Big-Breasted Turkeys Can't Have Sex

Gorged to the gills, turkeys must do the deed through artificial insemination.

Megan is a sucker for sustainable agriculture and a good farmers market, she likes writing about food almost as much as eating it.

Americans love breasts. The bigger the better.

When it comes to food, the lust for bust doesn't diminish. Thanks to Americans' healthy appetite for white breast meat, nearly 100 percent of the 40 million turkeys consumed this month have breasts too big to allow them to copulate.

That's good news for the average Joe with an appetite for all things factory food. But for the turkeys themselves, it means no natural sex for the bloated fowl.

Instead, turkeys must be assisted in their love tango by humans, Steve Dubner told Marketplace this week.

"A team of workers has to pick up each male breeder, the tom, which might weigh as much as 70 pounds, secure his contribution—as they call it in the trade—and then bring that to the hen house to inseminate each hen, " he said.

According to Grist, Americans love turkey so much that the process of insemination is happening once a week for five or six months out of every year.

Keep your big-boobed bimbo fowls, factory farms. We'd rather shell out for a heritage bird.

*Editor's Note: This post originally attributed the turkey's big breasts to growth hormones. The mistake has been corrected. Growth is due to selective breeding.

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