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Jewish Journal

Kosher, Free-Range Turkey for Thanksgiving

by Rob Eshman

October 22, 2010 | 11:27 am

If you will it, it is no dream, Herzl said.

And so:  Starting this year, people who care about the way their meat is raised, and the ay it tastes, can finally, easily, get natural, humanely-raised Heritage breed kosher turkey in Los Angeles.

KOL Foods, an East coast company that has pioneered the sourcing of good meat, is now shipping their Thanksgiving turkeys West.  You’ll need to pre-order (by November 10), and there’s one pick up point in the Pico Robertson area.  Basically, it is easier to get pot in this town than a well-raised kosher animal.

You’ll pay a bit more too (the price is TBD).  I can detour here and go into a long analysis of why food costs too little, not too much, but that doesn’t ease the stress on your wallet.  Suffice it to say that a couple years ago we ate a Heritage kosher breed turkey from Kosher Conscience in New York, and it really was good.  (I mean, it was still turkey, so keep your expectations in check).

To order your bird, contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  at Neshama Gourmet Kosher Foods (310-559-5750).  Evelyn is working closely with KOL all year, turning into a one-woman underground railroad of well-raised animals.

I’ll update this site to list—happily—any other outlets for humane kosher birds (or beasts) in LA.

Meantime, enjoy the information on the Amish farmer who raises the birds back east.  Pardon the expression, but it;‘s almost overkill:

Aaron King, Our Amish Turkey and Duck farmer

Our turkeys are not your normal bird. They are organic-raised on the pastures of Aaron and Roman’s Amish farms in Lancaster Country, PA especially for KOL Foods. While conventional turkeys have such large breasts that they have trouble walking, KOL Foods’ turkeys are reminiscent of a time before industrialization when poultry was free to roam. Our turkeys live turkey lives. Aaron provides them with all the staples: ample food, drink, protection and good old-fashioned freedom. The turkeys live on the farm’s pastureland where a barn provides them with shelter but does not keep them contained. The birds find fresh grass and grubs – in a bird’s eye view: heaven.

Aaron understands their thinking; he also sees his farm as heaven. Aaron started caring for animals on his parents’ dairy farm when he was only three years old. He likes the diversity of raising turkeys, ducks, chickens and guinea fowl because “there’s always something different going on.” He bought his own small poultry farm two and a half years ago after renting land for years. The values that farming instills - responsibility, hard work and delayed gratification - are important lessons that Aaron wants to pass on to his children. Aaron’s wife, Annie, and seven year old son, Emmanuel, tend the egg-laying chickens while their three year old son, Samuel, helps take care of their driving horse Lizzie and their dog Trixy. “On the farm you learn fast that a job done half isn’t worth doing. That’s important for my boys to know.” If the animals on a farm aren’t well cared for, they suffer - something that the boys know is not okay. Out on the small farms of Lancaster County, children care for animals and, in turn, animals teach farm kids about the circle of life.

In the age of industrial meat production, we have forgotten that the health of our bodies isn’t just in what we eat; it is in what what we eat eats. For our turkeys to be healthy for us, they need to eat healthy grass and healthy grubs grown on healthy soils. In a wonderful synergy of nature, not only are pasture-raised turkeys healthy for us and healthy for the earth, they are deliciously rich in flavor. They taste like turkey was meant to taste.

So let’s have a truly special Thanksgiving. Eat consciously. Know your farmer and where your meal comes from and be thankful in bringing them to your table.

 

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