Organic turkeys gobble up attention as the main attraction - Organic Trade Association
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Organic turkeys gobble up attention as the main attraction


GREENFIELD, Mass. (July 7, 2005) - 'Tis the season to be jolly and the season to enjoy organic turkeys that are grown without antibiotics, fed 100 percent certified organic feed and packaged without artificial flavors or colors.  Amidst growing public concerns for the environment and food safety, consumers are going wild over these delicious organic birds and are gobbling them up in record numbers for holiday festivities.

"Organic poultry sales, which would include turkey, are forecasted as the fastest growing category of organic product sales, with an anticipated average annual growth of 33.2 percent through 2008," says Katherine DiMatteo, of the Organic Trade Association.  "These increases show that consumers want and are willing to pay for the environmental assurance as well as great taste they get with certified organic poultry." 

Organic turkeys by definition cannot be given antibiotics and this is good news for consumers who face the potential unintended side effects of their use, such as the loss of life-saving antibiotics used to treat illness in humans.*  Antibiotics are commonly used in conventional agriculture to accelerate livestock growth and prevent diseases common to confined living quarters. 

Public health authorities now link low-level antibiotic use in conventionally raised livestock directly to greater numbers of people contracting infections that resist treatment with the same drugs. As a result, the American Medical Association in June 2001 adopted a resolution opposing the use of antimicrobials at non-therapeutic levels in agriculture, or as pesticides or growth promoters, and urged that such uses be ended or phased out based on scientifically sound risk assessments.


As a result, several large conventional poultry companies announced they will phase out one particular poultry antibiotic that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration suspects could be responsible for generating antibiotic-resistant bacteria. But despite the promise, farmers are not required to report antibiotic use and consumers have no way of knowing if their poultry purchases are supporting risky antibiotic use.


Buying organic means buying poultry raised without the use of antibiotics.   Consumers who want to avoid the use of antibiotics in food production have a sure-fire way to do so by buying organically produced meat. Antibiotics, growth hormones and artificial flavors and colors are forbidden in the production of certified organic foods which must comply with strict national standards.


For health-conscious consumers, low fat and high protein organic turkey is a popular choice year round.  A 3-ounce serving of boneless, skinless turkey breast contains 26 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat and 0 grams of saturated fat. It's also a great source of iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, B vitamins and the trace mineral selenium. Nationwide, more than 15 percent of all turkeys consumed are during the Thanksgiving holiday and another 8 percent over Christmas.


Today, organic turkey choices extend far beyond the traditional whole bird.  Organic ground turkey can be found in turkey breakfast sausage, turkey hot dogs and turkey burgers.  Retailers across the country now offer organic whole turkeys and turkey products and continue to see demand rising.  With the environmental and public health benefits of eating organic, organic turkey is finding a place in the market and on American's plates for the holidays and year round.


You can find an array of Organic Holiday Menu recipes by going to See the complete list of recipes below.


To find purveyors of organic poultry and other organic meat products, visit The Organic Pages Online,


The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is a membership-based business association whose mission is to encourage global sustainability through promoting and protecting the growth of diverse organic trade. OTA's approximately 1,600 members include growers, shippers, retailers, processors, certifiers, farmer associations, brokers, consultants and others. For further info, visit OTA's web site at


*For more information on the use of antibiotics in agriculture, please visit:


Organic Holiday Recipes

Tomato-Basil and Garlic Crostini with Fresh Mozzarella
Christmas Salad with Candied Hazelnuts and Cranberry Vinaigrette
Cranberry Orange Relish
Fall Greens Salad with Pumpkin seeds and Asiago


Main Dishes:
Pan Seared Lamb Chops with Roasted Garlic and Shallot Yogurt 
Sauce Served with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
Brine Cured Roast Turkey with Maple Ginger Glaze
Savory Apple Shallot Stuffing
Cherry Glazed Ham
Stuffed Tofu Roast
Beef, Barley & Root Vegetable Stew
Curried Stuffed Peppers
Stuffed Squash


Side Dishes:
Athenian Green Beans with Feta Topping
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Zesty Quinoa with Broccoli & Cashews


Chocolate Cheesecake
Pumpkin Roll

July 7, 2005

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