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Thanksgiving turkey: Light meat or dark? The physiology of the turkey

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The topic of light or dark meat preference of the turkey may seem so unimportant but the fact is that there is a deeper meaning in all things particularly our choices in general.   When I read this article it provided me with some greater insight into why I perhaps make the choice for dark turkey meat!  The point I am making is that we tend to take our actions and common choices for granted yet there is always more to it. Anyway, I am sharing this article with you and perhaps you may very well find it enlightening in some way and not simply related only to your turkey choice but instead more deeply question your likes and dislikes. I like the drumstick and wings, which makes sense to me as I am all about movement, but many people like these parts as well, however for me I can see the relevance based on the understanding provided in the article about the physiology of the turkey!


Thanksgiving turkey: Light meat or dark? By Joshua Selsby, Iowa State University

“What makes dark meat dark?

“Consider first the dark meat, which is found largely in the legs. This type of meat comes from muscles that get lots of use as turkeys spend their time walking around being turkeys.

Muscle physiologists call these sorts of muscles slow twitch or type I muscles. They are also called oxidative muscles, which refers to how they produce adenosine triphosphate, abbreviated as ATP. Think of ATP as a cell’s energy currency for performing a given function. Cells don’t need a job to earn this cash; they simply produce it.

The muscles’ metabolism must be able to support them throughout their long, sustained activities. In this case, because lots of ATP must be produced over extended periods of time, the muscle cells rely on their organelles called mitochondria. The mitochondria are like factories that manufacture ATP.” READ FULL ARTICLE