What are Heritage Turkeys?
Heritage Turkeys ALL THE WAY!
Bourbon Red, Black Spanish, Narragansett, Jersey Buff, Royal Palm, Standard Bronze, White Midget and Beltsville Small White—sounds like a bunch of gibberish right? Actually, these are just some of the most coveted Heritage Turkey breeds in the USA and with a strong shift in consumer buying habits to steer clear of hormone induced poultry, these may just become household names.
Heritage Turkeys are standard, traditional turkeys much similar to the ones found in the wild, despite the fact they are domesticated. They have not been subjected to the industrialization of large corporations to “speed up” their time on earth by being artificially injected with growth hormones to prematurely plump them up to make a faster sale. Rather Heritage Turkeys are free roaming and live off the land. One of their dietary delicacies are insects!
There is no “rush” to fatten up Heritage Turkeys as there are with its predecessor the Broad Breasted White. In fact, the average Broad Breasted White reaches 32lbs in just 18 weeks; yet it can take a Heritage Turkey anywhere from 20-30 weeks! This, once again, is due to the massive overload of growth hormones and steroids...not that the Broad Breasted White is just a miraculous quick growing breed, quite the contrary.
The Broad Breasted White makes its way into the homes of about 280 MILLION North American families each year compared to about 25,000 Heritage Turkey’s. So what gives?
As with many other food products subjected to the large corporations the Broad Breasted White had been revered by markets and consumers alike for its bountiful breast meat. In fact, approximately 70% of the entire turkey is consisted of breast meat! This makes it nearly impossible for the turkeys to walk leaving them basically immobile. Even more depressing is that they cannot even mate without artificial incrimination! More breast meat equated to larger profit margins. This sadly has been the case since about the 1960’s when factory farmed turkeys became the norm.
Ironically, one of the deciding factors of constituting whether or not a Heritage Turkey is indeed authentic is if they can mate naturally—without human intervention like their counterparts. Sounds pretty simple rights? If you are expecting a real turkey it should be able to mate on its own, the way nature intended. So if you intended on eating a real bird the only way to go is a Heritage Turkey.