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Friday, December 9, 2016
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Defining Whole Foods Turkey

A postcard arrived in the mail last week, advertising the Whole Foods in Cool Springs Thanksgiving offerings.  It said their turkeys are raised with room to roam around and without the use of antibiotics on family farms. Six types of turkey are listed available through the meat department at Whole Foods.

1. Famous fresh turkey
2. Brined Turkey
3. Heirloom Turkey
4. Organic Turkey
5. Kosher Turkey
6. Frozen Turkey

Who would have thought there are so many different choices for Thanksgiving turkey in Cool Springs TN? Selecting a Thanksgiving turkey isn’t all that simple anymore. We checked the Whole Foods main site to find more information about their quality standards.  We were also interested to read actual definitions of the above turkey variations they sell.  Here is a basic summary of Whole Foods poultry standards.

1. No antibiotics — ever
2. No animal byproducts in feed
3. No beak trimming for broiler chickens and game hens
4. Appropriate beak trimming for turkeys allowed when necessary
5. Appropriate litter provided for comfort and to satisfy natural foraging instincts

Then we stumbled upon this awesome chart Whole Foods put together to explain the exact differences and similarities between the turkeys they sell.

variety value frozen turkey chilled brined turkey our basic fresh turkey kosher turkey organic turkey heritage or heirloom turkey
relative price higher price per lb lower price per lb 
fresh or frozen? FROZEN
From this year’s turkey harvest
FRESH
Birds are raised to reach the perfect size just before the holiday season, then processed and stored just above the freezing point, which can create a thin layer of soft ice on the skin, but allows us to offer to you the freshest, juiciest turkey vs. one that may have been raised and frozen months ahead of time.
how it was raised Whole Foods Market® standards for turkey: no antibiotics ever, vegetarian diet, no added hormones*, no added solutions** or injections, complete traceability to farm
flavor as good or better than a conventional supermarket bird brining adds extra flavor and moisture our delicious, fresh poultry that customers come back for time and time again; allows you to brine or season to your taste breeds chosen specifically for flavor
cooking notes prepare as you would any turkey fresh turkeys cook a little faster than frozen take much less time to cook
additional benefits a great price for turkeys raised to better standards than you’ll find most anywhere else we’ve done the brining so you don’t have to…in a traditional mix of sea salt and water the birds have access to the outdoors two Kosher certifications: Rabbi Babad and OU organic certification includes feed, farm, processing and packaging birds grow at a slower rate than most other turkeys and develop flavor naturally with less fat
size range 10-20 lbs 16-20 lbs 8-30 lbs 10-20+ lbs 10-20+ lbs up to 14 lbs