Where to buy turkey in Australia? Part 2
When buying turkey meat, it is better to buy from an organic or free-range farm, for the sake of animal welfare and your health. (Read Part 1 for a clearer description.) Unfortunately the price can put off consumers as it is higher than the unnaturally cheap prices for factory farmed meat. As a consumer we need to be aware that the cost of cheap meat is a reflection of a system that is causing ongoing cruelty and the low price is achieved at the cost of suffering from the animals, poorer quality of fed, constant antibiotic use and being grown in "regulated" filthy sheds. It is far better to eat more expensive organic or free-range meat less often than lots of cheap factory farmed turkey. I believe it is similar to buying other products for example, if a pair of sneakers are really cheap but made from child labour then of course ( Im hoping) you would pay more for the ones made with standard ethical practises, so why not turkey? Sometimes cheap is not the best reason to buy something. I also hear the taste and texture is remarkably different, which to me would make sense.
Ethically raised turkeys are hard to come by now as the competitive industrialised market has pushed many of the smaller farms, doing the right thing, out of business. Inghams and Steggles are the main producers in Australia now, with over 4/5 of the industry market but they both raise the birds through factory farming.
Some free-range and organic farmers are now introducing heritage breeds, as they are trying to reintroduce a variety of genetic makeup back into the genetically engineered breeds of turkeys. The turkey as we know it survives now on only one genetic strain and the fewer genetic strains of an animal that exist, the smaller the chance that they have the genes necessary to survive a lethal pathogen if they were to be exposed to an illness. They would not survive without human intervention. Genetic diversity is crucial in any species for ongoing "natural" survival.
HOWEVER, to be clear, no matter what ever type of farm or breed of turkey you choose to consume, it will have been breed by artificial insemination, as no matter what, they now are so big, they can no longer mate and reproduce naturally. Mmmmm.... interesting what happens when we mess too much with nature.
If you still want to enjoy a turkey to celebrate a Christmas tradition (as my Grandmother does), then why not save up an extra few dollars and purchase an animal that has lived a better life. For me, it only makes sense. Why would you want to celebrate with something less than that?
The few farms producing true free range turkey are;
You can purchase directly through them or through from selective butchers such as;
Landline did a great report on turkey production in Australia. It is fascinating to watch the industrial method of the main stream farming, filmed in this piece.I highly recommend to watch click here.
" The key word to keep in mind is ''traceability.'' If the person behind the counter where you buy your turkey can name the farm or farmer who raised it, you are taking a step in the right direction. You'll help give turkeys a better life. You'll be kinder to the environment. And you might even wind up with a turkey that tastes, well, like a turkey." NY TIMES