Fresh Meat Trends: Talking Turkey to a New Generation

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Fresh Meat Trends: Talking Turkey to a New Generation

After nearly 30 years of fielding questions from hundreds of thousands of turkey-troubled Americans, the experts at Butterball’s invaluable Turkey Talk-Line are armed and ready to help reach a new generation of cooks prepare one of the most treasured meals of the year with a slew of new tactics.

From “turkey texts” to Twitter, the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line experts will provide new money-saving ideas along with time-honored turkey prep advice when and where cooks need it most. New this year, Thanksgiving cooks can connect with one another on the Butterball Facebook page at or via, for real-time tactical turkey advice.

Consumers can also text the word “turkey” to 36888 from their mobile phones to receive information at their fingertips on topics such as how much turkey to buy, thawing reminders and cooking temperatures through Nov. 30, 2009.

Billing itself as the largest producer of turkey products in the United States, the Garner, N.C.-based Butterball has also stuffed its Web site with a variety of expert turkey advice, promotions, how-to videos, new recipes, leftover ideas and cooking calculators. In addition, five lifestyle bloggers are also posting their own ideas and personal anecdotes on the new blog throughout November, including special tips for first-time Thanksgiving cooks.

As one of the first national, toll-free consumer helplines, Butterball’s Turkey Talk-Line has grown from its original staff of six home economists during its first season in November 1981 to a professionally trained contingent of turkey experts that assists more than 100,000 callers annually in the United States and Canada. With 50-plus staff members, Butterball’s “turkey talkers” are capable of fielding questions from either English- or Spanish-speaking callers, as well as responding to questions via e-mail.

Livingston, Calif.-based Foster Farms’ turkey experts are also armed to help home chefs surmount potential turkey disasters and last-minute questions via its Turkey Helpline, which has also emerged as a trusted resource for consumers throughout the holiday season. On call 24/7 through the end of this month, Teresa Lenz, Foster Farms’ consumer affairs manager, says the company is only too happy to field “any turkey-related question or concern — large or small. We get questions from first-time cooks who may need advice on how much turkey to buy to feed their guests, and from experienced cooks experimenting with new recipes or equipment,” adds Lenz, who has helmed the Turkey Helpline for 15 years.