When it comes to mapping out the menu for our Thanksgiving feast, the one thing that's a must-have for us is purchasing a pasture-raised turkey. We chose to order ours from White Oak, a farm who cares about animal welfare, rural revival, and land regeneration, which are all super values important to us. Fun fact...White Oak is also the farm who also supplies the turkey in our pouched purees, too!
WHY PASTURE-RAISED TURKEY
1) Conventional turkeys eat a diet of processed feed, with no natural vegetation or bugs (White Oak, 2021).
White Oak turkeys eat a diverse diet of fresh green things and foraged grub. Because turkeys are very effective grazers, they are able to convert up to 40% of their diet from pasture forage into body mass. At White Oak, they are moved every three days to fresh pasture. This year, their holiday turkeys are spending most of their time in their pecan orchards (White Oak, 2021).
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2) Pasture-raised turkey meat is more nutrient-dense than industrially-raised meat (J&L Green Farm, 2021).
Since pastured turkeys have the luxury of foraging on fresh grasses and bugs in addition to the protein-rich supplementary grain they’re provided, their bodies contain a lot more nutrients than factory-farmed turkeys that eat mostly genetically modified, medicated feed (J&L Green Farm, 2021).
A number of recent studies (here’s an example) show that meat from pasture-raised poultry contains a much more balanced omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, which is linked to better heart health in humans. Pastured turkey meat is also very high in all the B vitamins and many essential trace minerals, most notably selenium, zinc, and magnesium. According The World’s Healthiest Foods, turkey meat ranks third on their list of foods with the highest amount of protein per ounce, with turkey breast having slightly more protein than turkey legs or thighs (J&L Green Farm, 2021).
Turkeys raised outdoors in open pastures and treated humanely will have much healthier meat than turkeys raised in confinement, subjected to painful debeaking and de-toeing, and constantly dwelling in piles of their own manure day after day (J&L Green Farm, 2021).
Learn more about that from J&L Green Farm here.
3) Conventional turkeys are processed using methods that create a traumatic end-of-life for the birds. They are first packed into large trucks to be transported long distances to centralized meatpacking plants. Most plants rely on mechanized slaughter methods, such as hanging on a mechanical chain, for maximum speed of slaughter (White Oak, 2021).
White Oak turkeys are slaughtered and butchered by hand on-farm, zero-waste, USDA-inspected processing abattoir. Their birds do not need to travel long distances to our on-farm processing plant, and our workers move each bird by hand throughout the plant, running our abattoirs at what we call a humane rate of slaughter. These efforts prioritize the welfare of both their animals and their employees (White Oak, 2021).
In addition to the perfect turkey addition to your holiday table, what about your pumpkin pie? Serenity, our Co-Founder & CEO has got you covered with her Homemade Paleo Pumpkin Pie that's filled with lots of TLC and deliciousness!