Dig Into These Turkey Terms

It’s been said that the bird is the word and at no time is that more apparent than on Thanksgiving. But turkey marketers don’t just use one word to get you interested in their birds; they use several. And some of these turkey terms that you see on labeling may not mean what you think. For example, in regard to poultry labeled “free range,” the USDA only requires that the birds have been “allowed access to the outside.” The extent of that access is not defined, not to mention that there may in fact be more room to roam inside than outside depending on the size of the farm and its buildings. Here are a few more turkey terms to dig into before picking your bird. (For more information see related coverage below.)

See related coverage: heritage and heirloom, organic, natural, no antibiotics, fresh.

In addition, in October 2020, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Diestel Turkey Ranch for allegedly falsely marketing that its turkeys are “thoughtfully raised on sustainable family farms” in Sonora, California when, according to the lawsuit, the turkeys are raised in crowded conditions and come from factory farms outside of the city of Sonora, which sits on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

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