There are a few things that I thought I would never be doing in my life and selling turkeys was one of them. But what an education it has been helping out Suzanne from GreenAg, one of our Chemical Free Community members. They were a little short handed during the lead up to Xmas so I took the opportunity to learn about all things turkey…. I’ve now got the organic turkey spiel down pat.
Ewart from GreenAg, Suzanne’s husband, had recently explained to me that they do not use Synthetic Methionine in their feed, which is rare amongst poultry farmers, including organic farmers. Synthetic methionine is commonly added to conventional poultry diets, but is restricted in organic poultry diets and continues to be very controversial.
After some further research I realised that this is a very big commitment for Ewart and Suzanne to truly remain chemical free in raising organic turkeys. Their feed is a proprietary blend that is 100% free of all chemicals, pesticides & herbicides. Suzanne explained that their feed mix builds their bird’s immune system. A Synthetic Methionine blend negatively impacts the immune system leading to many diseases. The question for me is if Synthetic Methionine decreases the bird immune system, what does it do to people who are regularly eating poultry products raised with this synthetic amino acid? Refer to the links below for more information.
Now for the ‘Did you know-s’?..
Apparently turkeys are easily stressed, and the more stressed they have been the tougher their meat is – sure hope no one ever has to eat me. To calm their turkeys, GreenAg plays Baroque music at 60 beats/min 24/7, which helps ensure their organic turkey meat is tender. And in the colder months of the year the GreenAg turkeys get to enjoy the warmth of special heaters placed in their personal pens.
GreenAg have gone the extra chemical free mile and also provide BPA free water troughs. So these turkeys are definitely chemical free! Fresh daily water changes ensure maximum hydration for succulent turkey meat.
I was interested to hear a comment here and there over my market time with Suzanne about the price of the organic turkey. GreenAg whole turkey is $20/kg, and when we considered organic meat, I realised it is comparable (CO beef is $24/kg and CO chicken for $22/kg.)
I met a very interesting gentleman who was clearly focused on obtaining turkey wings and nothing else. When asked why, he explained he had analyzed the $/kg of what you buy to the $/kg of what you actually get to eat (minus bone/skin/shrinkage) and wings won out. Further discussion led him to GreenAg’s Turkey shanks ($5 for 2 meaty shanks) and the Tender Bites which are the delicious eye of flesh on the back of the turkey which is sometimes referred to as the oyster. These Tender Bite are amazing, 1kg for $10, and they would last you a few weeks of stir fry’s. He walked away with all 3!
There are also the ‘ends and pieces’, which are the ends of the turkey ham and the piece at the front of the ham. All the bits are popped in a bag for $10 (500grams). The pizzeria toppers are the same as the ends and pieces but cut up finer to save you a job.
What I realised is that once you have been initiated into the world of all things turkey there are some amazingly inexpensive cuts that you can acquire. There really is a part of the turkey that suits all bank balances, including those watching their pennies. $ is not a reason to avoid organic turkey meat – just ask Ewart or Suzanne for options that meet your budget.