NEW YORK - JULY 02: Former champion Takeru Kobayashi (R) and reigning champion Joey Chestnut look on at the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest official weigh-in ceremony July 2, 2009 in New York City. Chestnut defeated arch rival Kobayashi of Japan in an overtime battle last year by consuming 64 hot dogs. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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Other than Arbor Day, I can’t think of too many holidays where American’s don’t over consume food, drink or both. The Fourth of July is no exception.

While we celebrate the birth of our great nation and appreciate all the blessings bestowed on us we also elevate our caloric intake to record levels.

Here are some Fourth of July food facts to help justify your expanding waistline.

Fun Food Facts For The Fourth

  • July leads that way as the most popular month for hot dogs. In fact it’s designated National Hot Dog Month. We consume about 20 billion tasty dogs each year or about 70 per person.
  • On the Fourth of July Americans will eat enough hot dogs to stretch from LA to Washington, DC more than five times. About 155 million dogs.
  • Iowa is the big winner for most dogs downed in one day. Twenty-five percent of all Iowans put away hot dogs and pork sausages on the 4th in 2008.
  • July is not just hot dogs. In 2007, Texas produced 6.8 billion pounds of beef cattle and calves. Chances are high that your all beef hot dogs, steaks and burgers came from the Lone Start State.
  • Chicken is also high on our menu list for the 4th. Six states, Georgia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas produce the most broiler hens.
  • Can’t have a holiday cookout without beans. North Dakota produces about 39 percent of our dry and edible beans.
  • Corn on the cob is also a summer holiday favorite. Sixty-one percent of your mouthwatering sweet corn comes from Florida, California, Georgia and New York.
  • No 4th bar-b-q would be complete without potato salad and potato chips. You can thank Washington and Idaho who produce half of all the nation’s potatoes.
  • California also produces 75 percent of the lettuce in the US. So the chances are very good your salad or leaf of lettuce on your burger came from the Golden State.
  • California also produces 96 percent of the ketchup consumed on the fourth.
  • After dining on all of the above why not top your meal off with a nice cold slice of watermelon. Florida leads the way in that department weighing in at 861 million pounds.

Some Final Thoughts

The Fourth of July is one of our most historic holidays. Our nation was born on that date and we’ve come a long way since. So while you hit the sales racks, and down those hot dogs and potato salad take a moment to think about what you really have in life.

You enjoy freedoms that exist nowhere else on earth. You have freedom of movement, speech, religion, and entrepreneurship. Many people made the supreme sacrifice to guarantee that you continue to enjoy those freedoms. Take just a moment to appreciate their sacrifice and to appreciate all that you have.

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