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Monday, November 21, 2016

What is REALLY in Your Thanksgiving Turkey?

Have you ever taken a closer look at your Thanksgiving turkey? What is really in that giant bird?
  • Do you know where it is grown? 
  • Is it allowed to live as a turkey should live - humanely, raised to it's naturally intended weight?
  • Is it given antibiotics, growth stimulants or hormones? (hint, hint - why do you think your turkey is so gigantic?)
  • What is it fed?
  • Is it pumped full of artificial ingredients, preservatives, MSG or other additives?
When looking at conventional turkeys grown and sold as cheaply as possible, you will find some scary stuff. For example, Butterball LLC, which sells about 12 million whole turkeys for Thanksgiving, injects its frozen whole turkeys with a solution to "keep the turkey moist and help prevent it from drying out during cooking, and for flavor," according to the company. Additives include salt, natural flavors, modified food starch and sodium phosphates. Food Babe also has a great article about the dangers lurking in the average turkey. thanks.

I prefer to eat an old-fashioned turkey. And yes, you can still find them.

Check out one of the last small, family-owned turkey grower-processors in the United States,  the Diestel Family Turkey Ranch. Their ranching style, family-farming secrets, and strict sustainable standards consistently produce a better, tender and juicier turkey with real, old-fashioned flavor. Sustainably raising turkeys for four generations, all of  Diestel’s birds are:
  • Slow grown; raised almost 2x as long and given 3x as much space as conventional birds 
  • Raised to their naturally intended weight giving the turkeys exceptional taste and texture
  • No gluten, casein, carrageenan, phosphates, MSG, artificial ingredients or preservatives 
  • No antibiotics, growth stimulants, or hormones
  • 100% vegetarian diet, enhanced with vitamins and minerals, milled and mixed daily on the ranch
  • GAP rated; Diestel’s pasture raised birds received GAP’s highest 5+ rating 
Diestel generously sent me one of their organic turkeys, and I am beyond thrilled to serve it to my family. They shipped it to my front door, and it was such a convenient and easy process. You can also find them at Whole Foods and right on the Diestel online store.

Yes, organic, sustainably raised turkeys are more expensive. But I expect that to be the case. The great thing is - Thanksgiving is a special occasion. I am happy to splurge a bit once a year on a quality, healthy turkey that is going to nourish my family.

What do you think? Have you thought twice about what is really in your Thanksgiving turkey?

Thanks to Diestel for providing a turkey for me to try out with my family. No other compensation was given, and this is all my opinion.


  1. I think it is worth it to spend the extra dollars to get a quality bird. It could be good for conversation, too, especially when people realize how good it tastes, that they may want to change their buying habits in general about products that have additives and who knows what.

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