What are turkey benefits and side effects? Is turkey vegan? Gluten free? Acidic or alkaline? Low fodmap? Good for you? Healthy? Sustainable? Here are turkey pros and cons: all the info on turkey that every ethical consumer wants to know…
Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on turkey benefits and side effects.
You are going to learn all about turkey benefits and side effects. This will include turkey benefits for your health and potential risks, turkey water footprint and turkey carbon footprint, turkey sustainability, if turkey is vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more.
After learning if turkey are good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be prepared to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.
This post is all about turkey benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.
Turkey Side Effects And Benefits
Turkey side effects may include:
- early menstruation and breast development in young girls (antibiotics)
- antibiotic ingestion and resistance
- blue baby syndrome (processed deli turkey)
- breast cancer (antibiotics)
- cancer (processed meats)
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
- high LDL (bad) cholesterol
- hormone ingestion
- prostate cancer (antibiotics)
- obesity and rapid weight gain
Turkey benefits may include:
- anemia prevention
Additionally, turkey is…
- You Will Love These Turkey-Free Options! ...TOFURKY Roast Vegetarian, 26 OZ
- Amy's Frozen Meals, Veggie Loaf and Organic Mashed Potatoes, Made with Mushrooms and Broccoli, Vegan & Gluten Free, 10 oz.
- Field Roast Celebration Roast Plant-Based Roast with Gravy 2 lb
- Gardein Holiday Plant-Based Roast, Vegan, Frozen, 35.2 oz
- 365 by Whole Foods Market, Roast Plant Based Holiday, 32 Ounce
- Gardein Plant-Based Savory Stuffed Turk'y, Vegan, Frozen, 14.1 oz
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Water footprint: moderate, it takes 4,325 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of turkey meat / 518 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of turkey meat
Carbon footprint: high, 10.9 CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of turkey, a car driving equivalent of 25 miles or 40.25 kilometers
Destruction: high, turkey production is relatively destructive, land usage for pasture, grain and forage, solid waste (excrement/manure) runoff into soil and freshwater, deforestation for feed crops, animal agriculture leading cause of: species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution and habitat destruction, responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction
Kills: turkeys, a type of bird, must be killed in order to produce turkey
Harms: turkeys, legs fail to support the added weight from growth hormones and internal organs are not developed to keep up with the packed on pounds
Indirectly kills or harms: wildlife habitat contamination (water and soil pollution), wildlife habitat destruction (deforestation/land clearing), wolves and coyotes killed to prevent predation on livestock
- Not Vegan
- Harmful to wildlife and ecosystems
Health and safety: hazardous, poultry processing workers have some of the highest rates of occupational injury and illness in the USA, the work environment in processing plants is dirty, dangerous, at times machines that injure workers by crushing, amputating, burning and slicing them, workers use tools such as knives, hooks, scissors, and saws, injuries include cuts, stabs, infections, scars, scratches, missing fingers, swollen joints, working conditions are humid, slippery, loud, hot or below freezing resulting in respiratory problems, skin infections and falls, workers experience, irritating chemicals in poultry plants can cause health issues like chronic respiratory disorders, an average of 27 poultry workers a day suffer from work-related amputations or hospitalizations in the USA
Living conditions: poor, workers must process thousands of animals per day, they are pressured to work as fast as possible, rest breaks and bathroom breaks are discouraged or denied, many workers must wear diapers, they experience stress, physical and emotional pain, at poultry plants line speeds are 140 birds per minute
Wages: low, in the USA poultry workers are poorly compensated and earn under $15 an hour, they are often pushed to work faster so companies can profit more
- Involves worker exploitation, laborer issues, human rights concerns
The United States is the world’s largest turkey producer and largest exporter of turkey products.
The top five turkey-producing states are Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Indian and Missouri.
The world’s top turkey exporter is Germany followed by Poland, the United States, Italy, Spain, Austria, France, Ireland, Hungary, the UK.
Turkey is a good source of protein, Vitamin B6, niacin, selenium, iron, zinc, potassium and phosphorous BUT turkey contains sodium nitrates, antibiotics, hormones, insecticides and pesticides…terrible for your health!
