My friend Zulima Palacios prepared a report on industrial turkey production for Voice of America, http://www.voanews.com/english/news/science-technology/Turkey-Research-Geared-Toward-Bigger-Birds-Profits-109268649.html. The USDA scientist is so proud of her work! Perhaps not all of us think of the Wild Turkey as 'scrawny.' I think of them as athletic and the Broad-Breasted White as unnaturally fat and misshapen.
As I was reminded at the recent Society of Environmental Journalists conference, the story can be very different, depending on how it is told.
Tina Tyzzer tells her turkey story very differently in this newspaper account, http://www.indystar.com/article/20101120/LIVING/11200302/-1/7daysarchives/Backyard-farmers-tend-to-Heritage-turkeys-who-live-the-good-life-until-it-s-time-for-dinner. Her turkeys have graced this blog in the past. Thanks, Tina, for keeping me informed of their adventures! The link will be active for only one week.
Frank Reese is having another banner year raising heritage turkeys at Good Shepherd Ranch in Kansas, http://www.goodshepherdpoultryranch.com/. Personally, I'll have an heirloom bird from a California grower, http://www.marysturkeys.com/.
Check with local meat departments in grocery stores and ask around at the farmers' market for a source of heritage birds in your area. This classic Narragansett is from Yellow House Farm in New Hampshire, http://yellowhousefarmnh.com/.