Why Buy a Local, Pasture-Raised Turkey?

Nov 7, 2019 | Farmer

The Thanksgiving tradition evolved as a time of celebration for the regional harvest. And nothing brings this home more than a local, pasture-raised turkey on the table for your Thanksgiving feast.

Turkey 101

Hyde Park Farmers’ Market producers offer both heritage breeds and broad-breasted birds. Broad-breasted turkeys, as you might guess, have been bred to have more white breast meat. Heritage breeds are the original North American turkeys present at time of the first Thanksgiving. Smaller in weight and possessing more richly-flavored dark meat than industrial-farmed turkeys, these birds are as authentic as it gets.

Thanks to the efforts of small, local farmers, heritage breeds are making a comeback. However, either type of bird purchased from a HPFM producer is guaranteed to have enjoyed the run of summer pastures on our growers’ farms.

Why Buy a Pasture-Raised Turkey?

Here are just a few of the many compelling reasons to buy a locally and responsibly raised turkey from Hyde Park Farmers’ Market:

  • Taste: No turkey tastes better than a pasture-raised one. These birds have pecked all summer long on nourishing green pastures and bugs—their vitality supplemented with non-GMO grains. While able to roam outside, responsibly raised turkeys are guided to new ground every few days to enable a fresh pallet of the food they love to eat. A life of sunshine and pasture grazing promises the most delicious taste on your Thanksgiving table.
    Plus, pasture-raised turkeys ensure one thing: just turkey. Grocery store birds are often injected with “proprietary” (think “unknown”) additives that can amount to over 10% of the bird’s weight.
  • Healthier Choice: Regardless of whether your concern is for Mother Nature, the wellbeing of your bird, or your personal health; a pasture-raised bird checks all the boxes. Proponents of humane husbandry practices say the turkeys have just one bad day.By stark comparison, conventional turkeys live a life of stress. Many are de-beaked and de-toed to accommodate tight living quarters. They are raised in manure-filled confinement. Additionally, the systematic addition of unregulated antibiotics to GMO feed may help prevent bird-disease outbreaks, but it also contributes significantly to the emergence of increased antibiotic resistant bacteria. Concentrated confinement produces environmental degradation due to the massive turkey waste produced. And these negative consequences are just the beginning of the list.Pasture-raised turkeys, on the other hand, deliver wellbeing for all involved. Pasture foraging and non-GMO feed contribute to a nutrient-dense diet and a net positive environmental impact.
  • Builds Community and Supports the Local Economy: Buying a local turkey builds community. The most obvious reason is the economic advantage of keeping money close to home. But local buying has further reaching benefits. Your ability to speak with your farmer is no small gain. A dialog about your food, how it is raised and how to prepare it has endless advantages for those on a personal journey to more conscious eating. There is so much to be learned about the love and care it takes to raise a Thanksgiving bird, and how it all impacts you.

One more reason to buy a turkey from Hyde Park Farmers’ Market? Our farmers will personally thank you!

Looking for a Thanksgiving Turkey?

This year, HPFM are making it easier than ever to bring wholesome, local food to your holiday table. Order your turkey in advance. Pick it up on Turkey Tuesday on Hyde Park Square. Knock out the rest of your shopping by choosing from a wide variety of farm-fresh produce, local meats and prepared foods,