Turkey prices have dropped in part because the avian flu hasn’t hit as hard in 2023 as in the previous year.
This Thanksgiving, the Los Angeles Times tried to persuade its readership to choose plant-based alternatives to the traditional turkey dinner.
The publication featured an op-ed by Gene Baur, the president and co-founder of the farm animal sanctuary and advocacy organization Farm Sanctuary.
We can opt out of supporting such needless suffering by putting compassion for animals, people and the planet at the center of our holiday celebrations.
At Farm Sanctuary, we turn the tables on the Thanksgiving season, and encourage people to adopt a turkey rather than eat one. We honor and recognize these much-maligned individuals each year with our Celebration for the Turkeys, where rescued turkeys at our sanctuaries near Los Angeles and New York are guests of honor, not the main course, at a holiday feast.
Of course, not all of us will welcome turkeys to our table — but we can easily leave them off our plates. By choosing a plant-based Thanksgiving meal, we can combat cruelty and embrace a better holiday.
As I have noted previously, animal protein is better absorbed and utilized than plant protein for humans. There is no rationale to support excising meat from human diets unless the agenda is not to support humanity. I, for one, will totally enjoy my turkey dinner this Thursday.
Interestingly, it is being reported that the price of turkey has dropped substantially.
“There’s been a big collapse in retail prices for turkey,” said Michael Swanson, chief agriculture economist with Wells Fargo Agri-Food Institute.
“Because turkey prices are down so much, and that’s the centerpiece of the meal, celebrating Thanksgiving at home will be more advantageous this year for families,” he said.
Store prices for the 10-to 15-pound turkey, typically the star of the holiday dinner, have dropped 13% in October compared to the same month last year, said Swanson.
… But the big drop in price isn’t related to anything nefarious. It’s the American tradition of supply and demand, and this year, there are just way too many birds.
At the farm level, Swanson said the industry in July added 2% to 3% additional birds into the barn to keep the supply robust for Thanksgiving. On top of boosting supply, he said other factors helping to reduce the price per pound of turkey include a drop in input costs such as the cost of refrigerated trucks to move supply around the country.
Another reason turkey prices have dropped is that this year’s battle with avian flu hasn’t been as last year, and many turkey farms bred extra in case the virus hit hard in 2023.
“Last year, avian influenza devastated our industry, we lost six to seven million turkeys,” said Heidi Diestel of Diestel Turkey Ranch in Jamestown, California. Her family raises up to 300,000 turkeys a year for higher-end customers who shop in stores like Whole Foods.
As we spoke this week in one of her barns housing hundreds of large tom turkeys — often gobbling in unison — she told me that last year’s flu infected some of her family’s flock.
“We had to kill some birds, unfortunately,” she said.
So her farm, like many other turkey operations, raised a lot of extra turkeys this year to beef up supplies. They did it in case there was another round of the flu. But the avian flu this year hasn’t been too bad — at least not yet — so farmers are stuck with an abundance of birds. “We’re heavy on supply,” Diestel said.
Of course, price comparisons are relative.
This is nothing to brag about! Still MUCH worse than Trump’s economy👌🏽Turkey prices shot up 50% between 2020 and 2022 – though they remain 30% higher than 2019, before the pandemic, which many consider a baseline. https://t.co/Kq4lQoQYvp
— Gretchen Smith🇺🇸🇮🇱 (@MAGAgpsmith) November 17, 2023
I am very grateful for my in-laws hosting the annual Thanksgiving Dinner. I hate to cook. I am bringing a pie made according to the family recipe handed down by Aunt Sara Lee.DONATE
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