Can a decades-old turkey line teach us about human communication?
And if you need a little help with your holiday meal, Butterball’s Turkey Talk-Line has been available to answer your calls since 1981.
“No matter which cooking method you choose, you want to make sure your best friend at Thanksgiving is your meat thermometer,” says Nicole Johnson, director of the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line.
Calligraphy experts say they answer nearly 100,000 questions every year. Questions like how to defrost a turkey and what to do if your oven stops working.
The Talk-Line program starts at the beginning of November, and dozens of experts man the phones over Christmas. But in the age of the Internet, the traditional phone call isn’t the only way to get help with the holiday meal.
“We are also available via text, which is convenient these times, and chatting via email via social media,” says Samantha Wolfe, Butterball Turkey Talk-Line Expert.
The holidays, for many, are about community. Which is something that turkey experts say has kept the conversation going all these years.
See more: It may be time to thaw your Thanksgiving turkey
“Our brains are wired for social connection,” says counseling psychology professor Dr. Tim Smith.
According to Nicole Johnson, Butterball conducted a survey and found that 20% of people celebrate Thanksgiving alone or don’t celebrate it at all.
A lack of social contact can have devastating effects, with some doctors likening the health impact to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Earlier this year, the US Surgeon General described loneliness as an epidemic.
“There are things we can do that increase our connection with others,” says Dr. Tim Smith, a professor at Brigham Young University. “And it takes time and it takes effort, just like stopping smoking takes time and takes effort.” .
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says some of the health problems associated with loneliness include an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia and premature death.
“Part of the secret here is to create community wherever we go,” says Dr. Tim Smith.
This sense of community is also important to Talk-Line experts.
“We actually love doing our job here. You know, if we didn’t love this job, we wouldn’t do it. We’re all here on Thanksgiving Day,” says Bill Nolan of the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line. supervisor.
If you need any help with holiday cooking, the Talk-Line number is 1-800-BUTTERBALL.
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