Reality set in a couple days ago that Thanksgiving is NEXT week! Tell me I’m not the only one? It feels like November just began, yet my oldest starts his Thanksgiving vacation tomorrow. On the plus side, I’m good on canned pumpkin through the Holidays and beyond. I also know what kind of turkey I’m getting. I haven’t been able to find a local farmer who offers just turkey breast. We don’t like dark meat, so I don’t bother with an entire bird. Last year I discovered Mary’s Turkeys. I got a large bone-in breast and was thrilled with the results. I’m also thrilled that I can enjoy Thanksgiving knowing I’m serving my family a quality, humanely-raised, drug and hormone-free turkey while supporting a farm committed to those standards.
You can find Mary’s Turkeys at Wholefoods along with other humanely-raised turkeys and meat. Here is what a friendly Wholefoods representative had to tell us about their 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Rating program:
“With food in the oven and family around the table, Thanksgiving is the feel-good meal of the year. And this year, it feels even better – because every turkey sold at Whole Foods Market comes from a farm that’s achieved certification to Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Rating program.
The 5-Step system sets base animal welfare standards for turkeys and helps shoppers know exactly what farm management and animal raising practices went into growing the bird for their dinner. At Step 1, turkeys must have ample space to move around, flap their wings, preen and dust bathe. As farms achieve higher ratings, the birds also have environmental enrichments (things to do!), more space indoors, and access to the outdoors where they can forage for insects and native vegetation. Turkeys on farms that have achieved a Step 5+ rating live their whole lives – enrichments, dust baths, foraging and all – on the same farm; they don’t even leave for processing.
In addition, all of Whole Foods Market’s turkeys are raised without antibiotics or animal byproducts in their feed.”
This will be our third Thanksgiving here in Texas. I’ve been throwing some Southwestern touches into some of our Holiday traditions. For New Years Day I made Texas Caviar as our lucky side instead of the plain blackeyed peas I grew up with. I think this Fragrant Roasted Turkey with Chiles and Citrus will make a wonderful new Texas tradition, too. (Recipe courtesy of Wholefoods.)
Also, Wholefoods is giving away a free case of Imagine Broth (ends 11/23/12)! Think of the soups, stews, and sides you could whip up!