Talk Turkey

This is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, and so posting may not resume in full strength until Tuesday. In the meantime, because, after all, the ‘r’ in Slaw stands for research, I thought we Canadians might like to know something about what we’re about to eat or have already eaten or regret having eaten… I’m speaking, of course, about that seasonal food, turkey.

As if by plan, StatsCan’s Daily for Friday points us to Health Canada’s Canadian Nutrient File which in turn has a table of the nutrient value in some common foods, available in PDF. The full story of turkey is here: you may be interested to know, for example, that dark meat has way more zinc per serving than white meat (3.8mg : 1.8mg), or that turkey is completely free of vitamin A. It’s all here in the chart; just click on the small graphic to see the facts.

Now if turkey’s not your tipple, there’s a wealth of information on other “common foods,” such as boiled seal (rather more protein than turkey), roasted muskrat (lots of fat), or Almond Joy™ candy bars…

On second thought, all this may be too much information for you; I mean, who really likes to see what goes into sausages or legislation, to paraphrase Bismark (himself a lover of both I would have said); after all, which Canadian wants to know that there are 1209 kilojoules of energy in a single jelly-filled doughnut (by comparison with the 422 kJ in one “barge pilot biscuit.” Best not to have gone metric, then.

Another ounce of gravy?


  1. I find Canadians are fanatical about their turkey. Step outside of the mainstream and you find people are more fervent about this non-sectarian holiday than most religious holidays. Many vegetarians give up their non-meat eating ways this one time of year because the turkey-at-Thanksgiving culture is so strong. At family functions I long struggled with what to eat as an alternative. Finally I realized that without eating turkey there is still enough food at these bountiful feasts to feed a small third world country for a month. I did not go wanting by any means.

    I do remember fondly my days childhood days eating turkey, but as an adult I see people going through too much stress to present the picture-perfect meals to their families. My greatest triumph was subverting the whole family one year, convincing them that we could be just as thankful having bean burritos together as we could having gobs of gravy and stuffing.

    Anyway, I am thankful to see some tradition continued in our society, to see so many families determined to get together at this time to appreciate each others’ company, whatever we are eating!

    Happy Thanksgiving, folks!