Gray Wolf Protections, Turkey 101, Closed Stores On Black Friday

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Shopping season is right around the corner, but some major retailers are forgoing Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday sales. A retail expert explains why some businesses are bucking the holiday trends. We also get a primer on the history and tradition of eating turkey for Thanksgiving, and look at the debate over federal protections for gray wolves in the Great Lakes region.

Featured in this Show

  • Get A Brief History Of Thanksgiving Turkey

    Like many of the foods Americans eat at Thanksgiving, the variety of turkey we eat these days is a far cry from what early North American settlers might have eaten in the 1600s

    Just taking a look back half a century, the average Thanksgiving turkey weighed 16 pounds, according to “Wisconsin Foodie” host Kyle Cherek. Today, the average is 30 pounds.

    “It would not be wrong to call them pathologically obese, the birds that we are now eating on Thanksgiving,” said Cherek. “The ones that are bread are hybrids of a couple of different breads and they are bread to have huge breast meat and predominantly white meat, because that’s what the American consumer cared for.”

    Turkeys of the past, however, were still larger than the average bird, which is how they became synonymous with feast.

    “By the time that we get to the early 1700s in America, the turkey had basically become the bird of celebration and large feasts because it was this great domesticated bird and it had more yield in meat than pretty much anything else northern Europe really had,” said Cherek.

    Turkeys are native to North America, but the settlers would have already been familiar with the bird as they had been brought back to Europe and the Middle East by the Spanish conquistadors.

    While today we generally oven roast the bird, settlers were likely to have treated it more like a barbeque.

    “The way that a turkey would have been cooked through much of the celebration would have probably been on a spit,” said Cherek. “Slow and low like barbeque.”

    According to Cherek, the birds of the past had more dark meat and might be more akin to the free-range turkeys on the market today.

  • In Open Letter, Some Scientists Argue In Favor Of Continued Federal Gray Wolf Protections

    A renewed debate is taking place this month over whether or not gray wolves in the Great Lakes region should remain on the federal endangered species list. A scientist who signed onto a recent letter, arguing for the protections, explains why he thinks the time isn’t right for delisting.

  • Turkey 101

    The host of “Wisconsin Foodie” joins us for a brief history of the turkey, a look at this year’s prices and a few suggestions for how to cook a tasty turkey.

  • How Black Friday And Holiday Shopping Have Changed This Year

    The day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday, when shopping deals are abundant. But this year some retailers, including REI and MadCat, have announced they will be closed on Black Friday. We talk to a retail expert about changing holiday shopping trends. Then we ask you if you’re planning to shop on Black Friday.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Kyle Cherek Guest
  • John Vucetich Guest
  • John Talbott Guest
  • Chris Malina Producer
  • Veronica Rueckert Producer
  • Amanda Magnus Producer

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