Here at AWA, we’ve been thinking a lot about this special holiday and how we may have more in common with our ancestors than we think. Upon arriving in America, the early pilgrims ate what was locally available (granted, they didn’t have an alternative!). This happened to be animals that ranged and foraged in the woods and pastures, eating a diet specific to their natural needs and free from non-therapeutic antibiotics or added hormones. Sounds like a Certified AWA farm, doesn’t it? Meat, dairy, and eggs from animals raised outdoors on pasture or range is better for you, better for farmers, and better for the planet all great reasons to give thanks.
CHEFS DEMONSTRATE HOW TO PREPARE A NUTRITIOUS, DELICIOUS MEAL ON A BUDGET USING VALUE CUTS FROM HUMANELY RAISED HERITAGE BREED TURKEY
Animal Welfare Approved is sponsoring a Thanksgiving meal in partnership with the Food Bank For New York City’s Community Kitchen of West Harlem, located at 252 West 116 Street, Manhattan. The dinner will be served from 1:00-4:00 pm on Wednesday, November 26 for an estimated 700 low-income New Yorkers.
The meal will feature roasted heritage breed turkeys from Frank Reese’s Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch in Lindsborg, KS. Chefs will also prepare dishes using drumsticks and wings from these birds to demonstrate that it is possible to cook a healthy, nutritious and delicious meal on a budget using high-quality value cuts from humanely raised animals. Leading the kitchen that day will be David Schuttenberg, head chef at Cabrito and Nate Gross, head chef at the Food Bank’s Community Kitchen.
The kitchen will open at 6:00 am to allow time for the heritage birds to be slow roasted for the meal and for the fresh vegetables from Greenmarket farmers to be prepared. A film crew from peoplewhofeedus.com will tape the preparation of the meal for educational use, so that others can learn how to prepare value cuts from these slower-growing, pasture-raised birds.
Heritage turkeys were once critically endangered, but Frank Reese, a preeminent turkey expert, developed his Heritage Turkey Project in 2002–in partnership with Patrick Martins of Heritage Foods USA–to continue these lines, raising his turkeys under the Animal Welfare Approved program’s high-welfare standards. Good Shepherd turkeys live their lives on pastures where they forage, graze and fly (behaviors that conventionally raised birds are not able to do). Good Shepherd’s turkeys have consistently been voted the best tasting bird on the market by chefs and food writers alike.
The New York Times’ 2006 blind tasting, conducted by Marian Burros, confirmed that the white and dark meat “delivered the essence of old-fashioned turkeyness. The white was succulent; even the richer dark meat was tender.” Heritage Foods USA distributes Good Shepherd Turkeys in New York City.
“We are honored to work with the Food Bank during this holiday season and to partner with Good Shepherd, Heritage Foods, thepeoplewhofeedus.com, Cabrito and Greenmarket, to prepare and share a meal that features meat from humanely raised turkeys and vegetables from sustainable family farms that sell their products at Greenmarkets across the city,” remarked Animal Welfare Approved program director Andrew Gunther, formerly of Whole Foods Market.
Gunther continued, “People are waking up to the truth about the way farm animals are raised, and better understand the confinement systems prevalent today. We are very proud that the Animal Welfare Approved food label has been noted for assuring consumers that animals have been raised with the ‘most stringent’ animal welfare standards available, according to the World Society for the Protection of Animals.”
Doors open at 1:00 pm on Wednesday, November 26 at the Food Bank For New York City’s Community Kitchen of West Harlem, located at 252 West 116 Street, Manhattan. Information at www.AnimalWelfareApproved.org.
More Information About the Partners
Animal Welfare Approved, www.animalwelfareapproved.us
The Animal Welfare Approved program and food label is the only farm animal welfare label and program that requires family ownership, prohibits confinement feeding operations, provides grants to farmers and is offered for free. The program promotes the well-being of animals and the sustainability of humane family farms, uniting conscientious consumers with farmers who raise their animals with compassion. Animal Welfare Approved was recently lauded by the World Society for the Protection of Animals as having the highest animal welfare standards of all third-party certifiers.
Located in the heart of the West Village, Cabrito is serving up authentic Mexican fare, creative cocktails and an all around good time. The highly seasonal and superior product-driven menu, created by Chef David Schuttenberg, features house-made chorizo cemitas, pork belly tacos and huitlacoche huaraches.
Food Bank for New York City, www.foodbanknyc.org
Food Bank For New York City recognizes 25 years as the city’s major hunger-relief organization. Working to end food poverty and increase access to affordable, nutritious food for approximately 1.3 million low-income New Yorkers throughout the five boroughs, the Food Bank’s initiatives focus on direct services, food sourcing and distribution, education and nutrition, financial empowerment, disaster relief and policy and research.
Greenmarket promotes regional agriculture and ensures a continuing supply of fresh, local produce for New Yorkers. Greenmarket, a program of the Council on the Environment of New York City, has organized and managed open-air farmers markets in NYC since 1976, supporting farmers and preserving farmland for the future by providing regional small family farmers with opportunities to sell their fruits, vegetables and other farm products to New Yorkers.
Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch, www.reeseturkeys.com
The Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch Inc. breeds and raises historically authentic heritage turkeys, grown free range, and vegetarian fed without antibiotics. Only standard-bred turkeys—known as heritage birds—are guaranteed to have a normal skeletal structure, growth rate, metabolic system and lifespan. The Ranch was the first turkey farm to receive the Animal Welfare Approved seal.
Heritage Foods USA, www.heritagefoodsusa.com
Heritage Foods USA exists to promote genetic diversity, small family farms, and a fully traceable food supply. It is committed to making wholesome, delicious and sustainably produced heritage foods available to all Americans. Current projects include a new heritage radio station, a heritage film and a book on Slow Business.
Staci Strauss and Craig McCord are the people behind thepeoplewhofeedus.com. They are dedicated to making short films that tell the stories of the people who produce sustainable, humanely-raised food. Their new media company, Brand New Shoes, is based in Woodstock, New York.’, ‘ANIMAL WELFARE APPROVED SPONSORS THANKSGIVING DINNER FOR 700 AT FOOD BANK FOR NYC