Health-food store offers a twist on turkey

Organic birds are free range and come in three varieties

Thanksgiving dinner won’t feature the same old bird at every table in Grand Junction.

As of Friday, 656 people had pre-ordered free-range turkeys from Vitamin Cottage at 2564 U.S. Highway 6&50. The turkeys, shipped from Mary’s Free Range Turkeys in California, come in three varieties: Heritage turkeys, which resemble the kinds of turkeys eaten centuries ago and feature more dark meat and smaller breasts; organic turkeys, which are fed organic feed; and free-range turkeys, which are allowed to roam instead of being confined to a small cage during their lifetime.

The turkeys aren’t a great deal healthier than regular turkeys when it comes to sodium and fat content. But they are dipped in water and frozen instead of injected with preservatives, and they live a freer life than many of their feathered counterparts. Because their chests are lighter, they can even fly, said Joe Leech, manager at Vitamin Cottage.

That freedom isn’t free, though. The most expensive of the three varieties, the Heritage, goes for $5.49 a pound.

Leech said the store has carried Heritage, organic and free-range turkeys for four seasons. He orders them once a year, and 95 percent of the turkeys are picked up by Thanksgiving. The rest usually are sold by Christmas.

Vitamin Cottage ordered 701 of the turkeys this year.

For Grand Junction vegetarians, the store also carries turkey substitutes made of tofu.

“It’s a minority” that asks for the tofu turkey, Leech said. “But there’s definitely a market for it.”


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734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050; M-F 8:00 - 5:00
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