[social_buttons]There’s a lot of strutting and posturing going on right now, which makes me think of turkeys…
For a serious foodie, it’s never too early to start planning Thanksgiving dinner.
Deciding what kind of turkey to serve is a key piece in that plan.
Here’s a quick guide to your turkey choices, and even a home-delivered organic turkey dinner option…
Should you buy an organic turkey?
Should you buy a free range turkey? A heritage turkey? What’s it all mean?
Organic turkey: Turkeys labeled as organic are fed with only certified organic feed, and raised using no antibiotics, synthetic hormones or pesticides. No GMOs are permitted in their food, and cloned livestock are not permitted. Turkeys must have access to the outdoors – fresh air and sunshine… Certified organic turkeys also have a good audit trail and traceability, making for a safer product.
Free range turkey: A free range turkey should have be raised with free access to the outdoors, but regulations are not specific as to how free… Because of the vagueness of the free range regulations, a new term has been coined: pastured turkeys. Pastured turkeys are raised almost entirely on fresh green pasture, giving them a more natural feel and flavor, and are truly cage-free.
Heritage turkey: Heritage turkeys are the descendants of wild turkey breeds that differ greatly from a mass-produced factory-farm turkey. Once on the verge of disappearing, heritage turkeys are now making a comeback. A true heritage turkey is reproduced and genetically maintained through self-breeding. They have a long productive lifespan, and a slower rate of growth.
Online resources for organic, free-range, and heritage turkeys:
- Blackwing Meats
- Organic Prairie
- Mary’s Free Range Turkeys
- Diamond Organics
- Diestel Turkey Ranch
- Heritage Foods
- Grass Fed Traditions Pastured Turkeys
Finding a local turkey source is the best bet for freshness and price. Many local turkey producers may raise them organically, but not get certified because of cost. Some CSA farms and food co-ops will pre-order local turkeys for their members.
And now here’s what you’ve been waiting for, the home delivered organic Thanksgiving dinner:
This year, those in the San Diego area can choose a fully cooked organic turkey dinner with stuffing, gravy, vegetables, potatoes, and dessert for 10 people, delivered to their house. Elijah’s Restaurant and Catering is taking orders now, for only $99.95.
Image: D’Arcy Norman at Flickr under Creative Commons License