Thanksgiving approaches and you’d like to serve local and/or organic food. Happily, there are plenty of places that can help you find organic food.
First off, the turkey. An organic turkey is one that has been given organic feed and not been injected with hormones or antibiotics. It is also usually free-range, which means it is allowed to roam outside at least part of the time. A heritage or heirloom turkey is one that belongs to a special or rare breed chosen for its flavor. Heritage turkeys take longer to reach maturity than do most turkeys, and are therefore more expensive.
Mom’s Organic Market offers both organic and heritage turkeys, which they buy from farms in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Mom’s also offers a tofurkey roast for vegetarians. They do not keep their turkeys on the premises, so customers have to order them. Anybody wanting a turkey from Mom’s needs to order it before 11/18 and pick it up between 11/21 and 11/23. For more information, visit www.momsorganicmarket.com.
Whole Foods offers a wide variety of turkeys ranging from the inexpensive frozen turkey to the pricey heritage turkey. In between are the brined turkey, the kosher turkey, and the organic turkey. These birds are all raised on farms that follow Whole Foods’ standards for turkeys: vegetarian diet and no antibiotics. Some stores also offer goose, duck, and Cornish hens. For more information, visit www.wholefoods.com.
Wegman’s does not sell frozen turkeys; they sell only fresh turkeys. They sell heritage and non-heritage birds. The heritage turkeys all come from Jaindl Farms in Pennsylvania and belong to a breed called the Grand Champion. For more information, visit www.wegmans.com.
The above stores also all sell organic produce, baked goods, and holiday goods. Both Mom’s and Whole Foods label locally produced goods as such.
As for vegetables, the aforementioned stores do sell organic vegetables. Farmers’ markets are another option for vegetables; most have closed for the year, but a few are still open and will remain open at least through Thanksgiving. These include Anne Arundel County Farmers’ Market, Baltimore Farmers’ Market (Baltimore City), 32nd Street/Waverly Farmers’ Market (Baltimore City), Carroll County Farmers’ Market, LaPlata Farmers’ Market (Charles County), The Great Frederick Fair Farmers’ Market (Frederick County), Chestertown Farmers’ Market (Kent County), Takoma Park Farmers’ Market (Montgomery County), North St. Mary’s County Farmers’ Market, and Hagerstown City Farmers’ Market (Washington County). For more information or to locate a farmers’ market in your area, visit www.mda.state.md.us/md_products/farmers_market_dir.php.
Some grocery store chains like Safeway (www.safeway.com) and Food Lion (www.foodlion.com) do offer organic food, so they may also be worth a visit.