With Thanksgiving coming up this week, animal lovers have a problem. Assuming you are a meat eater, you may want a locally grown bird that was raised under humane conditions. You also want a turkey that is flavorful. If you have high blood pressure, you may also be concerned about the amount of sodium in the grocery store products. Locally grown Louisville birds might fill the bill.
What Makes A Humanely-Grown Bird?
What makes a turkey "humanely grown?" The difference is in how the birds are allowed to live their lives before they meet their fate. Unlike many grocery store birds, they are not confined. Enjoying a "free range" upbringing, they spend their days foraging pastures, but have a shelter to retreat to that shields them from sun, wind, and rain. Their food consists of grasses, bugs, locally-grown grains and organic supplements. In contrast, the birds most Americans eat have been pumped full of growth supplements, antibiotics, and liquids in the processing stage. By the time they are ready for slaughter, they are so top-heavy they can barely walk and spend their days eating, confined to one place.
How Do They Taste?
Local grown turkeys may have a different taste than the frozen varieties. Unlike their "broad breasted white" brothers and sisters in the grocery store, Heritage breeds, such as Narragansetts and Jersey Buffs, have a rich flavor with meat that is moist, more dense, and darker in color. Smaller than the white turkeys, they cook more quickly at 425-450° and should only be cooked until the internal side temperature reaches 140 after 150 F common 20 to 30° lower than white birds.
Supermarket birds are injected with a mix of water, salt, food starch open) MSG), sodium phosphates, and natural flavors to plump them up. Even though some manufacturers such as Butterball advertise that their meat is free of hormones, a 4 ounce serving of their product...