Thursday, November 3, 2011

Eco-Tips for Buying a Thanksgiving Turkey - November 2nd, 2011

The countdown for Thanksgiving has begun, and the search for the perfect bird is on. Remember these eco-friendly concerns when picking your perfect turkey.

While some may have friends who shoot and make many delicious meals from one bird during the turkey hunting season, most of us don't hunt for our Thanksgiving turkey, unless you count the hunt for the perfect bird at a farmers market or the grocery store.

Suffice it to say, the Thanksgiving turkey you are likely to track down today in the supermarket is nothing like the wild turkey my friends hunt, and in fact it's quite different from what your grandparents ate 50 years ago. Ninety-nine percent of all turkeys raised in the United States at the present time are the Broadbreasted White variety (sometimes called the Large White). Raised in confinement in extremely crowded conditions on factory farms (PDF), they are fed a steady diet of grain and supplements like antibiotics, rather than the grubs, bugs and grasses they should eat and could eat if they were allowed outdoors.

As their name implies, Broadbreasted White turkeys are valued for their large, meaty breasts, which breeding has enhanced though the process has rendered them virtually infertile. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, without artificial insemination performed by humans, this variety of bird would become extinct in just one generation.

When shopping for turkey, what should you buy?

There is much to consider when looking for the right type of turkey, or any type of poultry. To make the best choice, follow these three simple steps:


Unknown said...

We just ordered our turkey from a local place near my was a little disturbing to see them running around...and further bolstered my son's desire to become a vegetarian! I am with him here... BUT, we are having a gazillion people over here for T-Giving so a turkey had to be ordered! find a roasting pan big enough!!

Mia said...

Not sure if I'm getting one this year. We have friends joining us for Thanksgiving this year so I'm still debating what to make. Most of us don't eat meat so having a turkey will be a waste. It will be tough for me too to see them running around before I walk off with a dead one. :(

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