Check out this Vegan Substitutes List to see alternatives for meat, dairy, eggs, fish and more.
Is turkey alkaline or acidic?
Turkey is acidic.
What is the pH level of turkey?
Turkey has a 5.5 pH level once digested. Meat and poultry are acidic food groups.
When you eat food, it is broken down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are found in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.
Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List
Is turkey gluten free?
Possibly. Turkey may or may not be gluten free. Turkey and other cold cuts, lunch meats and processed meats may contain gluten.
While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…
Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include: recurring abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, constipation, tingling, numbness in hands and feet, chronic fatigue, joint pain, unexplained infertility and low bone density (osteopenia or osteoporosis).
There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.
Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List
Is turkey a common food allergen?
No, turkey is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to turkey but it is relatively rare by comparison.
A group of the eight major allergenic foods is often referred to as the Big-8 and includes milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans.
These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.
Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.
Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.
Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List
Is turkey low fodmap?
Yes, turkey is low fodmap, a food that fits into a low fodmap diet.
A low FODMAP diet may help those with bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
It’s all about knowing your body. Observe what works and what doesn’t. You body might even react negatively to a low-FODMAP food simply due to intolerance. Everyone is different! Be mindful and patient. Take time to get to know what’s best for your physical health and overall wellbeing.
See this High FODMAP and Low FODMAP List of Foods
Water footprint of turkey?
Turkey has a relatively moderate water footprint compared to other foods.
It takes 4,325 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of turkey meat / 518 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of turkey meat.
Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?
We must do what we can to conserve fresh water and a major way to reduce needless water consumption is to change the way we eat. That’s not to say we need to reduce our water intake…quite the opposite. It’s important for our health to drink lots of water and eat foods that hydrate. The kind of water conservation we’re talking about here is behind the scenes.
How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?
We need to be aware of “water footprints”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.
Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List
Carbon footprint of turkey?
Turkey has a relatively high carbon footprint compared to other foods.
It takes around 10.9 CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of turkey, a car driving equivalent of 25 miles or 40.25 kilometers.
Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.
When calculating product emissions, some factors that may be included are… farm equipment, animal feed production, hothouses (greenhouses), food processing, packaging, transport, refrigeration, freezing, package waste, and more.
But that’s not all!
It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:
- shopping locally reduces transportation emissions
- food without packaging reduces waste as well as the carbon footprint
- refrigerated and frozen foods increase carbon emissions
- seasonal foods reduce carbon emissions from hothouses (greenhouses)
- growing plant-based foods at home is the most environmentally sustainable method with zero carbon footprint
Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List
Is turkey sustainable?
Turkey production is relatively unsustainable.
A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.
Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.
A 2010 United Nations report said that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world the worst impacts of climate change.
Read more about ‘What Makes Food Sustainable Or Unsustainable?’
Is turkey vegan?
No, turkey is not vegan. Turkey is meat, the product of a turkey, therefore making it an animal-derived food. A turkey must be killed in order to produce turkey.
According to Sentient Media, “more than 200 million land animals are killed for food around the world every day. Including wild-caught and farmed fishes, we get a total closer to 3 billion animals killed daily.”
An estimated 2 million turkeys are killed for food around the world every day.
Animals of factory farms and the livestock industry are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. They’re also injected with growth hormones to become fatter faster and live short lives, being slaughtered as soon as they finish growing and are killed prematurely, well before their natural lifespan.
Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.
Go vegan for animals!
It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.
Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non Vegan Foods List
Does turkey have human rights issues?
At this time there are concerns with poultry production.
It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may come with specific brands.
Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized.
Sadly, many labor concerns exist around the world in both developed and developing countries. We must be vigilant to ensure what we buy is not contributing to industries that are unfair to their valuable workers. Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death!
Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation.
Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards.
We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade.
Be sure to read up on this list of ‘Foods You Should Always Buy Fair Trade‘
This post was all about turkey side effects.
Turkey | USDA Foreign Agricultural Service
Agricultural marketing resource center: turkey
Turkey, whole, breast, meat only, raw – FoodData Central
Human rights watch: “When We’re Dead and Buried, Our Bones Will Keep Hurting” Workers’ Rights Under Threat in US Meat and Poultry Plants
Adriane MarieHi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.
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