Turkey Doesn't Make You Sleepy and 5 Other Myths About Turkey (Slideshow)

For such a popular holiday, Thanksgiving is surprisingly misunderstood

A National Bird


It was long thought that Benjamin Franklin actually proposed that our national bird should be the wild turkey. But in truth, all he was quoted as saying was that he found the turkey to be a "much more respectable bird" than the bald eagle. 

Stuffing the Turkey


Some believe the best way to cook a turkey is to stuff it while it roasts. But this might prove to be more dangerous than delicious. Many people believe that putting stuffing in the Thanksgiving bird creates a breeding ground for bacteria, and they aren’t entirely wrong. If you are going to stuff your turkey, make sure you do so just before cooking, and use a food thermometer to make sure the turkey reaches a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Turkeys Drown in the Rain?


Common belief is that a baby turkey will drown while looking up at a raining sky. What kills young turkeys in this situation isn’t the rain, but the fact that they cannot maintain their body temperature during inclement weather at such a young age because of their lack of feathers.

They Sleep in Trees...


Which also means they can fly! Although many think that turkeys spend their lives on the ground, despite their large size wild turkeys like to perch high up in the trees to keep away from predators and even have a calling pattern that allows them to check up on each other in the morning.

You Have to Baste the Turkey

flickr/Great British Chefs

Actually, this little tidbit of info is false, according to Butterball. With an emphatic "no," they claim that basting the turkey is actually unnecessary and will not make your turkey any juicier. In fact, the constant opening and closing of the oven will potentially just make your oven cool down and prolong roasting time. 

Turkey Makes You Sleepy


There has always been a debate surrounding this issue. The fact is that yes, turkeys do have an amino acid called tryptophan that acts as a sedative. However, tryptophan takes its effects better on an empty stomach, and with all of the food Thanksgiving entails, there's little likelihood of it actually making you sleepy. So why do you feel sluggish after the Thanksgiving feast? That's probably due to the thousands of calories you just consumed… 


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