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Food

Why I’m Spending $50 on a Turkey this Thanksgiving

As those who know me can vouch, I’m pretty budget-savvy.  I balance the saves with spending money when it counts (which for me normally equals vacation, friends & an occasional shopping spree.)  I compete in coupon-clipping contests with my retired Dad and love the Groupon Deals or Philly Half Off promotions that arrive in my inbox.

Yet, this Thanksgiving, I offered to buy the turkey.

A free-range, local, organic turkey from Koch Farms that will set me back approximately … $50.  I (briefly) debated canceling my offer to buy the bird and go ToFurkey this Thanksgiving, while everyone else ate the mass-produced breed.

Why I’m Supporting Local Farms

Since I started penning Green Philly Blog, I’ve been overwhelmed with  the awesome amount of info people have shared with me…which snowballs into other green-related issues.  Once the transition from green to oceans to learning about the meat industry & farming, I decided to make a change.  Mostly, I didn’t want to eat something that was grown specifically to end up on my plate, by means of hormones & and a tortured life.  Although I won’t call myself a ‘vegetarian’, I eat a mostly pescatarian diet at this point.  I supplement the chicken for beans in Mexican food, replace the hamburgers with Veggie patties & fill my omelets with various veggies instead of ham.

After seeing some ads for local turkeys, I declared to my parents I’d only eat a local turkey this year, and would even purchase the meat. This would be my step against commercially-raised turkeys, which are pretty much “bred to suffer”: growing double the rate, contain less protein and more fat than heritage breeds.  In an experiment at University of Arkansas, the commercially bred turkeys couldn’t walk well (nor run) and couldn’t fly like heritage birds.

Before I purchased, I asked a few questions at Whole Foods on South Street.  Their turkeys come from 60-acre Koch family Farms, where the natural, organic birds are raised without antibiotics, given access to outside, and raised in open area farms.

While I do acknowledge the price tag isn’t feasible for A LOT of families, I realized I’ve purchased approximately $0 in meat this year… and could make the splurge.  Besides, what’s the point of promoting greener habits if I don’t even practice them myself? This was the perfect example and time to do it.

After ordering the 12 lb turkey breast, I called my Dad to verify the order was secure.

“Thanks Jule! Well, I’ll pay you back for it.”

“Eh, it’s a little more than you’d probably spend… I got it. Well, maybe I’ll take ½ the price.”

After telling him the price, we both agreed that:

  1. We’d have a turkey that had a happy life, access to outdoors, and would be enjoyed by our family
  2. We’d have to keep an extra eye on the timer to make sure there was no burning AND….
  3. Not to tell Mom (Surprise!)

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher

2 thoughts on “Why I’m Spending $50 on a Turkey this Thanksgiving

  1. Good work Julie 🙂 I’m going turkey -free (and supplying the organic wine) but I’m encouraging my family and friends who are enjoying to take a cue from you! Happy Thanksgiving all

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