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Beginning December 17, we will have new Weekend Hours: 10 am – 6pm. Our Deli will be open to prepare your favorite beverage or Signature Sandwich from 10 am – 3pm. Thank you for your patronage!
Talking Turkey: A Poultry Primer | 11.14.2016
First time cooking a turkey? Or just want a refresher before the big day? You’ve found your primer.
Poultry lends itself to a variety of cooking methods—baking, grilling and stir frying, for example—and flavorings from sweet and savory to hot and spicy.
As with other foods, knowing where and how your chicken, turkey, Cornish game hen, and other poultry have been raised can help you choose the products that are right for you (and provides information about animal welfare and environmental impact).
Understanding some commonly used poultry-producing terms can help put you in the know. However, it’s important to know that some of the terms are regulated, while others are not. When in doubt about poultry terms or what’s offered at your local grocery store, ask for more information at the meat counter.
Poultry that meets the requirements of the National Organics Program (NOP) has been raised in housing that permits natural behavior, with outdoor access, has been fed certified organic feed (including pasture), has not been given antibiotics or hormones and has been processed organically. The USDA organic label requires producers to follow production and handling practices in accordance with the national standards; certifying agents ensure compliance through annual inspections.
This USDA regulation means that the animal has been allowed access to the outside. The government doesn’t specify that poultry must go outside, for how long, or the amount or kind of space that must be provided, but the idea is that poultry is free to roam outdoors and engage in natural behaviors (this is the way most poultry was raised before high-density confinement was introduced in the 1950s). And poultry that exercises produces leaner meat.
USDA allows this label to be used when a product contains no artificial ingredients or added colors and is only minimally processed. The label must explain what “natural” means, so be sure to read on. It might say “no added colorings or artificial ingredients; minimally processed,” for example.
“No hormones added”
This means just that, but keep in mind that Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in raising poultry, so this term should apply to all poultry anyway. Regulations also require that if a poultry label says, “no hormones added,” it must also say, “Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones.”
“No antibiotics added”
This means that the producer has provided documentation to the USDA that the animals were raised without antibiotics.
Poultry that’s cage-free is allowed to roam, but not necessarily outdoors. This allows poultry to engage in some natural behaviors, such as walking, nesting, and perching. However, this term is not regulated by USDA nor by third-party certifiers for poultry, though it is regulated for eggs.
This is a term coined for chickens raised on grass pasture all of the time after the initial brooding period. However, this term does not guarantee that poultry feeds only on pasture.
A “fresh” poultry label means that the temperature of the raw poultry has never been below 26 degrees F. (Frozen poultry, on the other hand, has a temperature of 0 degrees F or below.) A turkey could be kept at 27 degrees F for weeks or even months, though, and then sold as “fresh.” Buy from a grocer who can tell you how long the “fresh” poultry has been in storage.
To locate local poultry sources (including farms and co-ops), check out the Local Harvest website.
A little turkey tutorial
You might want to keep in mind when shopping for your Thanksgiving turkey that a plump, round shape means an abundance of tender meat. Other tidbits that might come in handy:
- Fresh turkeys and heritage or heirloom turkeys cook faster than most commercial turkeys and turkeys that have been frozen.
- A hen is a female turkey (smaller) and a tom or gobbler is a male turkey (larger). Neither is more tender than the other.
- Brining (soaking) a turkey before cooking adds flavor and moisture. Sometimes brined turkeys have artificial ingredients, but you can also find turkeys that are brined with just sea salt, spices, and water. Or you can brine your own.
- Heritage or heirloom turkeys typically have denser, moister and more flavorful meat than most commercial turkeys. That’s because they have a higher proportion of dark meat, are customarily fed more diverse diets and are more active. It’s also because they take longer to reach maturity (about 26 weeks versus 14 weeks for commercial turkeys) and turkeys add fat as they age; heritage turkeys have an additional fat layer under their skin that keeps meat moister during cooking. Individual breeds have specific flavors (chat with your grower or grocer to find out more).
- Wild turkeys have more dark meat and are more intensely flavored than domesticated turkeys. (Did you know that a wild turkey—which weighs half what a domestic turkey weighs—can actually fly?)
- An “oven-ready” turkey is ready to cook, while an “oven-prepared” turkey is fully cooked and ready to eat.
- Basted turkeys are injected or marinated with liquid (like broth or water), fat (like butter), and seasonings. Commercial turkeys often include artificial ingredients, but they must be stated on the label, along with the total quantity of the injected solution (3%, for example).
- What size turkey do you need? The rule of thumb is one to one and a half pounds of turkey per person (this also allows for some leftovers).
