Enjoy a Natural Turkey This Thanksgiving
Posted on Tuesday, November 13th, 2012 at 9:15 am
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, many of us are scrambling to get all of our dinner preparations in place. Of course, the most important errand to take care of before Thanksgiving is buying your turkey.
In recent years, fresh turkeys have gained in popularity. For many under the age of 50, frozen turkey is all they have enjoyed. Fresh turkeys are often organic or free-range. This means that instead of being cooped up in a small space eating a steady diet of corn-based feed, the turkeys had access to open air, room to roam, and at a diet that consisted of a variety of plants. In the cases where the turkeys are marked “organic,” their diet included organic plants, and they were processed in accordance with the organic rules set forth by the USDA. They are also free from hormones or antibiotics.
Fresh turkey isn’t too much different from their frozen counterparts. It has a slightly gamier taste and the texture can be a bit different. Frozen turkeys consumed a corn-based diet prior to being processed, which results meat that tastes sweeter. In some cases, frozen turkeys are injected with fillers or fats for flavor. Both of those factors alter the overall flavor of this Thanksgiving bird. They could also be the enemy if you’re planning a natural or organic holiday meal.
The major benefit to fresh turkey is that it doesn’t need to be defrosted. You just pick it up at the store a day or two before Thanksgiving, cook it up on the big day, and enjoy! Fresh turkey will stay good in your refrigerator for about three days if it’s stored in the coldest area, which is typically on the bottom shelf towards the back. After that, you’re stepping into dangerous territory.
The major disadvantage to fresh turkey is probably the cost. Since organic or free-range birds cost more to raise, consumers are charged a bit more. Try keeping an eye out for an extremely rare sale. You can also budget most of your meal’s budget and research ways to cut back costs on your side dishes. Maybe you could have your guests bring their favorite all-natural dish to the table for a pot luck style Thanksgiving.
Talk to stores in your area to see where you can reserve a fresh turkey to pick up right before, or even on Thanksgiving.