Your Turkey Options: Birds Not All of the Same Feather

turkeyHello, non-vegetarian holiday chefs. It’s that time of year again: time to cook a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner for your family and friends! Those few days set to prepare a flawless turkey are right around the corner, but there’s still time for you to pick the perfect bird.

For those of you who’ve procrastinated this year and haven’t reserved a turkey, never fear! Plenty of your previously feathered friends, free of hormones and chock-full of coma-inducing L-Tryptophan, are still available at our local outlets for goods of a natural variety. Here’s a list to make it all a whole lot easier.

First Alternative Natural Foods Co-op South Store, 3rd Street: 541-753-3115
There’s no need to reserve here, just show up early and choose your favorite size. The Co-op is selling birds from Mary’s Turkeys Farm in Northern California and Walker Farms of Siletz this year.

Mary’s Turkeys Farm offers a variety of free-range, non-GMO, organic and heritage breeds, while Walker’s are free-range, pasture-raised, and antibiotic- and hormone-free. For more information, call Mary’s Turkeys at 844-444-6279 or Walker Farms at 541-444-2445.

Corvallis Farmers’ Market in Downtown Corvallis: 541-740-1542
Though most of the farmers’ market turkeys have been picked over by hardcore poultry aficionados, a few special heirloom and organic birds from local farms may still be available on Wednesdays and Saturdays up until the market closes on Nov. 25.

More specifically, turkeys from Norton Creek Farm in Blodgett are for sale. Norton Creek provides small pasture-raised Red Bourbons, an old-fashioned breed with a “fine flavor.” For more information about Norton Creek Farm, or to pre-order a bird for a later holiday dinner, call 541-453-5841.

You can also find turkeys from My Pharm, located in Monroe. Call them at 541-424-2233 to find out more about their turkeys, which include broad-breasted and organic-fed heritage breeds that are available fresh at Thanksgiving and frozen year-round.

Trader Joe’s on 9th Street: 541-753-0048
Ready-to-cook frozen turkeys from TJ’s, like a lot of their other meats, are not certified organic; they are preservative-free and raised cage-free without antibiotics or added hormones.

Market of Choice, Circle Boulevard: 541-758-8005
Market of Choice offers two varieties of natural turkeys from Shelton Farms in Pomona, CA. Shelton’s are 100% free-range birds raised without antibiotics or hormones, and you can choose between regular turkeys and organic turkeys fed a 100% organic diet. To find out more about Shelton Farms, call 909-623-4361. For the extremely lazy, Market of Choice also offers conventional turkeys, pre-stuffed and pre-cooked.

Natural Grocers on 10th Street: 541-758-0200
Natural Grocers is also selling Mary’s Turkeys this year. Both standard free-range and non-GMO certified free-range are available. The regular free-range turkeys are fed a non-GMO feed, while the non-GMO certified are fed a non-GMO certified feed. Both are fed certified organic.

All turkeys are available on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. All are gluten-free with no preservatives, antibiotics, or added hormones. They come deep-chilled, but not frozen, so you can cook them right away. To ensure you are able to buy a turkey that day, the knowledgeable staff at Natural Grocers recommend that you call and put down a $5 deposit.

 Good luck, and happy cooking!

By Kiki Genoa