Thanksgiving 2011 Myths and Facts
Before the big dinner, debunk the myths—for starters, the first "real" Thanksgiving wasn't until the 1800s—and get to the roots of Thanksgiving 2011.
Key to any Thanksgiving Day menu are a fat turkey and cranberry sauce.
An estimated 248 million turkeys will be raised for slaughter in the U.S. during 2011, up 2 percent from 2010's total, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Last year's birds were worth about U.S. $4.37 billion.
About 46 million turkeys ended up on U.S. dinner tables last Thanksgiving—or about 736 million pounds (334 million kilograms) of turkey meat, according to estimates from the National Turkey Federation. (See the Green Guide's suggestions for having a greener—and more grateful—Thanksgiving.)
Minnesota is the United States' top turkey-producing state, followed by North Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri, Virginia, and Indiana.
These "big six" states produce