- Find tips on roasting your turkey in Turkey Roasting Tips.
- For vegetarians, consider purchasing a Tofurky or other “mock turkey,” made from wheat protein or tofu.
Reprinted by permission from StrongerTogether.coop. Find articles about your food and where it comes from, recipes and a whole lot more at www.strongertogether.coop.
GOOD EARTH MARKET ANNUAL MEETING NOTICE | 10.21.2016
October is National Co-op month and it’s also the month we celebrate with our annual meeting. When you joined the Good Earth Market, you joined with your friends and peers to ensure the ongoing commitment to our local community and our local food system. Don’t forget, when you join a co-op you own a piece of the business. Stay informed and be heard by attending the annual meeting:
LOCATION: Good Earth Market Co-Op, Upstairs Loft
DATE: Thursday, October 27
TIME: 5:30 pm – light refreshments, music, mingle with good friends
6:00 pm – C. E. Pugh, Chief Operating Office, NCG
6:30 pm – Carol Beam, President of the Board
Our special guest speaker this year is C. E. Pugh from National Cooperative Grocers (NCG). C. E. is the Chief Operating Officer for NCG and he will be presenting on the national trends affecting co-op grocery stores like ours. C. E. has been involved in co-ops for many years and his passion for the success of co-ops is clear. You don’t want to miss this chance to meet him.
We hold our annual membership meeting during National Co-Op Month as a way to highlight the co-op business model and to remind members that Good Earth Market exists primarily for the benefit of its members. Being “Stronger Together” requires all of us to be active shoppers, active advocates, and active members. Show your support by attending this year’s annual meeting.
For more information on the event, contact Mike Howard, General Manager, at 259-2622. Good Earth Market is also online at www.goodearthmarket.coop.
Good Earth Market Board Elections | 10.11.2016
From Kevin Dowling, Board Vice President:
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the presidential race. I’ve made my choice. I’m ready to mark my ballot and mail it in.
But I’m having a tougher time choosing three members to serve on the Good Earth Market’s Board of Directors. That’s because you and I have five fine candidates to consider:
Linda Westmacott (not shown)
Fortunately, you have opportunities to get to know the candidates. The Good Earth Market is holding two more Meet and Greet the Candidates:
- Oct. 14, 12-1 p.m.
- Oct. 21, 12-1 p.m.
Stop in and talk with the candidates. Learn their views on the Co-op. And let them know what you think.
Once you’ve decided on the three candidates you’ll vote for, you can drop your ballot in the box at the market.
The Board of Directors represents all of the members of the Good Earth Market and is responsible for the operation of the store. The election is one of your opportunities to exercise your voice in the Co-op.
Your vote is important. Please cast it by Oct. 27. The election results will be announced during the annual meeting on Oct. 27.
We have exciting news! | 08.29.2016
We have just launched a full scale deli remodel that will bring you a new and expanded salad bar, a hot food bar, new sandwiches, pizza, and a new grab & go case, with new recipes alongside your many favorites. We’re getting new equipment that will help us be more efficient so that we can get you great tasting, quality food quicker than ever before. And it’s just around the corner. This is very exciting news… a real game changer for us.
And, right now as we are in the thick of this critical time in our co-op’s future, our customer traffic and our sales have reached a concerning low level. Paying our bills during this time of low cash (as a result of low sales) makes it a challenge to keep the shelves stocked with all of your favorite products. This has been a trying time for us. The staff and the Board of Directors, with the help of National Co-op Grocers, have been fighting hard to get us to this point.
Right now we need our member support more than ever!
It will help immensely if you can concentrate your purchases at the Co-op as much as possible while we make our market a better place for everyone.
We continue to have the largest selection of local foods in Billings. That’s important to all of us. And, we offer great, everyday low prices on hundreds of Co-op Basics items throughout the store. We also have screaming Hot Deals that have been a great value for our customers and are changing the hours of our Beer & Wine Happy Hour to better fit your work schedule. Now you can get 10% off all beer and wine from 3pm to 6pm, Monday through Friday.
And if that’s not enough to get your attention, now through the end of October you can purchase a $50 Good Earth Market Gift Card for just $40. That is a 20% savings and there is no limit on these cards, so buy more and save more. Buying a gift card now and using it for future shopping will be a great way for the co-op to generate cash. It’s a “WIN WIN” for all!
Come in and take advantage of all these great promotions and support your co-op at the same time. Tell your family. Tell your friends. Everyone is welcome. See you in the store and, of course, thank you so much for your continued support of Billings only local food co-op.