• Tim

HOW MUCH HUMAN? Theoretical weight gained from: THANKSGIVING TURKEY, 2020

Before this column earns the reputation of pure sh*tposting to bring down the food industry's mustache-twirling profit hogs (I'd be honored if that's the takeaway after only 2 entries!), I'd like to take the opportunity to show you a different side; how much potential muscle mass Americans could pack on with the turkey protein eaten over a single Thanksgiving. We'll also take a look at the global projection of turkey mass for 2025!


The results of this quick photoshop job were much more disturbing than previously thought.


The Roadmap


The #'s


According to the straightforwardly named organization—The National Turkey Federation—approximately 46 million turkeys are sold in the US each Thanksgiving week alone, with the average weight being 15 lbs (6.80389 kg). And since I'm a child of the We Are The World Era, we'll also take a peek at the potential muscle gain globally in 2025, as predicted by Indexbox to be 6.7 million tons.


What I imagine a Turkey Federation to actually be. The humans are private guards and translators, FYI.

The NUTRITION


Let's break it down:


  • 84 grams contains 61% of the DV for vitamin B3 (niacin), 49% for vitamin B6 F(pyridoxine), and 29% for vitamin B12 (cobalamin).

  • Niacin—important for efficient energy production and cell communication

  • Pyridoxine—supports amino acid formation and helps produce neurotransmitters

  • Cobalamin—vital for DNA production and the formation of red blood cells

  • folate and vitamins B1 (thiamine) and B2 (riboflavin)

  • Selenium—helps produce thyroid hormones which regulate metabolism and growth rate

  • Zinc—needed for important bodily processes supporting gene expression, protein synthesis, and enzyme reactions

  • Phosphorus—vital to bone health

  • bit of Magnesium

  • dash of Potassium

This is already much happier news than the Skittles numbers. Just be aware of the benefits of turkey meat vs. processed turkey products. Once it passes through any kind of processing nightmare, you're looking at high amounts of sodium, flavor enhancers, and preservatives. Go for the raw deal.


As for protein, it's a bit tricky. It looks something like this per ounce (28 grams) (source):


  • Breast: 8 g

  • Wing: 9 g

  • Leg: 8 g

  • Thigh: 8 g

Average: 8.25 grams of protein per ounce (28 grams) of turkey meat.


The FORMULA


ounces in pound X grams or protein per turkey oz = grams of protein per pound

1 lb = 16 oz

16 x 8.25 = 132 g

Wowzers, OK.

grams per pound X lbs per ton = grams per ton

132 X 2,000 = 264,000 grams per ton


Now here's where it gets tricky. Muscle building is the result of exercise and protein intake that varies from person to person. My research led me to this from :


In humans, the ingestion of leucine alone has been shown to stimulate an increased response of MPS at rest (Wilkinson et al., 2013). Moreover, enriching a “suboptimal” 6.25 g dose of intact protein with additional leucine has been shown to increase the response of MPS equivalent to an “optimal” 25 g protein dose at rest (Churchward-Venne et al., 2012). However, studies investigating, the influence of leucine co-ingestion with EAA (Glynn et al., 2010), or intact protein (Koopman et al., 2005, 2006, 2008; Tipton et al., 2009; Wall et al., 2013) on the stimulation of MPS in young men report equivocal results. Whereas, the addition of leucine to whey protein failed to enhance the post-exercise response of MPS (Koopman et al., 2005, 2008; Tipton et al., 2009), adding leucine to a casein protein source was shown to increase the resting postprandial stimulation of MPS (Wall et al., 2013). While the response of MPS to leucine provision, with or without an intact protein source, is well-characterized, to our knowledge no study has successfully determined the response of MPS to the independent ingestion all three BCAAs (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) combined (i.e., without concurrent ingestion of intact protein or other macronutrients) following resistance exercise.

And this is where I have to say that I haven't found a way to convert turkey protein to human muscle yet. But I'm determined to find something close. In the meantime, let's just take a look into the fat thing!


We'll just look at the fat content of the turkey, since a lot of the calories it contains are from other nutrients like protein. Just a reminder that I'm not demonizing fat. It's delicious and our bodies need it. This isn't candy we're talking about. So this one is just for fun.


Let's include the skin this time and average out the fat per 3.5 oz serving (source):


Calories Fat Protein

Breast with skin 194 8 grams 29 grams

Breast w/o skin 161 4 grams 30 grams

Wing w/skin 238 13 grams 27 grams

Leg w/skin 213 11 grams 28 grams

Dark meat w/skin 232 13 grams 27 grams

Dark meat w/o skin 192 8 grams 28 grams

Skin only 482 44 grams 19 grams


Total 501 grams

/ 7

_________

13.2 grams


That's considerably higher than the general 8.4 grams of fat per serving that is used in general. I'm going to assume that the skin is throwing it off since there is much less skin to meat in a turkey (usually...I hope...). So let's go with the 8.4 and the USDA recommendation of 1 lb of turkey per person.


Where one gram of fat equals 9 calories;

One serving of turkey is 3.5 oz (100 grams);

One serving contains 8.4 grams of fat;

3,500 calories make one pound of human fat;

One pound of turkey equals 4.571428571428571 servings (round to 4.58);


FAT CALORIES PER SERVING

8.4 X 9 = 75.6


FAT CALORIES PER POUND

75.6 X 4.58 = 346.248


POUNDS OF TURKEYS SOLD FOR THANKSGIVING

46 million turkeys x 15 lbs average weight = 690,000,000


FAT CALORIES IN TONS OF TURKEYS SOLD FOR THANKSGIVING

346.248 X 690,000,000 = 238,911,120,000


POUNDS OF HUMAN WEIGHT FROM FAT CALORIES

238,911,120,000 ÷ 3,500 = 68,260,320


68,260,320 lbs Theoretical Human Weight Gained

by Americans from Turkey fat each Thanksgiving

And quickly (because I haven't yet succeeded with the muscle thing) let's take a look at the 6.7 TONS annual global consumption predicted by 2025.


6.7 tons X 2,000 lbs = 13,400,000,000 lbs


FAT CALORIES PER SERVING

8.4 X 9 = 75.6


FAT CALORIES PER POUND

75.6 X 4.58 = 346.248


POUNDS OF TURKEYS PREDICTED TO BE CONSUMED GLOBALLY BY 2025

6.7 tons X 2,000 lbs = 13,400,000,000 lbs


FAT CALORIES IN TONS OF TURKEYS SOLD GLOBALLY (PREDICTED)

346.248 X 13,400,000,000 = 4,639,723,200,000


POUNDS OF HUMAN WEIGHT FROM FAT CALORIES

4,639,723,200,000 ÷ 3,500 = 1,325,635,200


1,325,635,200 lbs Theoretical Human Weight Gained

Globally from Turkey fat each year by 2025



Where is Richard Simmons when you need him? Keep moving, friends.


Oh, there he is.

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