How well do you know your Thanksgiving turkey? If you buy your turkey from a conventional grocery store like most Americans, you might not realize that nearly all of the 46 million turkeys consumed every year come from a factory farm. Although these birds are often packaged with claims like “all natural” and “farm-fresh,” their living conditions are nothing to brag about. In order to make weight in time for Thanksgiving, conventional turkeys are subjected to truly awful conditions, including tortuous feeding schedules and a steady diet of GMO feed and antibiotics.
We just can’t get on board with that at Greenling. That’s why you won’t find a single factory-farmed option in our line-up of Thanskgiving products. All of our meats come from family farms like Jim and Kay Richardson’s up the road near Rockdale, Texas. Jim is a retired veterinarian, and he raisees his turkeys in open pastures without growth hormones or antibiotics. The birds’ diets consist of green grass, bugs, and non-GMO feed.
It takes a little more work to source sustainable turkeys for the holiday, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Our buyer, “Sargent Pepper” James, works closely with the Richardsons as early as June to ensure our customers will have Thanksgiving turkeys. He stays in touch with them throughout the growing season so we know exactly how many birds we can bring to you! And instead of the one-turkey-fits-all approach you get from conventional stores, Greenling customers choose between a large (18-24 lb.) or a medium (14-18 lb.) turkey when they order. This flexibility allows Richardson Farms’ turkeys to grow at their own pace and eat as they like, with happy living conditions from hatch to harvest. No crash-diets or force feeding like he Big Guys!
Sustainable and humane practices like these may cost a little more, but our farmers– and our customers– tell us again and again that they are worth it. We think you’ll agree that the chance to support a local farm by choosing a local turkey this Thanksgiving is something to be grateful for!