As Thanksgiving approaches, it’s time to start talking turkey. Do you know where your Thanksgiving bird is coming from? Here are five great reasons to choose a pastured turkey from a local farmer this Thanksgiving.
1) The Thanksgiving holiday is a great time show support for local farmers. Farmers like our clients, Sarah and Aurelio Lopez of Fiesta Farm, pour their heart and soul into raising poultry sustainably. This is incredibly demanding work in more ways than one - small scale farmers, who work hard to care for their birds in the most humane and environmentally friendly way possible, often have trouble competing with larger, more industrial producers. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to vote with your dollars and support local farmers raising animals in a way that aligns with your values.
2) You are buying a turkey that actually got to be a turkey. Most conventionally raised turkeys live out their lives indoors in confined conditions. In contrast, the turkeys raised by small farmers like Sarah and Aurelio spend their lives just how nature intended - on pasture with access to plenty of grass, sunshine and bugs.
3) If you choose a heritage breed turkey, you are helping to preserve a rare species. The vast majority of turkeys raised in the US are the typical Broad Breasted White variety you find in the supermarket. In contrast, many local farmers are raising heritage breeds that are slower growing and have a longer lifespan, such as the Black, Bronze, and Bourbon Red. By buying a heritage breed turkey, you are helping to ensure the continuation of these beautiful and genetically diverse species.
4) If you choose a heritage breed from a local farmer, you are purchasing a tastier turkey. Check out the results of this blind taste test done by the culinary gurus at Bon Appétit.
5) A special celebration calls for a special meal. It’s true that pastured turkeys do cost more. However, as Elizabeth Gunnison puts it here, "Thanksgiving is a symbolic holiday, a time when it makes more sense than ever to be mindful of the environmental and moral issues that come along with eating. It’s as good a day as any to ask yourself 'Should turkey really cost just $2 a pound?'"
Interested in a local, pastured turkey for your Thanksgiving feast? Our clients Sarah and Aurelio of Fiesta Farm have a limited number of "non-guaranteed" spots for Bourbon Red Heritage Turkeys still available. You can contact Sarah directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. Alternatively, you can purchase a Bronze Heritage Turkey from Dede and the folks at Root Down Farm in Pescadero. More details here.