It’s that time of year when you have to bust out your “fat pants,” loosening the drawstring in preparation for the biggest meal of the year. For many people, Thanksgiving is not one day. A lot of planning, preparation, and or ordering (if you don’t make the dishes) goes into the big meal. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving will be different this year because of COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean the conversation around the dinner table has to be boring. We dug up ten surprising facts that you can gobble up alongside your meal.
#1: Turkey Crazy
It may seem crazy, but Americans consume an average of 46 million turkeys each Thanksgiving. In light of the popularity of vegetarianism and veganism, however, meat-free turkey options have increased in sales over the years. In 2011, half a million Tofurky’s were sold around Thanksgiving.
#2: Pumpkin Pie Madness
Pumpkin pie is a staple on Thanksgiving, and is the big meal even complete if a pumpkin pie is not on the table? According to statistics, Americans consume about 50 million pumpkin pies each Thanksgiving. If you average out eight slices per pie, that’s about 400 million slices, but there are only 328 million Americans. Some people are eating more than one slice!
#3: The Largest Pumpkin Pie Ever Made
Do you love pumpkin pie? Could you eat 2,000 pounds of it? The Guinness World Records documented the largest pumpkin pie ever made at 2,020 pounds. It was a little over 12 feet in diameter, used 900 pounds of pumpkin, 62 gallons of evaporated milk, 155 dozen eggs, 300 pounds of sugar, 3.5 pounds of salt, 7 pounds of cinnamon, and 2 pounds of pumpkin pie spice. Need a smaller pie? Check out our recipe by clicking here.
#4: The Healthiest Dish On The Table
It’s all about the cranberry sauce, people, but not that processed jelly ridiculousness from the can. Using fresh cranberries is extremely beneficial for your health. Studies found that the proanthocyanidins in cranberries actually prevent bacteria from clinging to your teeth. A 2016 review also found that the compounds in cranberries work to inhibit cancer cell growth in test-tube studies. Click here for a homemade cranberry sauce.
#5: You Cannot Burn Off The Calories
We don’t want to depress you or anything, but there’s no way to burn off all the calories you consume on Thanksgiving. The average person consumes between 2,500 to 3,000 calories at the Thanksgiving table, and that doesn’t account for whatever you eat prior to the big meal. If a 150-pound person consumed 2,800 calories, that person would have to run 29 miles to burn all those calories. So run a marathon, basically, and you can burn off what you eat.
#6: Thanksgiving Inspired The TV Dinner
In 1953, Swanson had 260 tons of extra turkey after Thanksgiving. What could be done with all that turkey? Well, package it in aluminum trays with Thanksgiving sides and make TV dinners, of course! And the birth of the Thanksgiving TV dinner was one salesman’s idea!
#7: The Story Of The “Turkey” Name
Long ago in the days of colonization, Europeans imported guinea fowls because they enjoyed the taste. Because the birds came from Turkish merchants, the English decided to name them turkeys. And that is the story of how turkeys got their name. Thank you and goodnight.
#8: Don’t Blame Turkey For Your Drowsiness
Sure, turkeys contain tryptophan, but that’s not the reason you want to sleep for an entire day after you finish eating. Chickens actually contain more tryptophan than turkeys do. The reason that you want to fall into a deep slumber is because you just stuffed your face with copious amounts of food. Your body is working overtime to digest everything, and that drains your energy levels.
#9: The Last Slice Of Pie Is Controversial
Who gets the last slice of pie on Thanksgiving? Men seem to be the primary culprits, but seldom do they own up to it. According to a statistic, six million American men between the ages of 25 and 54 confessed to eating the last slice of pie, but denied it when asked by family members. Additionally, one in five Americans admitted to eating an entire by by themselves. If you eat an entire eight-inch pumpkin pie by yourself, that’s 2,000 calories.
#10: The Most Fattening Item On The Menu
This may come as a surprise, but the most fattening item on the menu is typically the pecan pie. On average, one slice clocks about 500 calories, with an entire eight-inch pecan pie amounting to 4,000 calories. The reason for the high calorie count is because pecan pie contains copious amounts of sugar or corn syrup, or both.