  Accounts for about 25% of meat consumed worldwide.
  5. Goat.  China leads the globe in goat meat consumption accounting for over 42% of the world total.
  6. Turkey
  7. Duck.  China, France and Malaysia top the list of nations duck consumption per capita.
  8. Sheep.  A source of high quality protein is very popular in the Middle East, also Australia and China.
  9. Goose.  China leads the world in it's production and consumption.
  10. Rabbit.  Top consuming countries of this yummy meat are Spain, France and China.

Biggest meat consuming countries per capita are:

  1. Luxembourg.  Tiny nation with big meat appetite averaging 299.8 pounds of meat a year.  Cow, poultry and pork are consumed in equal shares.  Veggies are not as popular.
  2. United States. 275.5 pounds of meat a year per capita.
  3. Australia. 266.7 pounds of meat per capita.  Lamb is their top choice.
  4. New Zealand. 253.5 pounds per capita.  Mutton and goat make up 20% of meat consumed.
  5. Spain. 242.5 pounds of meat per capita.  Pork is #1 there.
  6. French Polynesia. 240.3 pounds per capita each year.  Poultry and beef on top.
  7. Austria.  More than 2/3 of all meat consumed is pork.  The average Austrian eats about 227 pounds of meat a year.
  8. Israel. Approximately 219 pounds of meat per capita.  Lots of poultry and sheep.
  9. Canada. About 218 pounds per capita and on top is beef and poultry.
  10. Bahamas. 216 pounds of meat per capita.  Beef is their favorite.

This is information you can really sink your teeth into.  It's a very meaty subject.

I'm glad I wasn't chicken to tackle the subject, but I kind of felt like a turkey because nobody actually asked where's the beef or anything.

I grilled a couple of pork chops for supper and had some honey barbecue seasoning on it.

My Honey Barbecue Pork Chop. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld