A price guide to organic turkeys

Beautiful Bird

Photo by iStock.

It’s called Turkey Day for a reason, pilgrims, and this year you want an organic one. First of all, you know how much better they taste (it’s true). Second, it’s Thanksgiving, and it just seems right to eat a bird that saw sunlight and walked outside like they did in 1621, not pumped with hormones and antibiotics by someone not wearing flannel.

What exactly is an organic turkey? To settle the free-range vs. organic question, which wasn’t easy, here’s a helpful document explaining the USDA’s rules, which say that in addition to not being fed drugs, plastic pellets, hormones, manure, etc., livestock must be raised with “access to the outdoors, shade, shelter, exercise areas, fresh air and direct sunlight suitable to the species, its stage of production, the climate and the environment.” Michael Pollan says poultry farmers have all kinds of ways of getting around USDA regs, one reason why more people are opting for free-livin’ heritage turkeys, which can cost up to $14.99/pound. (Brooklyn Based has a list here.) For the purposes of our research, we kept it simple: called a whole bunch of markets and a few online vendors to get prices on a 13-pound organic bird, which serves eight to 10 people.

Fairway
480-500 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook, (718) 694-6868
Cost of 13-lb. organic turkey: $45.50.
Pre-order by: 11/22

Fresh Fanatic
275 Park Ave, Clinton Hill, (888) 373-7404
13-lb. organic turkey: $45.50
Pre-order by: 11/16

Park Slope Food Coop
782 Union St, Park Slope, (718) 622-0560
13-lb. organic turkey: $51.50 (Koch), $55.25 (Eberly), (Having a friend who can smuggle one out for you: priceless).
No pre-orders

Perelandra
175 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights, (718) 855-6068
13-lb. organic turkey: $52
Pre-order by: 11/18. (At that point, the turkeys will be at the store, and it’s first-come-first-serve). You can also order on their website.

Los Paisanos
162 Smith Street, Cobble Hill, (718) 855-2641
13-lb. organic turkey: $65
Pre-order by: 11/19.

Brooklyn Kitchen
616 Lorimer Street, Greenpoint.
(718) 389-2982
13-lb. organic turkey: $90.
Pre-order by: soon (There were only 21 left, as of 11/6 at 10:32 a.m.)

Online

Fresh Direct
13-lb. organic turkey: $44.85 (plus $6 delivery fee)
Pre-order by: 11/18

Local Harvest
13-lb. organic turkey: $69.
Pre-order by: No deadline but the may sell out so just do it. Ships 11/24 to arrive 11/25.

Lobel’s
13-lb. organic turkey: $87.08, plus free pinstripe cooler bag!
Pre-Order: By 11 a.m. on 11/23. You choose delivery date between 11/20 and 11/24.

D’Artagnan
13-lb. organic turkey: $92.99
Pre-Order: By noon on 11/23. Deliveries on 11/24 or 11/25.

To enhance your organic turkey experience, here are a few resources. Say your dad says “well, I never tasted any difference between this here turkey from the one we got at Kroger,” prepare by reading this debate. You can email a farmer questions (no deadline on this) to make sure you really can back up your case in the court of dinner. Plan ahead with some ideas from this for the cocktail hour, and in case you get cornered before dessert by Aunt Joan, do some research here. Happy Turkey Day!

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