Local Turkey Guide

Hello, foodies! Turkey season has rolled around and, once again, the Advocate is here with your guide to finding the healthiest bird in town, even at the very last minute. We’ve examined every aspect of each delectable Meleagris gallopavo so you can find a fowl that will fulfill your holiday-related taste, health, sustainability, and allergy requirements. 

First Alternative Co-op North & South Stores
Turkeys from the California-based Mary’s Farm arrive on November 15, and birds from Walker Farms of Siletz will come in on November 17. Co-op employees recommend coming in on the 15th because this year, turkeys are first come, first serve. Reservations and deposits are not available. The Co-op is offering four varieties of turkey this season.

First on the list is Mary’s Heritage Turkey, which is free-range, and arrives fresh, not frozen. It is $5.99/lb., certified organic, fed organic turkey feed, and is free of hormones, preservatives, and antibiotics. However, it’s not fed a GMO-free or gluten-free diet.

Next is Mary’s Free-Range Turkey, which is also free-range and fresh. It’s quite a bit cheaper at $1.99/lb., but isn’t certified organic, nor is it fed organic turkey feed. It is, however, still free of hormones, preservatives, and antibiotics. Just like the Heritage Turkey, it isn’t fed a GMO-free or gluten free-diet. 

Mary’s last bird is a Free-Range Organic Turkey that arrives fresh, not frozen, and is $3.49/lb. Certified organic, and fed a certified-organic diet, it’s also free of hormones, preservatives, and antibiotics, but is not fed a diet free of GMO’s or gluten.

Walker Farms Free-Range Turkey is pasture-raised and arrives fresh. It runs at $5.39/lb. and – while it’s not certified organic, fed organic turkey feed, or free of GMO’s – it is indeed free of hormones, preservatives and antibiotics, and is grass fed, making it a certified gluten-free option.

For a more relaxed holiday, the Co-op also offers cut turkey breast from Mary’s for $4.99/lb. The turkey breast is free-range and arrives fresh. It is not certified organic or fed an organic diet, but it is raised on feed free of hormones, preservatives, and antibiotics. It is not grass-fed or fed a gluten-free diet, and is not certified GMO-free.

Turkeys not sold by Thanksgiving will be available at a lower price after the holiday. Please call the South Store at 541-753-3115 for more information.

Market of Choice
While turkeys are currently priced at $7/lb., this price will be dropped to just $2/lb. after November 10. Market of Choice is offering two different turkeys this year: a regular bird from Shelton’s Turkey, and a Shelton Organic Turkey. Customers can reserve a turkey by going in and filling out an order form at the store. No deposit is required and reservations are free.

Both turkeys are free-range, but neither is pasture-raised. Only the organic turkey is certified organic and fed an organic diet. Neither turkey is free of hormones, preservatives, or antibiotics, but both turkeys are fed a diet free of GMO’s. Neither turkey is grass-fed or fed a gluten-free diet. 

Turkeys bought near Thanksgiving will be available fresh as well as frozen. Please call 541-758-8005 for more information.

Natural Grocers
Natural Grocers has been accepting reservations for turkeys since the beginning of October, and will keep taking them until November 11. To reserve a turkey, you must put down a deposit of $5, which is refundable. All turkeys are from either Mary’s Turkeys in California, or the Pittman Family Farm in California; the best time to go in and buy one is right now.

Natural Grocers’ first turkey option is a non-GMO Turkey. It’s $2.49/lb. and arrives fresh, not frozen. These turkeys are free-range and pasture-raised, and – while not certified organic – they are fed a non-GMO, gluten-free, and completely vegetarian diet. They are free of hormones, preservatives, and antibiotics.

The second kind of turkey offered is the Organic Turkey, which is $3.79/lb., free-range, and pasture-raised. It’s certified organic, fed organic turkey feed, is free of hormones, preservatives and antibiotics, is fed a gluten-free diet, and comes fresh.

Finally, Natural Grocers offers the Heritage Turkey. These are $5.99/lb., free-range, and pasture-raised. Natural Grocers’ heritage bird is non-organic and not fed an organic diet, but is fed turkey meal free of GMO’s while being free of hormones, preservatives, and antibiotics. According to store employees, this turkey has a pretty sweet life. It is given freedom to roam, is allowed to fly, breeds naturally, and is fed a high-protein diet.

For a few dollars more, Natural Grocers also offers an easy-to-cook option of bone-in turkey breast from Mary’s Farm, which is certified organic and priced at $6.99/lb.

For more information, please call the store at 541-758-0200.

Trader Joe’s
Thanksgiving turkeys arrive on November 10, and will be available until all are purchased. This year, the store offers three different turkeys under its own brand. The Trader Joe’s corporate office was unwilling to reveal where the birds were raised, but since all three types of turkeys being sold are antibiotic-free, while one is organic, they still sound decent. 

TJ’s first option is the Trader Joe’s All-Natural Antibiotic-Free Brined Fresh Young Turkey, which runs at $1.99/lb. and is free-range and free of GMO’s.

Next, there is the Trader Joe’s Glatt Kosher All-Natural Antibiotic-Free Fresh Young Turkey, priced at $2.49/lb. These are free-range and free of GMO’s, as well as being kosher.

Lastly, the Trader Joe’s Organic Antibiotic-Free Fresh Young Turkey is $3.99/lb. and is free-range, certified organic, and free of GMO’s.

For more information, please call 541-753-0048.

There you have it, folks! Lots of options to satisfy your craving for turkey without having to sacrifice your morals, taste buds, or everyday diet. 

By Kiki Genoa

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