Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Branch Out from Chicken and Turkey

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.

If 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.    

If 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. 

If 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?