We have to kill 'em or else they will DIE!!!

by Elsewhere 5 Replies latest jw friends

  • Elsewhere


    Heritage turkeys making comeback

    Consumers willing to pay extra for more flavorful breed

    LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- It's a turkey with a proud heritage, so much so that gourmet cooks seem to be flocking to poultry farms this Thanksgiving season to buy one.

    Mary and Rick Pitman say the phone at their Fresno-area farm has hardly stopped ringing since summer. The question is always the same: Is there still time to reserve a heritage turkey for Thursday's feast?

    "There's such a huge demand for these turkeys, I've never seen anything like it," said Mary Pitman. Even a heritage bird's price of $3 to $7 a pound -- a factory farm-raised turkey costs $1.40 a pound -- doesn't faze the callers.

    Consumers with discerning palates say it's a small price to pay for a bird they find tastier and more flavorful than the modern, mass-produced turkeys found in supermarkets. People from as far away as Florida have been calling Sylvia Mavalwalla's farm in Petaluma to order one, and those who live nearby insist on driving straight to her ranch to pick up a fresh bird.

    With word about heritages spreading, the Pitmans say they expect to sell 6,000 birds this year, 5,000 more than last year when they first started raising them. Mavalwalla said she will sell 110, up from 45 last year.

    About 274 million turkeys were raised in the United States in 2003, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and most of them were mass-produced Broadbreasted White turkeys.

    A census conducted in 1997 by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy found only 1,335 heritage turkeys in the country. This year, about 20,000 were raised, according to Slow Food USA, which launched a campaign in 2001 to reacquaint Americans with the birds.

    Preservationists believe revived interest in eight varieties of turkeys such as the American Bronze, Bourbon Red and Narragansett will help keep the food supply diverse and save the breeds from extinction.

    "When talking about certain animals being raised for food, if no one eats them then they become endangered," said Erika Lesser, executive director of Slow Food USA. "You ensure their survival by consuming and ensuring demands for them."

    People who want to try a heritage bird may have missed out this year if they haven't already ordered, but Lesser says they can reserve early for next year. That way farmers can plan the year's stock.

    Heritage turkeys take eight months to fully develop, while a commercial turkey has about a 3-month life span. The Broadbreasted White turkeys were developed in the 1950s to come to market faster and fatter, and they've lost the ability to run, fly and breed naturally.

    The Pitmans say their turkeys are fed a high-protein grain diet and are given four times as much roaming space as factory-raised turkeys. As a result, their live weights range from 7 to 20 pounds, compared with 27 pounds for an average Broadbreasted White.

    Heritage turkeys are also more "animated and social" than Broadbreasted Whites, says Mary Pitman, who raises both.

    "When you go out there, they follow you whereas other birds would run away from you," she said. "When you get excited, they get excited. And they're beautiful, they have intense bronze, purple feathers."

    Farmers say it is worth the added time and money it takes to raise them.

    "I wouldn't do it if I wasn't making a profit," Mavalwalla said.

    For Pitman, raising the birds is also part of a personal crusade. She switched to eating pure foods two decades ago after she began developing allergies and her body couldn't digest processed food.

    "I feel strongly about the way my turkeys are raised because of my own health," she said.

    For people like her, who need to pay close attention to what they eat, a company called Heritage Foods USA even offers a way to trace the origins of their turkey.

    By ordering with the company's online service, a consumer can log on to a live Web cam and watch the birds being raised.

    "It's hard to rely on labels in this day and age," said Patrick Martins, who created Slow Food's turkey campaign before founding Heritage Foods. "This offers a way to connect the consumer to the farmer."

    For those who just want to go to the store and buy one, many upscale markets such as Bristol Farms in Southern California and Berkeley Bowl Marketplace in Berkeley have also picked up on heritage turkeys' surging popularity and are now selling them.

  • gitasatsangha

    A whole new way to save endangered species! Pass me another Siberian White Tiger cutlet.

  • mkr32208

    Sad but true, in my biology class we discussed this with plants. There used to be literaly hundreds of sub-species of tomatos and corn now there are dozens or less. Those sub-species are eaten less so they were wiped out to make room for big sellers... Another example is fruits they were so rare as to never be seen in the 40's and 50's then people in San Diego started eating them... now there are fruits everywhere, even on TV...


  • wizedup

    Am I missing something? Wouldn't consuming them on a large scale make them endangered too? Maybe if we all ate elephants they wouldn't be endangered anymore.

  • gitasatsangha
    Maybe if we all ate elephants they wouldn't be endangered anymore.

    If you could raise them economically and find some use for them, yes. I sometimes wonder why someone hasn't tried ranching rhinos so they can sell the horn extract to apothecaries in China where it has a high demand.

    Humanity would still be fairly rare if it hadn't found acces to lots of things to eat. Farming and ranching makes certain that animals have what they need to grow and reproduce. The downside (for them) is that they get eaten for their trouble, or at best get their mammary glands sucked dry every morning, or their wool shorn, then eaten or otherwised processed later.

    If people don't want to eat elephant, then no it wouldn't go over well. Witness all the farmers that lost money in America trying to raise emus. On the other hand, I have eaten bison meat, and it was really good. There are a few places that raise them. They raise them as part of a study on city land near where I live.

    As for that other comment by someone who said that before TV, fruit was rare....

    ..let me find the right words...

    DUDE, WTF?

  • mkr32208

    It was a joke weenie!!!! Fruits... eating fruits... fruits=homosexuals... never mind I was tired...

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