Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

A Bird for Every Budget

By Theo Weening, October 27, 2011  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Theo Weening

Choosing a turkey used to be pretty simple. All you’d have to do is get a head count of dinner guests and find the biggest bird possible to feed the crowd. Now it can be pretty daunting. Here’s some advice to help you make 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 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 2011, Turkeys




Carol & Ed Gottlieb says ...
Can we buy an Organic, fresh (not frozen) turkey? The chart makes it seem that these are mutually exclusive Also what bird has the most dark meat. New broad breasted breeds have been chosen for increased white meat which is dryer and you get inconsistent cooking time.
11/09/2011 11:13:00 AM CST
Dave Beaulieu says ...
Thanks. Good article. I just want to say that regardless of the bird, make sure to brine it. Brine adds both flavor and moisture...definitely worth doing.
11/07/2011 11:11:35 AM CST
Jessica says ...
Yummy yummy turky...
10/29/2011 12:45:28 AM CDT
janejohnson says ...
@Ginette How fun! Since our stores source their turkey differently the availability will be different from store to store. The best way to learn the availability of the birds at your community Whole Foods Market is to contact them directly and a Team Member will be happy to speak with you about this. The link below will help you to identify the contact information for your store. www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores
11/02/2011 4:22:25 PM CDT
Deb says ...
This sounds wonderful! But you simply must try some Himalayan pink salt. I get mine from Sustainable Sourcing https://secure.sustainablesourcing.com. The flavor is so much better than regular salt! Thanks for sharing this recipe—I can’t wait to try it!
10/28/2011 2:06:57 PM CDT
merrily robnett says ...
I need equivalents of a "butterball lil butterball 8lb. Or less can I get this from you? Do you take EBT?
10/27/2011 10:14:36 PM CDT
Ginette Hamilton says ...
Hi please would you advise when your turkeys are available from ? I intend to do a Christmas cookery class on 13th November and need a couple of birds for then. Ginette
10/28/2011 6:27:53 AM CDT
Marilyn Stortstrom says ...
What is the approximate cost of a 12-pound Basic Fresh Turkey and a 12-pound Organic Turkey?
10/28/2011 5:40:35 PM CDT
janejohnson says ...
@Marilyn Good question. Since our stores source their turkeys from different locations and each store has control of their own price points, this information is going to differ from Region to Region and store to store. The best way to get the most accurate and complete information regarding the price of regular (free-range in Whole Foods) and Organic is to reach out to you community Whole Foods Market directly. The link below will help you identify the contact information for your store. Thanks for reaching out! www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores
11/02/2011 4:16:45 PM CDT
Billy says ...
Looking into the boneless turkey breast this year brined. How does you stores brine them? Brown sugar, salt, spices?
11/02/2011 4:53:36 PM CDT
Christine says ...
I love turkey birds.
11/02/2011 6:02:21 PM CDT
Lisa Gautier says ...
Yum! My family gets our Thanksgiving turkey from you each year, and we plan to do it again this year!
11/02/2011 7:10:39 PM CDT
Pat Hazard says ...
Chicken Stock.
11/02/2011 8:03:45 PM CDT
shalini says ...
the best turkey is at whole foods fresh from the farm with no antibiotics ever!!!
11/02/2011 8:06:34 PM CDT
Rebecca says ...
My favorite turkey is a living one! Luckily, Whole Foods sells my preferred holiday dish - Field Roast Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute. So delicious - and no animal needed to be killed for it! Happy Thanksgiving to all.
11/02/2011 8:44:17 PM CDT
Paul says ...
Looking forward to try out one of your turkeys for the holiday this year. Do any of your turkeys have to be special ordered at the store or do you stock all types? Thanks.
11/02/2011 8:54:45 PM CDT
Kimberly says ...
Do you sell fresh turkey breasts?? Thanks.
11/02/2011 10:09:49 PM CDT
Lydia Villescas says ...
Can we get cost of the different types of turkey so that we can plan our budgets accordingly?
11/02/2011 11:11:32 PM CDT
janejohnson says ...
@Billy Typically Whole Foods uses mainly salt, water and stock but each store does things a little differently. To find out how your community Whole Foods Market brines their birds I encourage you to reach out to them directly. Follow the link below to help identify the contact information for your store. www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores
11/07/2011 5:11:12 PM CST
Don Luke says ...
A better bird would be leaner.
11/03/2011 12:49:12 PM CDT
Louise says ...
Hi, Please let me know when turkeys are available before thanks giving.
11/03/2011 1:27:51 PM CDT
janejohnson says ...
@Paul Each store will stock all the types listed in our chart but online ordering or pre-ordering will ensure that your preferred bird will still be in stock when you're ready to pick it up. To order online, just click the link below and select your store location. Then select the "Thanksgiving" option to find the bird of your choice/dreams. ;) http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/shop/
11/07/2011 1:44:13 PM CST
Sophia says ...
hi, thanks for this helpful chart. If at all possible, could you include information such as price/lb? that will help me in deciding which turkey to obtain this year. thanks.
11/03/2011 3:14:01 PM CDT
janejohnson says ...
@Louise All of our Thanksgiving main and side dishes (as well as everything else "Thanksgiving-y") will be available for pick up from November 18th through Thanksgiving. Thanks for your loyalty!
11/07/2011 1:42:20 PM CST
Mel says ...
I always have organic root veggies (burdock, onions, etc.), chipotle pepper and organic puppy treats...that way everyone is happy! Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
11/03/2011 3:27:54 PM CDT