Organic Turkey and Trimmings Worth the Price?

Thanksgiving snuck up on me this year.  We had just moved the week before and the sewer backed up in our house 3 days before Thanksgiving.  I told the hubby that there was no way no how that we were cooking turkey this year.  After several “but, but…” and “no turkey?” I felt like the Grinch who stole the roast beast and caved in.  Where or where was I going to find a thawed turkey with 30 hours to go until Thanksgiving?

Why Whole Foods grocery store of course!  According to their website, Whole Foods Market is “the world’s largest retailer of natural and organic foods.”  I bought a nice 11 pound organic/free range turkey, organic yukon gold potatoes, organic cranberries, organic green beans, and organic stuffing for our feast.  The price of waiting till the last minute to shop?  Pretty hefty. Close to a hundred dollars.  Other than the purported health, environmental, and humane benefits, was it worth it?  Or simply put, Did it taste good???

Well, everyone loved the mashed potatoes.  I don’t know if it was my cooking method or because they were organic.  (BTW, did you know that potatoes were on the Dirty Dozen list of things food you should buy organic due to pesticide contamination?  Anytime I see little icons of babies wearing diapers under the heading “Developmental and Reproductive Toxins” I get a little worried!)

Poor Evelyn was very sick over Thanksgiving and couldn’t try any other dish.

Oliver dug the green beans, but we couldn’t tell a big taste difference from their non-organic buddies.  The homemade cranberry sauce ROCKED, but then again, it always does… (I’m posting the super easy recipe tomorrow so you can make it for your next holiday feast.)

As for the roast beast, er Turkey,  I have to give it a thumb’s down.  Being free-range, the turkey got plenty of exercise and the meat was very, very lean and muscular.  The turkey was 11.5 pounds, but was just a little bigger than a basketball.  It was very dense and the dark meat was very, very dark.  I know that Butterballs and other cheapo turkeys are injected with all sorts of flavors and liquids, so maybe the answer is to brine the free-rangers before roasting.  For $2.99/lb I’m happy that we had a happy/healthy bird, but I need to work on the recipe.

So the verdict for Thanksgiving 2011?  Other than the turkey, we couldn’t tell the difference in the taste of any other food we ate.  The turkey, with a simple herb and salt rub didn’t taste all that good.

Debating the health benefits is another post all together!  As for being frugal?  Organic food is usually always more expensive than their non-organic counterpart.  One can argue that paying more now on organic food will save you in cancer bills down the line, but that’s a story for another day.


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