I’ve gotten a lot of emails lately asking the best place to find organic, free-range turkey’s for Thanksgiving. There are several options and I’m listing them in order of my preference:
Find a Local One From A Farmer
This is by far my favorite option and what we do. The only problem is that it is often difficult to find a farmer with truly free range turkeys and they often have already pre-sold them by this time of year. Also, most farmers ask customers to pre-order in the spring when they hatch the turkey’s so for most, it is too late to buy one. If you can find one this way, it is definitely preferable though.
Buy One From A Local Grocery Store
If you can’t get one from a local farmer in your area, sometimes regular grocery stores carry them. I’ve seen a couple here at different times, though the prices can sometimes be incredibly high. This is probably the second easiest option if your store has them. The only caution here is that many organic turkeys labeled organic have just been fed organic feed but are not truly free range. Still a better option, but no where near the nutrients of truly free range turkeys.
Order One Online
I have done this in the past from companies I trust and have been impressed with them. US Wellness Meats (where I get organ meats also) has several sizes of turkey and their quality is great. They are definitely more expensive than a conventional turkey, but if you use all of the turkey and then make stock with the bones, you will probably get more nutrients per dollar (though I have no way to test this theory!)
Both of these options are pretty pricey, but the quality is good. If you do order from either of them, I’d definitely encourage making the most of your turkey by having a lot of healthy sides and using the bones and other parts. Stay tuned for posts on that soon!
Do you worry about organic/free range, or do you think an un-pastured bird is the least of the dietary evils?