Thanksgiving – turkey or ham?

Gabe Josefowicz, Student Writer

Did you ever wonder why we eat turkey on Thanksgiving? 

Thanksgiving was declared a national holiday in 1863 by president Abraham Lincoln. Since then, Thanksgiving has been celebrated every year in American history.

William Bradford (governor of the Plymouth colony for 30 years, who helped shape and stabilize the political institutions of the first permanent colony in New England) wrote in autumn, of 1621 how the colonists hunted wild turkeys during that season. 

Now besides this write-in from Willaim Bradford, there is no actual data of what was served on the table in 1621 but, on the first holiday of Thanksgiving in 1863, turkey was served. Since then it has just become a tradition. There are some people who think it brings good luck to eat turkey on Thanksgiving.  

Why Ham?

Ham has been gaining popularity on the Thanksgiving dinner table more and more as the years go by. But why? Ham actually has more nutritional value than turkey; it has more protein and fewer calories. Actually, three slices of ham is equal to a slice of a turkey breast without the skin, according to some studies. Some people also just prefer ham because it has more flavor and isn’t as dry as turkey. 

Whatever it is you enjoy as the main course at Thanksgiving, one thing remains certain – Thanksgiving is a time where everyone comes together to enjoy family and friends.