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Ingredient of the Week: Ethically-raised turkeys

Whole Foods holds all their meat to a five-step creed, allowing you to get an ethically-raised turkey for Thanksgiving. (File Photo)

We’re in the midst of the organic revolution, which means you can get farm-fresh, organically-grown, and ethically-raised foods, including your turkey for Thanksgiving.

When looking for a turkey this Thanksgiving, chef Tom Douglas recommends going as natural as possible. “The things that I look for are Northwest and natural: I try to be local and as natural as possible. No antibiotics, no animal byproducts, no GMOs,” he says.

Helping move the sustainable movement along is Whole Foods. They have a 5-step creed that can help you buy ethical meats.

“Step one:” says Tom, “animals live their lives with room to stretch their legs and space to move around. No crates, no cages.” Chef Thierry Rautureau adds that, while this seems impossible, it’s actually not. “It makes them have a better flavor,” he says.

Step two: animals are provided with enrichment and encouraged in behavior that is natural to them. “Like a bale of hay or straw for chickens to peck at or a bowling ball for a pig to shove around,” Tom says.

Step three: pigs, chickens and turkeys might live in buildings, but each and every one of them have access to outdoor areas.

Step four: animals are pasture-centered. Chickens get to forage, pigs get to wallow, and cattle get to roam.

Step five: the well-being of the animals is the primary focus. Efficiency and economy are secondary.

“I thought it was a really reasonable and nice way to think about your Thanksgiving turkey,” says Tom.

Whole Foods Markets are a proud sponsor of Seattle Kitchen’s Ingredient of the Week.

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