Roasted turkey is a healthy addition to any family dinner throughout the year. But, knowing where to buy the best high-quality turkey can be overwhelming, especially when you are running low on time. Should you buy a turkey at the farmers’ market or at a health-food store? Or should you order your turkey online? Don’t fret—check out our turkey buying tips to better negotiate the various options and find the best solution for your needs.
There are many options available, but a high-quality turkey is the healthiest choice. A high-quality turkey is not treated with chemicals like hormones or antibiotics, and that turkey is provided outdoor space in which to roam and live in accordance with nature. When seeking to purchase a high-quality turkey, look for turkeys labeled as organic, free-range, heritage, or fresh.
If you are still questioning the best type of turkey for you and your family, you can investigate different types of turkey in our article, High-Quality Turkey 101.
- Specialty Supermarkets. A run-of-the-mill market may not carry humane turkeys, but organic markets offer local, quality meats. Shops like Whole Foods work with the Global Animal Partnership to provide Welfare Ratings—a 5-step program rating how an animal is raised. Opt for Step 5 or 5+ animals when available. Also, check your neighborhood health-food market. If they don’t have a meat department, they still might be able to recommend ethical farmers in your area.
- Local Farms. If you have a nearby farm or farmer’s market, inquire about their turkey selection. Small farms may not be able to afford USDA (aka official organic certification) labels, but still follow organic, humane practices. In fact, many will even allow you to tour the farm to see how the animals are treated. Since local farms typically have smaller yields than large-scale commercial farms, you may need to order your turkey far in advance. Consider placing an order for multiple holidays at once.
- Online Delivery. Many cities and towns now offer organic online delivery services, partnered with local producers to bring farm-fresh foods straight to your door. You can log on, shop for turkeys, and learn about how and where they are raised. If you have specific questions or are worried about ordering online, call customer service. I’ve had positive experiences with companies like Abel and Cole in London and Door to Door Organics in Colorado. Google “online organic retailers” in your area to find one near you. The best part is, you don’t even have to leave home!