Let’s talk heritage turkeys. Would you know one if you saw it?
The top gourmand food outfit in the U.S., Slow Food, recently financed a
factory farm barn for the largest heritage turkey producer in the country.
Why? Because he couldn’t control them. The top heritage turkey producer
in the country is now a factory farmer.
Several years ago we did blind taste tests with a couple of our Washington D.C.
chefs: Polyface pastured turkeys versus heritage turkeys. Guess who won?
Polyface. Know why? Because we can control ours and put them on fresh salad
bar every day or two, keeping them away from yesterday’s stale area and excrement.
Heritage birds roosting in a foot of poop and staying on the same worn-out area
every day don’t hold a candle to Polyface pastured turkeys moved around to fresh
grass and fresh roost areas. The difference is not in the genetics; it’s in the production
model. Don’t be fooled by slick nostalgia.
If you want a heritage turkey from someone who only grows half a dozen, fine. But
commercial production requires control, and regular turkeys are far more controllable
than heritage. That means here at Polyface our regular-bred turkeys have a far more
sanitary and happy life than the average heritage bird. Proper movement, proper green
material, and proper hygiene are more important than whether all of the genes came over on
Furthermore, the Polyface goal is to offer a credible alternative to factory farm turkeys. To prove that we don't need a single factory farm in the world. Offering a pastured turkey at an affordable price is the first step toward this goal.