Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Buying A Thanksgiving Bird? Think Sustainable

Reaching for a frozen bird at the local market? Think again -- sustainable varieties of turkey are likely near where you are.

heritage turkey

Photo: Curt Gibbs (Flickr)

Taste tests have pointed to heritage turkeys as the better tasting Thanksgiving bird.

Sustainable Season

November is in full swing, and it’s time to talk turkey — sustainable turkey, that is.

Pasture-raised or heritage turkeys are not only sustainable but also tastier than their conventional counterparts.

And how about this — the traditional Thanksgiving bird often found in supermarkets also can’t reproduce. Heritage varieties can, naturally.

Various regional farms have sustainable turkeys — check for your local farmers market using the USDA website, or see the Heritage Foods USA website for mail-order.

Turkey Farming

Is ordering a sustainable turkey not enough for you? Trying farming your own!

Josh and Alisha Weiser embraced the slow food movement so much that they wanted to grow their own food. They began raising turkeys earlier this year, including the heritage variety.

Alisha Weiser says getting a tasty bird for Thanksgiving involves more than just seasoning it properly before sticking it in the oven:

We’ve learned from experience that a good-tasting turkey on Thanksgiving is the result of ‘resting’ the meat after it is butchered and before it is cooked. We often put the butchered and cleaned birds in the refrigerator in sealed bags for several days before selling them or cooking them.

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Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Bloomington, Indiana. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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