Let’s Talk Turkey

by Deena on November 8, 2010

Can you believe Thanksgiving is only a couple weeks away?  Time to talk Turkey.  Which for many families, this can be the biggest expense of the meal.  In my case, that would be the wine – yes, I really like to celebrate the holidays. The decision for a lot of families, to whom I’ve spoken to lately, seems to be on whether or not to pay the extra amount for an organic turkey.  Personally, I’m not going to say what’s right for your family… I will however explain why the cost of an organic turkey is higher and then share some price points seen recently for organic turkeys in our area or online.

Why do organic turkeys cost more?

The main reason is the amount of land needed to raise turkeys organically vs. conventionally.  A conventional turkey farm can raise close to 10 times the amount of turkeys on the same amount of land.  This enables those farms to be able to sell those turkeys at a lower cost per pound.

Another reason would be comparing organic vs. conventional turkey growth rates.  Research shows that organic turkeys grow slower due to their not receiving hormones or supplements like the conventional ones.  Because they grow slower they require more food to reach their peak size.

Also, as you’ll remember from Angela’s earlier article on food labels “all natural”, “free range” etc… do not equal organic.  Unless you personally know the farm or farmer –  buying organic is the only way to know that you are purchasing a turkey certified by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) which must be raised under strict guidelines – no antibiotics, no growth enhancers, only organic feed, and the animals must be given access to outdoors.

Currently, Costco appears to be offering the best price for organic turkey, but not everyone has access to a Costco or has a membership, so I compiled a list of options.

Organic Turkey Price Comparisons
Store Price per pound Ordering Information General Notes
Costco $2.29/lb In stores only
Harris Teeter $3.39/lb In stores only
Trader Joes $1.79/lb In stores only This turkey is NOT organic, but rather TJ advertises it as All Natural Grade A Brined Turkeys raised on 100% vegetarian feed, no antibiotics, growth hormones or artificial ingredients, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
Wegmans $4.29/lb In stores only
Whole Foods $3.39/lb In stores only
D’Artagnan $5.62/lb(8-10 lbs for $44.99) Order on their website Shipping cost not included.  Order by 11/19 for Thanksgiving delivery
Wise Organic Pastures $5.25/lb(12-13 lbs $63.00) Order on their website Shipping cost not included.
Organic Prairie: $3.14/lb(14 lbs $44.00 with discount code) Order on their website Shipping cost not included.  Enter discount code FFTH10 to get the $44.00 price.Order by 11/15 for Thanksgiving delivery.

You can also check out your local food stores as well and see what they are offering. If you can find one labeled with the USDA organic symbol for $2.29/lb or less, I would say you are getting a great deal!

If you find a great deal on organic Turkeys let us know in the comments.

Link to us on Social Media

Previous post:

Next post: