On May 4 Animal Welfare Approved hosted an expert panel of writers, farmers and representatives of sustainable livestock production. Entitled, “Green Pastures, Bright Future: Taking the Meat We Eat Out of the Factory and Putting it Back on the Farm," the discussion centered on the need for truly sustainable livestock farming that takes into account animal welfare and the health of our environment - and ourselves. Panelists included investigative journalist and author of Animal Factory David Kirby; author of the bestselling Righteous Porkchop Nicolette Hahn Niman; chicken farmer and whistle-blower in the Oscar-nominated documentary “Food, Inc.” Carole Morison; and rancher, veterinarian and president of the American Grassfed Association, Dr. Patricia Whisnant.
If you keep up with turkey trends, you’ve probably noticed a certain word coming up more frequently each year. Now a growing culinary trend, “heritage” turkeys were once the standard at Thanksgiving tables across the United States. With the post-war advent of intensive confinement and industrial breeding techniques they all but disappeared from American farms and tables.
Luckily, a few farmers like Frank Reese Jr. of Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch maintained these old breeds and are now able to share them with people looking for turkey that tastes a little more…turkey-ey. Frank will be joining us now until the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to field questions and give advice on finding a real heritage turkey. What do you need to look for, and what should you ask the farmer or grocer?
Post your questions in the comments section of this blog, and Frank will reply, drawing on years of experience and lots of taste tests. Please allow a day or two for your answer to post. If you’re new to the subject, click here to get a heritage turkey primer. Check back often for more information and maybe a recipe or two!