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Watch: How Science Has Evolved the Traditional Thanksgiving Meal

Spoiler: It made it bigger and tastier

When many Americans think of the Thanksgiving feast, oversized turkeys and sides aplenty come to mind. But how did those giant turkeys become so, well, giant? And why have certain fall crops become the traditional Thanksgiving staples? This video explains how human science has shaped the Turkey Day table over the years.

The turkeys that were eaten in the early days of colonial America were much smaller than what you'll find in grocery stores today. But, selectively breeding the largest birds, generation after generation, has resulted in the modern poultry behemoths. Other seasonal foods come with similar stories. For example: Corn was once a scrawny wild grass. The pumpkin, which stars in so many Americans' favorite Thanksgiving dessert, was once a small, bitter squash.

Watch the video above, and get the full story on how the Thanksgiving meal has evolved.

The Surprising Origin of Thanksgiving Foods [YouTube]
All Video Interludes [E]

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