Published on November 11th, 2012 | by Mark Walker

Pastured Local Turkey: The New Family Tradition


Don’t freak out, but Thanksgiving is literally just around the corner. Before long you’ll no doubt be baking pies, candying yams and roasting a turkey. If you normally pick up a frozen Butterball for the family meal, you may want to reconsider. Most turkeys bought at chain stores are raised in some pretty rough conditions–and fed stuff you wouldn’t recognize. This year do yourself (and your family) a favor and buy a locally raised, pasture-fed turkey.

The GOOD Stuff Inside

Pasture raised turkeys are known for providing healthy protein, selenium, vitamins B3 and B6, phosphorus and zinc. Some of those may sound made up, but believe me…they’re good things! According to Dr. Mercola grass-fed birds provide conjugated linoleic acid (CLA),which is a fat known to aid in weight loss, balance blood sugar levels and fight cancer. That’s a triple bonus! Along with all of these great things, pasture raised turkeys also contain higher levels of Omega-3s, vitamins and folic acid than their caged up counterparts.

The BAD Stuff NOT Inside

Hearing about the good stuff inside pasture raised turkeys is exciting, but knowing what bad things aren’t inside is even more so. Commercially raised turkeys are spoon-fed hormones, GMO feed and antibiotics from birth to keep them alive and growing despite their unfortunate living conditions. This sounds harmless to many, but these chemical additives are often derived from arsenic and other carcinogens. All of this nasty stuff happens during the growth period of the bird, but it doesn’t stop there. After the birds are prepared, they are then soaked in chlorine and ammonia to kill off all the bacteria (both the good and the bad). All of this bad stuff, when considered with the good stuff in a pastured bird, makes the hunt for a local farm extremely important.

If you’re ready to make the switch to support local farmers, here are some Indiana farms that sell grass-fed poultry:

Apple Family Farms-Isa small family run farm just outside of Indy offering grass-fed beef, dairy, sheep, eggs and turkey.

Schacht Farms-Thissmall farm specializes in pastured beef, chicken, eggs, turkey and pork. Visit their website for more information on placing orders and farm events.

Seven Sons Family Farm-A Fort Wayne farm that currently has pick up for 100% grass-fed beef, chicken and turkey here in Indianapolis. Order now, they go quickly!

Stonewall Farm-AnEvansville farm dedicated to providing healthy grass-fed livestock all year. They accept online orders, so visit their website for your Thanksgiving Turkey.

Wolfridge Heritage FarmThis quaint little farm offers everything from pastured turkeys to Icelandic sheep. Turkeys go fast, so contact them soon!

Simpson Family FarmA 7th Generation Indiana family farm that offers grass fed turkeys and other animals.

I hope some of this information has helped you make the decision to go local–and go grass fed this Thanksgiving. Start with the holidays and pick up a local Christmas ham, then continue the tradition by buying from local sources each week. Supporting local farmers is rewarding, good for the economy and will probably have a huge impact on your health.

Local farms and healthy food options are things we can all be thankful for, would you agree?

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About the Author

Mark Walker is a lifelong Hoosier who staked his claim in Irvington with his wife and dog in 2008. When he’s not sleeping or working he’s brewing beer, telling a bad joke, or playing music in his band She Does Is Magic He has an enthusiasm for all things local and green living. Mark is also owner of Punch Bug Marketing a full-service social media marketing company. Google

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