Each year Gwen and I plan to use a fresh grass fed organic turkey, and each year Gwen and I remember why we didn’t the year before. Grass-fed organic turkeys must be genetically engineered from gold and platinum because the people selling them sure do charge like it. This is one of the reasons why it’s so hard to convince my clients of the benefits of going organic and grass-fed. You are buying meat that’s less processed, less handled, fed fewer chemicals, and fewer drugs, and less of the expensive store feed and yet you pay more for what amounts to an animal left alone on a grass field to go about its business. Fuck sake my dog does that every day and no one is lined up to eat him.
It’s kind of like how car manufacturers build specialty race models with stripped down interiors with zero options but you pay more for a car that was less expensive for them to build. Now the argument is that farmers specializing in grass-fed and organic meats spend more money to care for and raise these animals; bullshit. I grew up in eastern North Carolina surrounded by farms and I can tell you for fact that pasture raised meat is a windfall for farmers costing very little beyond the actual cost of the animal itself and significantly less than conventionally grown meat. The one and only concession I’ll make is that a farmer makes less profit per weight for a healthy grass-fed pastured animal than a grain fattened conventionally raised one. Of course this is because animals are sold by weight.
So let’s go back to turkeys for a second. If you can find a local farm offering fresh turkey you’re most likely to be told they are sold out as orders have to be placed in the spring. If you buy one online then it’s going to be shipped to you frozen which kind of defeats the whole point of going fresh then and if you’re buying organic and pastured you’re going to pay between five and ten dollars a pound for your bird. That’s a hundred to two hundred dollar thanksgiving bird if you have a big family. I’m sorry folks but I can cook a whole thanksgiving meal and have change left over for a hundred dollars. So far we’ve made the switch to purchasing most of our daily use protein from US Wellness and I can’t complain. They are higher than grocery stores but the meat is good quality and I don’t have to deal with the madness of grocery shopping. I’m drawing the line at the turkey though.
So this year I’ll happily take my chances on a store bought bird. I’ll follow one of many of my go-to recipes from Food Network and make a delicious turkey. I’ll do that without breaking the bank. Will it be organic, free range, pastured, grass-fed, and Paleo approved? No, probably not but I’m okay with that.