Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Branch Out from Chicken and Turkey

By Frances Flower, October 4, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Frances Flower

There’s a (ever so slight) chill in the air and the pumpkins are out in front of our stores, which means one thing: fall has arrived! With the change in seasons, have you considered trying something different when you shop in our meat department? Why not break out of the tradition of buying chicken or turkey this season and consider cooking goose, pheasant or quail.

PheasantIf you’re looking for an intense poultry flavor without being too ‘gamey’, then pheasant is for you. MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc has been a leader in pheasant production since 1929 and has been supplying Whole Foods Market®’s with pheasant for more than five years. They raise domesticated pheasant in outdoor flight pens giving the birds room to roam and fly and the birds meet our requirements of being fed a vegetarian diet, without growth hormones* or antibiotics.    

GeeseIf you prefer a light, succulent flavor, then why not try goose? We’ve partnered with Pitman Family Farms to bring you Mary’s Free Range Geese. The Pitmans raise these birds because they are known for being strong, hardy and slow growing. They raise the birds seasonally on open range farms, with plenty of room to roam and, as far as we know, these are the only geese raised in the US that are fed a purely vegetarian diet (corn, soybean meal and wheat) with no animal by-products and of course, they’re raised without antibiotics. 

QuailIf you’re after tender meat with a rich flavor, then consider quail. This bird is very lean and they are the perfect portion size for the health conscious foodie. Texas Quail Farms is based in Lockhart, Texas has been supplying Whole Foods with quail for five years. This small group of farms raises quail in open-sided barns with lots of natural light and ventilation. Again, birds are raised on a vegetarian diet, with no animal by-products and no antibiotics.

*Federal regulations prohibit the use of synthetic growth hormones in raising pork, poultry, goat, veal and bison.

Looking for cooking inspiration? Why not try these pheasant, goose and quail recipes and tell us what you think.

Have you had pheasant, goose or quail? How did you eat it and what did you think?



Category: Meat




Estefania says ...
10/04/2012 4:56:25 PM CDT
fern keniston says ...
Are all of your meats considered "organic"? Are any of your meats from animals fed GMOs? I ask because when you describe the growing conditions, you stress environment and no use of hormones or antibiotics, ( all good) but do not mention if the animals are fed GMO free grain or food. I ask because if the animals are GMO free - I would think you would mention it. Fern
10/08/2012 8:44:33 AM CDT
Gloria Webber says ...
Can I buy these birds at all of your stores, and do I have to call ahead to order or do you normally have them in stock? I live in Philadelphia.
10/09/2012 8:36:44 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@GLORIA - Thanks for your question. All of our products vary between store locations so I would encourage you to reach out directly to the store you will be shopping at in Philadelphia. If they do not have the birds in stock ask them about special ordering them as I'm sure they'll be happy to help! You can find a list of store contacts at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list.
10/09/2012 11:08:41 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@FERN - Thanks for your question. Due to the prevalence of the GMOs in the commodity grain market, and the limited availability of verified non-GMO feed, we cannot require the use of only non- GMO feed for animal products (including meat, dairy and farmed fish) sold in our stores. We encourage shoppers who are looking to avoid products from animals fed GMOs to choose organic meat and dairy products (since organic standards prohibit the intentional use of GMOs). I hope this helps.
10/10/2012 5:41:13 PM CDT
Jeremiah Contreras says ...
I have been looking for ostrich meat (ground, filet, etc). Is this something I can get from Whole Foods? If so, what is the cost? Thanks,
10/28/2012 9:32:16 PM CDT
Megan says ...
@JEREMIAH - Our selection varies by region and availability, so please check with your local store regarding ostrich. Thanks!
10/29/2012 12:05:10 PM CDT
Mary says ...
Do any WF stores carry duck meat? I read that you had discontinued carrying whole ducks and duck parts. I shop in Cambridge, MA. Thanks.
11/24/2012 2:15:27 PM CST
Juana Duarte says ...
When will you have geese available in your So. Cal. stores and do you know how much they will be, roughly?
11/24/2012 6:03:34 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@MARY & @JUANA - The duck options at each store location are going to vary by region. I would encourage both of you to reach out directly to the butcher at your local store to see the status on this particular type of bird. You can find their contact info at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list.
11/26/2012 1:53:10 PM CST
Craig Puhrmann says ...
How much does a whole pheasant cost?
11/29/2012 10:35:18 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@CRAIG - Our products, and therefore prices, vary between store locations so I would encourage you to reach out to your local store to see if they have these in stock, and if so, the price. You can find their contact info at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list.
12/03/2012 11:57:35 AM CST
Tuende Clark says ...
Do you actually carry geese in the store? I would love to buy some. I am German where the Christmas Goose is quite common and we love it. I usually bake it in the oven the same way I would a turkey. With veggies on the side in an oven bag. On low temperature for a long time (at least 4-5 hours depending on size) I have searched for it last year and no luck here on Oahu. Please let me know if any of the Oahu chains carry goose!
12/04/2012 11:30:13 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@TUENDE - Thanks for checking. Our products vary between locations so I would suggest calling your local store to see what the meat department has in stock!
12/06/2012 1:13:21 PM CST
emilio velando flores says ...
11/26/2013 8:33:39 PM CST
Mike Alligood says ...
I grew up in NC with my mom, dad and brother. My dad and I particularly liked to hunt quail during "bird" season (Nov. to Feb.) with the help of our German Short-haired Pointers-primarily in pairs. Numerous meals during the winter months (and if the season was a productive one, on into the spring) consisted of bird stew (with quail and/or dove), baked or fried quail. Bird stew was my favorite meal, and was quite simple to make (quail, milk, butter, salt & pepper): always was a special delicacy at our house. The idea of bringing home wild game and cooking it the same day or week added to the enjoyment. There seem to always be a cool story behind each meal between my dad and me, and others if they accompanied us on the hunt; and, if anyone was "lucky" enough to reach to the bottom of their bowl and find a No. 8 shot (though my dad usually used Hi-Powered No. 9's), that was an extra special find...better than biting down on one still in the meat. Anyway, i don't hunt quail near as much as i did growing up; now it's mostly duck and goose, which i enjoy eating also (another blog may be reserved for those two). Among all the wild game I've enjoyed over the years (including venison, squirrel and rabbit) in various dishes, i'd have to say that quail is still my favorite, and i still love that whistle while out in the field and woods..."Bob-white!"
08/25/2015 12:16:01 PM CDT