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5+ Reasons Why You Should Choose Grass Fed Turkey This Holiday Season

5+ Reasons Why You Should Choose Grass Fed Turkey This Holiday Season

The holidays are just around the corner, and that means it’s time to start thinking about the big feast! One of the most important decisions you’ll make is what kind of turkey to serve. There are many different options available, but if you’re looking for the best possible taste and nutrition, then a grass-fed turkey is the way to go. Here are five reasons why you should choose a grass-fed turkey this holiday season:

  1. Grass-fed turkeys are healthier. They have more omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health.
  2. They taste better. Grass-fed turkeys have a richer, more flavorful meat.
  3. They’re more sustainable. Grass-fed turkeys are raised on a diet that is better for the environment.
  4. They’re humanely raised. Grass-fed turkeys are raised in a more natural environment and are not given antibiotics or hormones.
  5. They’re good for the economy. Buying a grass-fed turkey supports small, family-owned farms.

Grass fed turkeys eat natural foods like bugs, worms, grubs, and vegetation. This natural food allows the bird to grow slower, build muscle fat resulting in tastier and juicier meat. These turkeys are not fed antibiotics or other stimulants, so the meat is more nutritious, leaner, and healthier. 

Read on for more detailed reasons why grass-fed turkeys taste better, are good for the environment and are the healthier option for your festive table this season.

Why Choose Grass Fed Turkeys

Turkey with a brood of chickens grazing on a green meadow.

Turkeys that are grass fed have the freedom to roam around foraging for food. They are out in the sunshine and fresh air and live more naturally with other birds in the flock. However, these turkeys weigh less and take longer to raise than factory raised turkeys.

But because of the interest in animal welfare, taste and nutrition, there has been a continuous demand by consumers for pasture raised turkeys. Farmers will mostly raise heritage breed turkeys as grass fed birds. A heritage breed turkey should have the following criteria:

  • produced by the natural mating of a male and female turkey
  • must live in an outdoor pasture or area
  • the rate of growth must be slow to maintain a healthy growing bird that must reach a marketable size and weight at about 28 weeks

Some heritage breed turkeys, as listed by the Livestock Conservancy and the American Poultry Association, are Black, Bronze, White Holland, Slate, Narrangansett and Royal Palm.

When buying a turkey for this holiday season, check that the label indicates that the bird is a heritage breed that has been grass fed. Below are 5 good reasons why you should choose a grass-fed turkey.

Grass Fed Turkeys Eat Natural So They Taste Better

Turkeys that are allowed to roam around freely will eat natural foods like grubs, bugs, vegetation, and worms. These birds are not given any growth hormones, steroids, or antibiotics or other supplements to stimulate their growth and weight. 

Turkeys are good grazers, so they are able to turn a large percentage of what they consume from the land into body mass. Grass fed birds grow slowly so they build more fat in their muscles and have a firmer texture. A naturally fed turkey results in a more flavorful, juicier, and tender bird for you to serve at your dinner table.

Turkeys That Are Grass Fed Contain More Nutrients

The fresh natural and vegetative food that grass-fed turkeys consume has an influence on the omega content of their meat. Grass fed turkey meat contain higher omega-3 fatty acids than turkeys that are factory farmed. 

Omega fatty acids are the good type of fats that your body will burn more effectively. The meat of grass-fed turkeys are also rich in zinc and vitamin B and contain a good amount of tryptophan which is a nutrient that boosts the brain.

Grass-Fed Turkeys Contain No Preservatives

Grass fed turkeys are free ranging, so they eat natural foods. Once slaughtered, their meat is not injected or treated with synthetic chemicals, coloring or preservatives and is marginally processed. This results in healthier and more nutritional meat.

Turkeys That Are Grass Fed Have Leaner Meat

Because grass fed turkeys are fed naturally with no stimulants, they are much leaner than factory farmed turkeys. This leaner meat is a healthier protein option. The leaner meat means the bird will also cook much quicker.

Grass Fed Turkeys Are Good For The Environment

Turkeys on the poultry yard in the farm

Grass fed turkeys are better for the environment as they are not fed on grains to intensify their growth and weight. To produce these grains, several pesticides and fertilizers are used which can possibly be harmful to wildlife who would eat these crops. 

By grazing on natural pastures, the turkeys do no damage and help to restore fruitfulness to pastures through their manure. So, grass fed turkeys help to maintain a well-stable eco-system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is There Grass Fed Turkey?

There are grass-fed turkeys that are raised in pastures and are free to roam about foraging for food. They eat bugs, worms, seeds, and natural vegetation from the land and not given any stimulants to induce weight and quick growth. They are not raised like factory farmed turkeys where there are many birds that are housed together in small enclosures indoors.

Is Pasture Raised Turkey Better?

Pasture raised turkeys are better than factory raised turkeys as they eat natural food and grow at a slower rate. This allows the birds to build up fatty deposits and their meat is much firmer and leaner. Pasture raised turkeys have more nutrients and omega fats because of they are fed natural food and are not given any steroids or antibiotics.

Is Organic Turkey Pasture Raised?

Organic turkeys are not usually pasture raised and free to roam outside in the sun to forage for food. However, some organic turkeys could be pasture raised. The term organic turkey means that the bird is fed pesticide-free food and is not given any antibiotics.

Can Turkeys Be Organic?

Turkeys can be certified as being raised organic which means they are fed on grass as well as organic nutrients. These turkeys are raised with strict rules on what they are fed, how they are housed and what medications they can receive.

Final Thoughts

Grass fed turkeys are free to roam around in a pasture as they forage for food in the sun. These birds feed off the land and eat bugs, worms and vegetation. Grass fed turkeys produce leaner meat that is high in nutrients such as omega 3 fatty acids and are the healthier meat option. These turkeys are not fed any stimulants to promote growth and the meat contains no preservatives, coloring or other chemicals.