Homegrown: Free-Range Turkey

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Nancy Gower

Just in time for another jam-packed holiday season, supermarket shelves are lined with big, fat turkeys. You could grab one of these birds for only 99 cents a pound — but that won’t buy you much flavor. This year, we recommend tracking down a free-range turkey from a local farm.

Why, when price and convenience are unavoidable factors in the decisions we make about our food purchases? First and foremost, local birds taste phenomenal. “These turkeys have been allowed to walk around and work their muscles, eating real grubs, which essentially adds flavor to the meat,” explains James Lionette, co-owner of Boston’s Lionette Market, which sells free-range birds from a few local sources. Second, he says, you’ll be promoting sustainability. Since small farms have a limited supply of land, they maintain it well and are committed to doing so for future generations.

Third, buying local cuts down on “food miles.” Most turkeys in New England supermarkets have been trucked in from across the country, creating unnecessary pollution. Order a bird from a local farmer and you’re putting less distance between yourself and the supplier — and causing much less damage to the earth.

Read more: 9 New England sources



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