It’s better to be an early bird, especially the fresh kind.
Opt for an organic, pastured-raised turkey from a local farmer this holiday season. While you may have to reserve your bird or visit a farmer’s market, it can be worth the investment—literally—since shopping locally helps the community. Plus, you can feel confident that your fresh turkey will not contain additives; some store-bought frozen turkey may be injected with up to 12-percent of a solution containing ingredients like sugar, salt and artificial flavorings. The easiest way to tell the difference between frozen turkeys? Check the label for words like basted, marinated or injected.
Here are four places to get fresh turkeys as well as organic and classics from markets that offer healthy turkey options:
White Oak Pastures: This family farm employs fair, sustainable and humane productions practices. Its turkeys freely roam and are never treated with antibiotics or steroids. For Thanksgiving, order a small, medium or large turkey, with weights ranging from 8 to over 16 pounds. Each turkey is $75 - $125. Orders can be placed now; shipping started this week.
22775 Hwy. 27, Bluffton. 229-641-2081, whiteoakpastures.com.
Heritage Farm: This certified naturally-grown farm is taking orders for whole turkeys and turkey breasts, which will be delivered on Nov. 17. For inquiries or to purchase, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit heritagefarm.locallygrown.net.
Whole Foods Market: Locations throughout metro Atlanta offer organic, kosher or heritage fresh turkeys. Orders can be placed now for pickup Nov. 14 – 22. Prices vary. For instance, a pre-cooked, antibiotics-free turkey that serves eight is $89.99 and organic raw turkeys are $3.49 per pound.
Various locations, wholefoodsmarket.com.
Trader Joe’s: While shopping for groceries, add a turkey for Thanksgiving to your list. Fresh, frozen store-brand, brined, all-natural turkeys are available now for $1.99 per pound; Glatt Kosher turkeys are $2.99 per pound; and organic turkeys, $3.49 per pound.
Various locations, traderjoes.com.