ALL ABOUT THAT BASTE

When it comes to picking out the perfect Thanksgiving turkey, choose wisely my friend. Labels that read "hormone-free" or "all-natural" mean diddly-squat. (Each and every turkey sold in US supermarkets has to be hormone- and steroid-free.) The label "certified organic", on the other hand, is worth noting. Organic turkeys are cage-free and antibiotic-free. They have access to pasture, sunlight, and outdoor space. And they are raised in a "stress-relieving environment" (sounds nice). It's best to opt for smaller turkeys (since gargantuan birds can dry out or cook unevenly) and fresh rather than frozen turkeys (since frozen birds can lose their "interior liquids"...not good).

Once you choose your bird, bring it home to Ma, and prep it for roasting, you could remove the wishbone. Seems a little tedious, but removing the wishbone supposedly makes it easier to carve the bird after it cooks. And also, you get a wishbone!

If you feel sleepy post-turkey, don't blame the bird. Turkey does contain tryptophan (an amino acid used to produce the neurotransmitter serotonin). But so does cheddar cheese. And all meats for that matter. Turkey Day drowsiness is likely caused by binge eating tons of carbs (dun dun dunnnn), which causes a surge of insulin and subsequent serotonin production.

When the Thanksgiving dinner table convo gets awkward or super-political, consider these science-themed converstation starters. (Pigeons can identify malignant tumors - what?!) Alternatively, you could express your gratitude to your friends and family? As it turns out, giving thanks may actually decrease stress, lower your blood pressure (?), and strengthen your immune system! Thank you, Turkey Day.

© 2017 by A LADY IN A LAB COAT

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