Carving Up the Cost of Turkey

October 14, 2016: According to a recent study by, approximately 1.78 billion pounds of turkey are wasted at the consumer level every year in the United States. At $1.62 per pound, that’s $2.9 billion worth of uneaten turkey every year. The study highlights these numbers and other turkey statistics and has been released as an infographic along with five tips on how to save money on food preparation all year round.

These numbers might seem staggering, and they are. However, to put them into perspective, one must first look at the total production of turkeys in the United States. 7 billion pounds of turkey are produced nationwide per year, with North Carolina producing 1.1 billion pounds alone. 5 billion pounds of that turkey is eaten by Americans, the rest is exported.

The study also brings to light the fact that Americans don’t eat as much turkey compared to other meats, despite its low cost. To determine why there is such low consumption, raised the question in a survey of America’s top retailers.

48 percent of the respondents reported that their customers found turkeys to be too difficult to store and cook all year round. Approximately 33 percent reported that customers thought turkey to be less flavorful than other meats and 14 percent said they thought of it as a holiday-only food.

According to the National Turkey Federation (NTF), approximately 43 percent of America’s turkeys are eaten during the holidays. 23 percent during Thanksgiving; 11 percent during Christmas and 9.5 percent during Easter.

The most popular holiday for turkey, Thanksgiving, has been celebrated for 234 years as of 2016 according to the Library of Congress. The popularity of the famous bird as a holiday meat may have something to do with its high percentage of protein. Its relatively low cost can serve large groups of people with ease.

The American Farm Bureau estimates that the average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people is $50, or $5 per person. Even organic turkeys, with an average retail price of $4.78 per pound, cost only between $1.02 and $1.66 more than other non-organic meats.

That is to say, in general, eating more turkey saves money.

View the full infographic below and get tips on how to save money on dinner parties at

How to save money on serving up America's favorite bird


To embed the infographic above on your website simply copy and paste the code below:

<p><img src="" title="Carving Up the Cost of Turkey" /></p><p><a href="">Carving up the Cost of Turkey</a></p>

Steve Cuffari

Steve is a writer, researcher and avid traveler from NYC. His favorite products to save money on are travel, food and beverage and tech gear. If you have any questions or suggestions, just email him: