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Cooking For Special Diets: Where to Get Your Bird

Find free-range, organic and local poultry for everyday meals or your Thanksgiving celebration.

Editor's note: Alissa Malerman's showcased some easy chicken recipes. Part 2 of her column focuses on where to get organic, hormone-free and free-range birds to make those dishes and for your Thanksgiving table.

With a factory farm bird, there's no knowing what can be pumped into it. Dyes, preservatives, salt, MSG and a bevy of “enhancers” can be found in the chicken and turkey meat at the grocery store. As a poultry eater, I seek out ways to make better choices both for my family's health and for the humane treatment of animals.

I look for poultry that does not have antibiotics, fillers, steroids or hormones. I also look for poultry that comes from family farms where the birds roam free and are vegetarian fed.

Here are some other suggestions for omnivores, such as myself, who are trying to responsibly eat poultry:

  • : Otto's Chicken and John Henry's offer natural poultry at the market every Saturday. A special market day is planned 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 22, just before Thanksgiving. Order turkeys in advance and the Saturday farmers/vendors will be on hand to sell their produce and specialty products on market day. To order stop by the market and visit Otto's Chicken or John Henry's.
  • Door-to-Door Organics: The handy organics delivery company also offers poultry from Graham's Organics in Rosebush, MI. On its pastures, with rotational grazing, Graham's raises chickens, turkeys and Black Angus beef. All are offered from Door-to-Door. Shop DTDO's new holiday category to stake your claim on a holiday turkey throughout the week. It costs $5 to reserve a local, all-natural, pastured turkey from Gunthorp Farms in Lagrange, IN, and the balance will be charged the day after delivery. Supplies are limited, so act fast!
  • : The Ferndale market strives to purchase options from local farmers that are free of antibiotics and fillers. All of the meat is all gluten-free. The deli also stocks beef and pork from C. Roy Meats, a family farm in Yale, MI. The farm raises natural, organic and grass-fed animals that are all free of hormones, steroids, antibiotics, MSG, nitrates and preservatives. As for chicken, Western Market gets poultry from Miller's farm in Indiana, which is raised Amish style with USDA inspections. The birds are free-range, vegetarian-fed and contain no antibiotics or hormones. The chickens contain no broth, MSG or fillers that would contain allergens. also carries Miller's poultry.
  • Peacock's Poultry Farm: The Troy farm says it raises poultry in the Amish tradition, with no growth hormones or preservatives and in open, spacious houses with plenty of fresh air and water. Peacock's only delivers to local wholesalers, so the meat doesn't travel far. Order Peacock's Amish turkey for Thanksgiving at Western Market or from in Royal Oak. Check out Holiday's Thanksgiving catering menu here.
  • : Whole Foods says all of its poultry and Thanksgiving turkeys are raised according to "strict quality standards requiring no antibiotics ever, an all-vegetarian diet, no added solutions or injections."
B November 07, 2011 at 12:43 PM
I would like to know where to buy a good, organically bone in prime rib,
Alissa Malerman November 07, 2011 at 03:23 PM
B- I called Whole Foods in Troy and Jesse at the meat department said Whole Foods will have a bone-in standing rib roast around the holidays. It is not "certified organic" but is raised grass-fed and naturally, it just doesn't qualify for the label. Thanks for the comment and good idea for a holiday column. I will keep looking into it!

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