Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

A Bird for Every Budget

By Theo Weening, November 16, 2010  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Theo Weening
Choosing a turkey used to be pretty simple. Figure out how many people were coming to dinner and get the biggest bird possible to feed the crowd. Now it can be pretty daunting. Here’s some advice to help you decide what’s the right turkey choice for you. The biggest difference for almost any turkey you choose at Whole Foods Market is that they are fresh. Our birds are harvested close to the time of being sold. You may not realize that the FDA allows birds to be harvested in February, kept at 27°F for months and then sold as fresh in November. That’s not what we sell here, but people who are buying our fresh birds for the first time aren’t used to getting turkeys that are really fresh. Now, you may see ice on our fresh birds because we chill them below 30°F to keep them safe and fresh, but they aren’t frozen. That said, we do offer some value options of frozen turkey, and they are from this year’s harvest, not holdovers from last year like some frozen turkeys sold elsewhere. So, your first choice is frozen turkey or fresh turkey. Well, actually, your first choice is if you buy your bird from us at all. It’s important to know that all of our turkeys are raised according to our strict quality standards requiring no antibiotics ever, an all-vegetarian diet, no added solutions or injections (other than pure sea-salt solution brining where noted), and complete traceability to the farm. We think this makes our turkeys a better choice. Now, what about all those other options: kosher, value, pre-brined, organic, heritage, etc? We put together this handy chart to help you figure out what is important to you: It just makes sense that the more care and time that goes into raising the turkeys, the more they will cost. We bring you a range of options so you can choose a turkey that matches your values and budget. Oh yeah, one more critically important note! Now that you’ve chosen your turkey, please remember that fresh turkeys cook faster than older ones. You need to plan your feast so the turkey is ready at the same time as the mashed potatoes and dressing! Here’s a link to a bunch of turkey cooking information. Enjoy your special dinner!
Category: Holidays 2010, Turkeys




~M says ...
FYI, the link to the turkey cooking information at the bottom paragraph is broken.
11/16/2010 4:21:47 AM CST
MAD says ...
"we chill them below 30°F to keep them safe and fresh, but they aren’t frozen" How do YOU define frozen?
11/16/2010 8:24:50 AM CST
bepkom says ...
Thanks for your comment! Our fresh birds are chilled to that temperature to create a very thin ice crust.......they are never fully frozen.
11/16/2010 8:25:33 AM CST
~D says ...
Looks like the link is working now :)
11/16/2010 9:37:51 AM CST
Jim says ...
Thanks for your help. It is the first year that we are hosting Thanksgiving and we are a bit lost with preparing our first bird.
11/16/2010 11:08:32 AM CST
Emily says ...
This is great! Now that I've chosen my turkey - onto a bigger question - is there a way to pre-order my bird so that I can pick it up on the day(s) before Thanksgiving?
11/16/2010 12:14:13 PM CST
bepkom says ...
Absolutely! There are two options for you. You can contact the holiday table at your local store OR simply place your order online! http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/shop/index.php
11/16/2010 12:15:15 PM CST
Elizabeth says ...
This was a fantastic experience. I read the blog, scrolled through the comments and clicked the link to order online! Thank you!
11/16/2010 3:33:33 PM CST
C says ...
Yeah, the link to "a bunch of turkey cooking information" is broken.
11/16/2010 5:05:24 PM CST
Kevin Ryan says ...
I couldnt find the web site. Can you please tell me how fast a 20 - 22 lb turkey (fresh) will cook? Thanks Kevin
11/16/2010 11:01:27 PM CST
bepkom says ...
Here's a link to the web page......we've got instructions for how to cook the PERFECT bird! http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/holidays/guides/turkey.php
11/16/2010 11:02:10 PM CST
Elisa says ...
After looking at the "A Bird for Every Budget" chart I decided we would want a chilled, brined turkey. However, when I went to the page for ordering I could not find such a bird listed. Do you not have them this year or am I looking in the wrong place?
11/17/2010 11:26:21 AM CST
Mary says ...
Your link didn't work for me.
11/17/2010 6:43:15 PM CST
Whatsthedifference says ...
I attempted to order a Thanksgiving Turkey from my local Whole Foods. My store has fresh, organic birds at three price points. The clerk they have taking the orders could not give a speck of information about the difference between the selections beyond a simple, ludicrous, indignant reply, "THEY ARE DIFFERENT BRANDS!" If one product costs twice its competor, and the only thing the expert selling the commodity knows is that there is no difference between the products but the price, what sensible consumer would by the more expensive bird? It was very strange.
11/17/2010 7:07:19 PM CST
bepkom says ...
Whatsthedifference: Please let me know which three birds you're interested in and I can help with information regarding the differentiation. Since our product selection varies between regions I just need to know which brands you're inquiring about.
11/17/2010 7:08:46 PM CST
lou says ...
Which has more breast meat: 1-24 lb. turkey or 2-12 lb. turkeys?
11/17/2010 7:33:25 PM CST
Susan Stephens says ...
It's expensive but I would like to see Ayrshire Farm Poultry
11/17/2010 9:07:46 PM CST
Susan Stephens says ...
Although they are expensive, I would like to see humanly grown and killed produce from Ayrshire Farm...their turkeys and chickens flourish in a natural environment raised on fresh pasture, nutritious food, shelter, and water at all times..Per Humane Certification. Animals are free to engage in natural behaviors 100% of the time. All birds are fully processed at the farm’s USDA inspected facility and much emphasis is put on processing birds respectfully, in a low-stress environment, in accordance with their mission and with strict guidelines laid forth by Humane Farm Animal Care.
11/17/2010 9:31:24 PM CST
Elizabeth says ...
Susan, Is Ayrshire Farm equipped to supply 300 Whole Foods Markets for the entirety of the season?
11/18/2010 1:43:32 PM CST
bepkom says ...
Are you asking about our Turkeys? We actually work with farmers from all over the country to supply our stores. You can read about them here! http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/holidays/localstories/index.php
11/18/2010 2:12:50 PM CST
GD says ...
The link to turkey info is still broken.
11/20/2010 11:55:48 AM CST
Patricia hall says ...
I'm looking to order to pick up a heritage turkey in the 01752 area code in MA. Where can I find one at one of your stores near me and when do I put in my order? What size in pounds are available
10/26/2011 9:13:50 AM CDT
Linda says ...
This was the worst turkey we ever consumed. The bird was so tough it never fell apart. Have been cooking dinners for over 40 years and was completely disappointed. The legs, thighs and wings never came off the bird. It was like concrete. Not even the men at our dinner party could separate the appendages. All directions were strictly adhered to. After 2 hours, there was still blood coming out from the turkey. Will never purchase another precooked turkey again.
11/25/2011 10:44:53 PM CST
janejohnson says ...
@Linda I'm terribly sorry for your disappointing experience. We know that for this holiday the meal is the center of the celebration and to have the focus of the meal turn out as you mentioned must have been very upsetting. I have passed on your comments to our Customer Questions team and they will be contacting you soon. Again, so sorry for your experience. Thank you for working with us to continuously improve our product offerings.
11/28/2011 9:44:54 AM CST