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Why a local free range turkey, or Goose, is best for Christmas

What better way is there to celebrate Christmas than get the family round the table for a big feast. A great feast needs a centre piece and a great story. The supermarket ‘frozen section’ pales to insignificance compared to buying a real, traditional breed, slow growing, naturally fed, dry plucked, hung, free range, or open-barn reared, turkey from the local farmer. And the story about seeing the farm and meeting the farmer.

‘OK for the rich’ I hear you say. Well yes, a real turkey will cost more, but per person, be much cheaper than going out to a pub or restaurant, and twice as tasty.

So why more expensive? Your cheap supermarket turkey/goose/chicken will have all been reared intensively, with thousands of birds crammed in sheds and fed on a special, scientifically crafted, food to make them grow as fast as possible. When processed a machine uses hot water to remove the last feathers that other birs have not plucked out. And they can’t be hung because the hot water has often forced bacteria under the skin.

Flavour or texture are of no interest, the goal is minimising cost.

In complete contrast, putting animal welfare aside, the goal of your traditional turkey producer is to produce a meat with great flavour and texture. This is achieved by opting for a breed of turkey that grows slowly, is allowed to roam and eat grass and herbs, together with natural feed. Then at processing time get dry plucked, by hand, and hung to improve flavour and texture.

So to find a great Turkey, Goose, Guinea fowl, or Cockerel this Christmas use our special Turkey map to find your local free range turkey direct from the producer.

The big feast for the family

In most parts of the country you can order now for Christmas delivery. Or to get ‘the story’ you could pay now and collect your turkey and meet the farmer. BigBarn exists to help consumers find better food and encourage farmers grow food for local people. If we all saw how our food was produced making the right choices would be much easier so please use our local food map to find other great food and drink around your post code. if you are a blogger or have a website you can have our map to look as though it is yours and earn a small commission on trade. All part of our ‘one shared map’ initiative to help build local food communities.

You can also use BigBarn to get all the best trimmings and some brilliant presents. Simply click to view our special discount code page and browse 70+ artisan producers offering 10% or more discount. Once you have found what you want use code BB1.

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