Why a local, organic, pasture-raised turkey is worth the price.

Photo courtesy of Osprey Farms

Let’s face it: our food system is broken. For most, eating in a way that is healthy, nutritious, ecologically sound, humane, good for the environment, good for local economies, and that works for our busy lives remains a difficult—if not impossible—balancing act. As a culture and a society, we have long accepted this broken industrial food system as the norm.

At Acme Farms and Kitchen, our mission is to combat our broken food system through building a local food movement—a movement that directly challenges our broken food system and long normalized ways of eating. We hope our locally sourced meal kits make it easier to eat in a way that is delicious, healthy, and good for the environment and local economies.

This holiday season, you may be looking at how you can support and strengthen your local food systems through purchasing a local, organic, pasture-raised turkey. We will be the first to admit that this is not an option for many, as a turkey that meets these standards can often cost upwards of $100—compared to the $30 price tag of an industrial farm-raised turkey. This is the unfortunate reality of our current food system which makes healthy and ethical eating inaccessible for many.

But if you find yourself in a situation where you can afford a local, organic, pasture-raised turkey, there are plenty of great reasons and benefits to doing so, and—like many—you may find the price well worth it.

In this HuffPost article, Julie Thomson breaks down the costs of raising a truly pasture-raised, organic turkey on a small local farm (similar to Acme’s turkey suppliers Osprey Hill Farms and Chehalis Valley Farm). Among the benefits: small farm turkeys are not subjected to the horrific treatment that industrial raised turkeys are subjected to, they are fed a well balanced diet of foraged greens and organic grain which greatly improves the flavor of the turkey, and a small family farm is supported in their mission to challenge the industrial food system and keep money in their local economy.

Even with the higher costs associated with raising an organic pasture-raised turkey, many small farms are still often operating on small profit margins with events such as an especially cold winter or a coyotes eating a few birds greatly impacting their profitability for the year. These unexpected events must also be factored in when a small producer prices their turkey.

As consumers, often the only thing we are taught to see with our food choices is the price tag. But building an ethical food system means taking the time to understand what goes into that price and evaluating if purchasing the product is worth supporting the system behind it. We hope you will consider this when making your turkey purchase this year if you have the means to do so.

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