This Year be Thankful for Healthy, Pasture-raised Turkeys

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Key Facts At a Glance

pasture-raised turkeys contain:

  • No Arsenic
  • No bacterial contaminants such as Staph or E Coli
  • No growth hormones, antibiotics or steroids
  • Extra Omega-3’s (good fatty acids)
  • 3 to 5 times more CLA (conjugated linolenic acid – another type of good fat)
  • Higher levels of Vitamin E
  • Lower amounts of fat and calories (including Saturated fats linked with heart disease)

As September rolls in, it’s almost that time of year again. Halloween candy is covering the stores; the nights are getting cooler; and people are starting to dream of cranberry sauce, grandma’s pumpkin pie, and the big one.. turkey. Every year, I spend the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving thinking about new recipes and how I want to prepare my turkey on the big day but never actually consider the quality of the bird itself. This year, think twice before purchasing the turkeys on sale at your local grocery store, and buy a local pasture-raised turkey from us!

While the turkeys at your local grocery store won’t break the bank, they could be hurting your health more than you realize. In a research study conducted in 2008, it was noted that a high number of large-scale poultry producers have added small amounts of arsenic to their feed since the 1960‘s in an attempt to speed up the growth of the birds, kill bacteria and make their breast meat pinker. This is problematic because in recent years, arsenic has been closely linked to a process called “angiogenesis” that increases a person’s risk of cancer. While the USDA mandates that the levels be smaller than 0.5 parts of arsenic per million who wants any percentage of arsenic on their Thanksgiving dinner plate?

Another study conducted in 2011 and published in the journal “Clinical Infectious Diseases” found that 47% of the meat and poultry sold in the U.S. contains the bacteria “staphylococcus aureus” commonly known as Staph. This bacterial presence is attributed to America’s “densely stocked industrial farms that are ideal breeding grounds for drug-resistant bacteria.” In addition to bacterial diseases, the majority of meat sold in the supermarket contains antibiotics and chemicals like ammonia and chlorine in order to combat disease and other pathogens found in industrially-grown poultry. This poses an entirely new kind of health threat of its own. So one of the major benefits of pasture-raised turkeys is simply what’s not in them.

Cultivating grass-fed poultry ensures that a lot of the poisonous toxins and harmful bacteria that we discussed above are left out of our birds; but it also allows for higher levels of the good stuff. For instance, pasture raised turkeys have more omega 3 fatty acids. In a study found in the British Journal of Nutrition, researchers found that participants who ate more grass-fed meat for only 4 weeks had higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids and lower levels of the bad fatty acids like the pro-inflammatory omega-6 acid. Consequently, participants who ate more conventional meat and no grass-fed poultry had the opposite effect with higher levels of omega-6 and lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids. While a certain amount of omega-6 fatty acids are necessary for good health, they are most prevalent in vegetable oils and in grain-fed animals, both of which are over-consumed in America, and grass-fed animals have ten times less the amount of omega-6 fatty acids.

In addition to more omega 3’s, research has shown that grass-fed animals are one of the most abundant natural sources of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), another good fat that has been found in certain studies to block the initiation and continued growth of cancer. As if higher cancer-fighting properties weren’t good enough, pasture-raised animals that are fed their natural diet also have higher levels of Vitamin E and are overall much leaner than their feed-lot raised counterparts ̶ meaning that they are lower in fat and lower in calories. Who doesn’t like that? Overall, leaving animal growth up to nature is going to be more humane for your turkey and better for your body.

So this year, take a look at the health benefits of your meat when planning your Thanksgiving dinner, and support your local farmer by signing up for a pasture-raised turkey!

These Thanksgiving turkeys are grown plump  ̶ free of antibiotics, hormones and steroids ̶ in the green pastures of Rosecreek farms, and it only takes $10 to reserve your bird. The balance of $5.50 per lb. is due Monday, November 24th when the birds are delivered to the Food Hub (via refrigerated truck, never frozen). Turkeys are expected to weigh between 12-15 lb. and can be picked up at the hub November 24 or 25.

Reserve your turkey by visiting our shop. Have any questions? Please give us a call at 901-444-3055 or send us an e-mail at localfood@bringitfoodhub.com.