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Talking Turkey

If you think that turkeys don't get much love for most of the year, your suspicions would be entirely correct.

According to Darren Ferrence, the Chair of the Turkey Farmers of Canada, an astounding 77 percent of whole turkey sales come during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. While Christmas is still the Gobbler King, at 41 percent (roughly 2.9 million whole turkeys sold in Canada), Thanksgiving isn't too far behind, sitting at 36 percent (2.5 million).

But while Easter sees a bit of uptake, it would seem that for the rest of the year whole turkeys just don't jive for the majority of Canadians.

Ferrence, who is also a turkey farmer in his own right, says that sales have been fairly steady overall, with a new recent dip in the last couple of years that he attributes to changing habits and family dynamics.

"That number has been fairly steady overall. It has had some slight decline in the last few years as people change to either smaller turkeys or there is some movement to a turkey roast, which is a wrapped white meat product. So there is a little bit of changing as we move into smaller families."

Perhaps busier families mean less time to roast, leading to more families turning to easier solutions while still maintaining the traditional turkey dinner to some extent.

For those who eschew such "modern" conveniences, Ferrence adds that in the modern grocery store, picking the best turkey has never been easier.

"All turkeys in the grocery store are going to be a great choice. They're all grade-A turkeys. Most of our off-grade turkeys now are cut up and put into further processed products. So any choice you have will be good.  Choose one that you would like from either regular frozen bird or some of them that are preseasoned or pre-stuffed."

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