The turkey branderiast: the false identity of the best fake meat


Before we start with the turkey branderiast, we can’t pretend there aren’t a few turkey burgers floating around out there, eating us alive. The idea is ridiculous: turkey is known for being able to boost your memory and attention. But just what does the turkey branderiast have in common with a turkey burger? The answer is buried deep in your DNA.

According to the fact-checking site Snopes, the label is merely a lot of malarkey, and not at all a useful description. Nearly all meat products which identify themselves as “beef” (or “partridge” or “springbok”) come from chickens. However, the distinction is nothing more than a mere courtesy, as chickens have nothing to do with turkey. No other real-life meat comes from chickens, but that hasn’t stopped a land of poultry from sticking its chest out and referring to the avian relatives as cows.

Granted, some (like Nasa and the US Centres for Disease Control) do consider chickens to be dairy cows, though this is generally frowned upon. So why the turkey branderiast?

DID YOU KNOW: Turkey and mice share the secret to a long, healthy life?

Burma’s quarter million turkeys and black and white “miracle chickens” are raised for meat and eggs – essentially free-range domesticated poultry, though whether that includes turkey remains unclear. Any meat from these chickens will probably not be equivalent to that of a real “beef” burger, though the study conducted by Penn State University claims that it’s possible. “We’re giving them a lot of conventional nutritional benefits such as Omega-3 fatty acids and hormones,” said Jim Donovan, the study’s senior author. “The feed they receive contains no cholesterol and no antibiotics.”

His results, though not yet published, also claim that the chickens live longer and thinner than those raised as conventional chickens. Yet another piece of “fake” meat, to be sure.


Got beef / partridge / fowl on your mind? Think again. Fowl poultry and even “meat” goats like petrel, osprey and vultures are far more complicated to produce than one might think. Though it would be a lot easier to name time.

Snopes also points out that a simple experiment to give mice muscle mass or body mass is impossible, even if they’re just mice. “Scientists have tried this in labs and haven’t been able to formulate the exact amount of amino acids necessary for the mouse to survive a full, pound-per-day diet,” the fact-checking site explained. “Even if they could find the right amount, the mice could consume this amount and still be subjected to disease.”

The full story from Snopes (and unfortunately, there’s not much else there) is well worth a read.


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