What are the differences between organic, free-range and kosher turkeys?
Organic Turkey: Turkeys raised on an organic operation must be fed organic feed and given access to the outdoors. They are given no antibiotics or growth hormones.
Free-range Turkey: Turkey producers must demonstrate to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service that the turkey has been allowed access to the outside.
Kosher Turkey: From a technical perspective, the term kosher may be used only on the labels of poultry that are prepared under rabbinical supervision.
From a culinary viewpoint, a kosher turkey indicates a turkey that has been brined, or soaked in a salt water solution for several hours.
(FYI: All turkeys are both hormone and steroid free. No hormones have been approved for use in turkeys. Genetic improvements, better feed formulation and modern management practices are responsible for the larger turkeys produced today. FDA approved antibiotics are used at times to help suppress microorganisms, prevent disease and ensure that consumers receive a healthy product. A withdrawal period is required after the time the antibiotic is administered and before the turkey can be processed. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the USDA monitors the administration of antibiotics and randomly tests flocks of turkeys for residues.