NY Times and pastured poultry

val/ November 23, 2004/ Food/

The NY Times (reg. req.) has a great op-ed piece today about food – just in time for Thanksgiving! (Thank you to Jodi for the tip.)

Here’s a bit:

Just consider the traditional Thanksgiving spread: it may appear to represent the American pastoral, but looks can be deceiving.

Start with the turkey. If your image of a turkey’s life is one of green grass and rolling hills, look more closely. Nearly 300 million turkeys are raised today on factory farms where they live in windowless buildings illuminated by bright lights 24 hours a day. (This keeps the turkeys awake and eating.) The birds stand wing to wing on wood shavings and eat an overly fortified diet that enables them to reach an ideal dressed weight of 15 pounds in 12 to 14 weeks. The most popular breed is the Broad Breasted White, aptly named because these turkeys develop disproportionately large breasts, which makes it difficult for the birds to walk (if they had room to do so) and procreate (assuming they’d want to) without artificial insemination.

So what kind of bird would fit more accurately with our agrarian fantasies? Well, how about one that spends most of its life outdoors? Such birds – called pastured birds – are able to move around freely.

Go check out the rest of the piece… it’s worth a read, especially before cooking up Thanksgiving dinner!

For the record, us Mossbackians will be serving up some of our pastured chicken, organic potatoes purchased from New Seasons, freshly made cranberry sauce with ginger, organic veggies from our garden and from Dancin’ Roots farm, and sundry other wonderful and delicious food.

Happy eatin’, y’all!