Oh Thanksgiving, how we adore thee. Family, friends, football (for those that watch it!) and food! What a glorious holiday and perfect time to truly give thanks for the wonderful bounty of food that surrounds us. With that being said, make sure that the quality of the food that you are serving to your family this year truly deserves that praise. It can be overwhelming to plan a meal for any size group let alone a large one. Ensuring you are eating as locally produced, as possible, can be an extra step that many people don’t take. Don’t let that be you.
Inspired Living Nutrition recently had the opportunity to chat with local butcher Ian from Carnivore Meats & More based in beautiful Brentwood Bay, Vancouver Island, to get some food facts about why choosing local turkeys equates to the best turkey around.
Let’s get started with the beginners guide to choosing the right turkey!
- Determine the number of people that will be joining you for the big day. Also take into account that leftover turkey bones make a great bone broth soup that can be high in calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. A major powerhouse for not only bone health but also immune support, which is key during these cooler fall months. Ian from Carnivore offers the option to purchase half a turkey for those of you that may have smaller gatherings. These turkeys can be cooked cavity side down and still allow for stuffing to be included and can greatly reduce the amount of time you need to be in the kitchen cooking which means more time for visiting, yay!
- Find a local butcher or supplier that offers free run turkeys. Free run essentially means that the birds live in a more natural state and aren’t confined to small cages or pens. When animals are confined to small living areas the possibility of contracting/spreading disease and illness is greatly increased within the birds. Not to mention that turkeys raised in slaughterhouses are also butchered in slaughterhouses which again means that the potential for spread of fecal matter aka E.coli, salmonella and campylobacter bacteria is also increased A word to the wise, just because you visit a local supplier doesn’t mean that the meat is in fact local. A lot of local suppliers are using that term to distract you from the fact that they are still sourcing meats from other provinces and even other countries. A reputable supplier will always be able to answer your questions openly and honestly.
- Local meats = nutritionally dense. By the time you purchase a turkey from Safeway or Costco you are almost always buying a frozen bird. By sourcing a local producer you are ensuring yourself a fresh turkey that has recently been butchered and will be fresh (not frozen!) when you pick it up. Turkeys contain some potassium, phosphorus, niacin and selenium. Which aid in energy production, blood pressure support, offer antioxidant benefits and more. Choose fresh and ensure you are receiving those awesome nutrient dense benefits.
- Pre-order your turkey. Because local producers who choose to have a free run farm for their birds only have a finite amount of space, be sure to pre-order your bird in advance to avoid any disappointment. Carnivore Meats & More will have Thanksgiving turkeys available October 8th , however make sure your name is down so you don’t miss out!
- Eat and enjoy! After all of the hard work you have done to ensure your family eats a truly delicious and nutritious turkey, kick back and relax knowing that eating healthy doesn’t have to be a challenge and when you invest in good food you are always investing in your good health as well.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone and don’t forget to pre-order your turkey today!
– Cordelia McFadyen, RHN