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Articles by Deena Shanker

Deena Shanker is a writer living in New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @deenashanker.

Featured Article

"Before you make a 'bird's-the-word' joke, think about how many of us there are and how few of you."

Once upon a time, in a land called the grocery store, customers could walk right in, grab a turkey, and take it home for Thanksgiving. The only choice to make was about size: big, huge, or insanely enormous? It was a time before words like “heritage” and “organic” became part of our food lexicon; back then, a bird was a bird, and feeding it low dosages of antibiotics in every meal had yet to be connected to the spread of antimicrobial resistant superbugs. It was a simpler time for the American Thanksgiving, but not a better one.

The turkey aisle has a lot more variety now, but it hasn’t made picking the best one easy. Free-range? Organic? Heirloom? Heritage? Is there a difference, and does it matter? Yes and maybe.

But before we delve into the specifics of one good bird versus another, it’s worth noting that all of these are better options than your standard Butterball or otherwise-branded factory farmed meal. The overwhelming majority of the 46 million turkeys that will be eaten this year on Thanksgiving will be CAFO-raised Broad Breasted Whites (BBWs) that each spent their ... Read more

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