By Fredrica Syren:
In most households, a turkey is the centerpiece at the Thanksgiving meal. And there may be no better time than the harvest season to make the statement that you believe in serving good quality, fresh food to your family.
Better still, you can do so by supporting local farmers and the environment. Taking the time to buy locally produced food has positive benefits for your community. This is why I was so excited to see that you can order a Thanksgiving turkey at the farmers market here in San Diego.
People ask me why buying a turkey from the store is a bad idea. I always tell them that where turkeys come from matters to your family’s health and the local economic impact. Commercial turkeys in the market today first suffer through genetic manipulation, poor living conditions, transportation and, lastly, often painful and prolonged slaughter before they are brought to the table. These turkeys have been injected with hormones to make them grow faster and bigger. They also have been given antibiotics as a preventive measure against disease, as well as other drugs to keep them alive. This is why an organic turkey raised free range on a small farm usually is smaller than a factory farmed one. It’s how a healthy and normal turkey is supposed to look.
Unfortunately, catering to consumer tastes has come at the animals’ expense, with the birds living painful lives with bodies too big for their legs and organs. All those hormones pumped into their bodies are also not the best for your family’s consumption. Find a local farm near you:http://www.localharvest.org/
Reasons for buying a locally raised turkey this year:
- Freshness –Commercial turkeys are simply slaughtered and cleaned, then flash frozen. Commercial turkeys are typically slaughtered in July or August.
- Humanely Raised – A healthy turkey is raised to live and breed on its own instead of being cooped up in a shed, with no room to walk or forage.
- Flavor – Farm raised turkeys simply taste better because there are no chemicals or preservatives to interfere with the true taste of the turkey.
- Support Local Farmers – The more demand for local food there is, the more this business will grow.