Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! As we sit down with our families this Thanksgiving to enjoy a delicious and warm meal, we have a lot to be thankful for. At my house, we share our gratitude before we dig in, and inevitably, the food on our plates is the most common answer.
My Thanksgiving menu always includes turkey (Fun-fact: Minnesota is the number one turkey producing state!) and I would bet your menu is similar to mine:
And this Thanksgiving, I wanted to highlight the farmers that brought that turkey to the supermarket. This is a three-minute video of a mom who’s also a turkey farmer. Farmers have families too.
When a farmer makes decisions, commitment to content and healthy animals is of the utmost priority. That translates into safe and nutritious food for our families, including the farmer’s family. I want you to gobble up three quick facts:
- Antibiotics. The real deal: it’s a misleading claim – ALL meat is actually antibiotic-free. Farmers occasionally use antibiotics to promote animal health, but there are dosing guidelines and a withdrawal period where a farmer has to wait a certain amount of time before sending the animal to market to make sure the antibiotic has cleared the system. The US National Residue Program randomly tests treated animals for antibiotic residue before the flock goes to market. If an unsafe residue is found, the entire flock is held back until samples prove that the meat is safe. In short: There are no antibiotics in the meat you eat.
- Hormones and steroids. Another marketing ploy. There are no added hormones and steroids in poultry and there haven’t been hormones or steroids in poultry since the 1950’s. Turkeys are bigger because of three simple reasons: better breeding, better feeding and better care.
- Family farms vs. corporate farms. Another myth. 98% of farms in the United States are family owned and operated, with many being multi-generational. For a farmer, it’s about the future and the legacy left behind. I believe everyone should watch the upcoming movie, Farmland, to gain better insight into a farmer’s perspectives. To be released in 2014. I am so excited for this film.
Hopefully, you bought enough turkey to have leftovers! I know I did! Check out these leftover turkey recipes from the Iowa Turkey Federation and have a Happy Thanksgiving.