Nov 15th, 2006
Thanksgiving is just over a week away…time to dig out the good china and get ready to carve the traditional Tofurkey. That’s right I said it! This year let’s change it up a bit, get away from the norm and be creative. As Americans, we enjoy Thanksgiving all year round, so there’s no need to dedicate one day to stuffing ourselves with food. This day represents family and friends spending time together, but too often it also becomes an eating contest.
Now, I’m not saying skip a delicious meal to share…I’m advocating a different type of meal based on three simple criteria.
1. Buy food within a 100 mile radius of where you live. In CA, this should be a no-brainer.
2. Skip the turkey, go for the Tofurkey
3. If you need turkey, stay local and find one that had was treated humanely, slaughtered the same, absent of antibiotics and hormones.
The tradition of Thanksgiving is our heritage as Americans. We should celebrate the bounty of our Earth. In doing so, we should get back to the way our ancestors did it when they first arrived in this country. They knew exactly where their food came from. If they wanted a turkey or deviled eggs…they walked out their back door and got it for themselves. Obviously we live in a different time, but it’s important for us to know where our food comes from. The industrial farmed turkeys, pigs and eggs are not good for the animals and they’re not good for us. Each year approximately 300 million turkeys are killed, of those; 45 million are killed for Thanksgiving alone! We can all take steps to be responsible Thanksgiving celebrators and choose to participate in a sustainable, humane holiday!
Here are some substitutes to turkey for your consideration. You won’t have to slave over a hot oven for these. They can be ready in as little at 45 minutes! Also listed are some links for local farm raised turkeys.
- Turtle Island Tofurky Roast - the original non-GMO, organic soy-based tofurkey even comes with a "wishbone" ($35/serves 4).
- Now & Zen Unturkey - even has "skin" made from soy ($27/serves 4).
- Quorn Turk’y Roast - for veg-heads who are allergic to soy, Quorn’s made from mycoprotein (a.k.a. fungus protein) and pretty tasty ($7).
- Local Harvest - have a local Thanksgiving - find everything else you need from nearby farms using this resource.
- Not up for meatless meat this year? Check out Ideal Bite’s Green Gobble Gobble tip for pasture-raised suggestions.
I have touched on poultry issues before, but I wanted to focus on only turkeys this time. So, here are the facts.
- Every year in the , 300 million turkeys are killed for their flesh. Almost all spend their entire lives on factory farms and have no federal legal protection.
- raised on factory farms are hatched in large incubators and never see their mothers or feel the warmth of a nest.
- When they are only a few weeks old, they are moved into filthy, windowless sheds with thousands of other turkeys, where they will spend the rest of their lives. To keep the birds from killing one another in such crowded conditions, parts of the turkeys’ toes and beaks are cut off, as are the males’ snoods (the flap of skin under the chin). All this is done without any pain relievers—
- Millions of turkeys don’t even make it past the first few weeks of life in a factory farm before succumbing to "starve-out," a stress-induced condition that causes young birds to simply stop eating.
- are bred, drugged, and genetically manipulated to grow as large as possible as quickly as possible to increase profits. According to one industry publication, modern turkeys grow so quickly that if a 7 pound human baby grew at the same rate, the infant would weigh 1,500 pounds at just 18 weeks of age.
- are now so obese that they cannot reproduce naturally; instead, all the turkeys who are born in the today are conceived through artificial insemination.
- Their unnaturally large size also causes many turkeys to die from organ failure or heart attacks before they are even 6 months old.
- According an investigative report in the Wall Street Journal about the miserable conditions on turkey farms, "It’s common in a rearing house to find a dead bird surrounded by four others whose hearts failed after they watched the first one ‘fall back and go into convulsions, with its wings flapping wildly.’"
- When they grow so obese that their legs can’t even support their own weight, turkeys may become crippled—some of these birds starve to death within inches of water.
Spinach Couscous with BBQ Tofu
Sizzling strips of baked tofu contrast with gently flavored couscous. Complete the meal with baked sweet potatoes.
1 1/2 cups couscous, preferably whole grain
1. Cover couscous with 3 cups boiling water in heatproof serving container, and let stand 10 minutes; fluff with fork. Stir in margarine and salt and pepper to taste.
2. Place spinach in large, wide skillet with only water clinging to its leaves. Cover, and steam about 1 minute, or just until wilted. Remove, and coarsely chop. Stir into couscous.
3. Combine tofu and barbecue sauce in skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes. Scatter tofu over couscous, and serve.
12g Total Fat (2G Saturated Fat)
As always, thanks for reading and have a great Thanksgiving! I probably won’t have time next week for a newsletter, but I promise you’ll get one the week after.
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