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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Choosing the Healthiest Turkey

Yesterday, when I was grocery shopping, I saw a huge commotion around the meat cooler section. The grocery store was having a huge sale on big fat turkeys, probably laden with antibiotics and added colorings or artificial ingredients. That made me quite sad. I can't help but think that if people knew exactly what they were buying when they grab the cheapest food, they might think twice...Education is key!

So, I want to give you a little help, so you can find the healthiest turkey this Thanksgiving.

Let's clear up the labeling confusion -

Natural - This means that the turkey contains no artificial flavor or flavoring, coloring ingredient, chemical preservative, or any other artificial or synthetic ingredient, and is minimally processed. This label must explain the use of the term "natural"(e.g. no added colorings or artifical ingredients). At the very least, please choose a natural turkey.

No Antibiotics - The term "no antibiotics added" may be used on labels for poultry products if the producer sufficiently documents to the Food Safety and Inspection Service that the animals were raised without antibiotics. One step better, in my opinion.

No Hormones - Hormones are not allowed in raising poultry, thank goodness. Therefore, the claim "no hormones added" cannot be used on the labels of poultry unless it is followed by a statement that says, "Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones."

Organic - Here is the gold standard, in my opinion. The term "organic" details the methods, practices, and substances that can be used in producing and handling organic crops and livestock, as well as processed products. The Final Rule for the new organic standard specifically prohibits the use of genetic engineering methods, ionizing radiation, and sewage sludge for fertilization.

If you want to go one step better, find a local, organic turkey. You might find one at your local co-op. Or you can do what I do - buy a local, organic chicken or two. They taste just as good!

Have a happy Thanksgiving, knowing you are feeding your guests the healthiest turkey yet!

To Your Health!


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