High turkey prices change this year’s Thanksgiving


Callie Kinsinger

Turkey shortages cause high prices, producing the absence of turkey in this year’s Thanksgiving meal. The Avian flu affects not only the staple animal but also family and friends who gather for a shared dinner. Families will unfortunately substitute their turkey for other meats or decide to celebrate in different ways.

Callie Kinsinger, Reporter

For those that celebrate Thanksgiving, the main excitement regarding the holiday revolves around the turkey. Normally, family and friends gather around the table to give thanks while enjoying a delicious turkey, but things might change this year. Numerous families will either end up paying a higher price or not obtaining a turkey at all.

Besides inflation currently raising prices in the United States, Avian influenza becomes at fault for the absence of turkeys this year. The Avian flu affects breeds of turkey as it spreads to commercial and personal farms. Farmers must kill any infected with it because it can spread to humans and mutate, potentially launching into another pandemic. So far, this flu killed 8 million center-staple birds, which officials expect to increase dramatically.

However, a plethora of people decided to use alternatives for their turkeys this year including chicken, steak and pork chops. While others continue on their quest to obtain the traditional turkey-based meal, they have come to the understanding that it will not reach the desired 20 pounds. Not only do these shortages affect Thanksgiving plans, but they hurt sandwich shops, delis and grocery stores.

“It’s gonna be weird if we don’t have a turkey this year because it’s just something that is always there every year. Prices are so high for just a turkey that it’s not even worth it anymore. We will probably use something else for our meal so it’ll be different, but the dinner will still be worthwhile,” sophomore Abby Burgess said.

Additionally, thousands of people hunt their own turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner, but it could become dangerous this year by not knowing which turkeys remain infected. On the other hand, private sellers could potentially gain a substantial amount of profits, for the meager price of selling the limited, healthy turkeys at high prices.

Along with turkey, other vital Thanksgiving ingredients have become beyond difficult to find in grocery stores. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine caused a shortage, already exacerbated through the pandemic to inflate, especially for butter and flour. These ingredients used for baked goods become almost essential in holiday meals, therefore people will resort to stocking up on those needs right now. Stocking up, however, remains not advised as deals will arise, providing opportunities to save money.

“We are still hoping to have a regular Thanksgiving meal. Publix is having a sale on their frozen turkeys, so I’m going to make sure to get it before November 14. We’re also lucky we are having a smaller Thanksgiving group this year so we won’t need to make as much food,” NC parent Chelsey Kinsinger said.

Because of the complications for this year’s Thanksgiving meal, families will resort to either eating out or trying a different style of food; this could cause changes in future influences on Thanksgiving meals, but only time will tell.