Turkey, turkey, turkey. Turkey on the mind. Everything right now is all about the turkey. I spent a good chunk of time each year researching turkeys, where they are raised, how much cost and everything in between. When I was researching turkeys from Whole Foods Market I discovered a turkey ranch that really got my attention – Diestel. They offer a wide selection of options at Whole Foods stores on the west coast. I decided to check them out, see what they are all about and why you might considering purchasing one of their turkeys for your Thanksgiving feast this year.
Since 1949, Diestel Turkey Ranch has been raising turkeys on their ranch in Sonora, California, very close to Yosemite National Park (planning to go to the park, you should stop by the ranch!). It’s a family affair, spanning four generations.
Here are NINE REASONS to buy a Diestel turkey for this Thanksgiving:
1. The birds are given the freedom to roam free – for fresh air and exercise. They allow the birds to be birds!
2. They are given plenty of time to grow, no rushing to market. They don’t try to fatten up the turkeys so that they can sell them faster. They may take twice as long to grow, but you will taste the difference in the end product.
3. The turkeys free range diet is supplemented food that with comes from corn and soy that they carefully choose. The feed itself is milled right on the ranch. They built their first feed mill in 1956.
4. They take the time each day to check on the birds to see if there are any health concerns.
5. They grow multiple breeds for different weights, flavors, and to produce biological diversity.
6. They were the first turkey producer to score a Step 5+ on the Global Animal Parternship. These are the ratings you see on meat that you buy at Whole Foods Market.
7. Diestel was on the forefront of organic turkey. Tim Diestel was actually at national hearings that determine the organic standards for poultry.
8. Diestel has a compost program that not only reduces what goes into landfills, but also provides a product that provides compost for garden and school programs.
9. Once the turkeys are slaughtered, they use an old-fashion ice-chilling method that is meant to keep the birds nice and cold while limiting added water weight. Most mass produced turkeys are dumped into batches of cold water with chlorine added. Diestel using just H2O.
I adore companies who take the time to do things right, instead of rushing and trying to pinch every penny in the name of profit over quality. It really pays off for the company, the consumer, the animals, and the land. In a day and age where our country is full of extra large, profit focused companies it is a breath of fresh air (and the turkeys get to breathe that air too) to encounter a company like Diestel.
Cost of Diestel
To give you an idea of how much a Diestel turkey costs, here are the prices of their turkeys from a Whole Foods Market store in San Francisco.
Heirloom Turkeys $4.99/lb
Organic Turkeys $3.99/lb
Pastured Raised Turkey $5.99/lb
Non-GMO Project Verified Turkey $3.49/lb
Mediterranean Brined Turkey $4.99/lb
Original Brined Turkey $4.99/lb
Lemon Herb Brined Turkey $4.99/lb
Petite Turkeys $2.99/lb
Original Diestel Turkeys $2.99/lb
Obviously you’re not going to get one of those rock bottom 54 cent a pound sales on these birds (But if that is all you can afford by all means go ahead). The amount of love and care put into these turkeys is naturally going to cost more money. The prices for this quality of turkey is very reasonable. Their lowest cost options are $2.99/lb. One of them is a petite turkey that between 6-10 pounds, which is great if you are only having a very small get together. The original is the same price as well. Consider this, how often have you paid $2.99/lb or more for boneless skinless chicken or any kind of beef? Although these prices look high in comparison to a cheap frozen turkey, they don’t look high when you compare them across the entire gamet of meat.
To find where else you might purchase Diestel’s product, visit their website, enter into your address or zipcode. Their products are not available in every part of the country, unfortunately where I live their products aren’t available.
If my words weren’t enough to convince you to consider buying a Diestel turkey this Thanksgiving, check out this video produced by Whole Foods Market.