Make sure that you purchase the right bird this year. As with most things, you get what you pay for and unfortunately, it’s no different with turkeys.
First of all not all turkeys are the same. Buy a fresh (not frozen) turkey labeled USDA Organic or Natural. Organic birds are fed organic feed and raised free-range without antibiotics or synthetic hormones.
Turkeys labeled “natural” are minimally processed and cannot contain artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. However, they may not have been raised free-range or fed organic feed. They may have also been given antibiotics and hormones.
Both organic and naturally raised birds are not injected with extra fats, sodium, or unhealthy chemical tenderizers, so they are both healthier alternatives to traditionally raised birds.
Note: Poultry is considered fresh, not frozen if it’s internal temperature remains between 26 and zero degrees. That’s why so many turkeys say fresh, but seem frozen when you purchase them. If your turkey still seems frozen when you remove the packaging to prepare it, don’t worry, it will completely defrost within a few days in your refrigerator.