Holiday Turkey with a Higher Purpose

October 20, 2016 by EPIC Wolf Pack posted on Land + Livestock

EPIC is excited to announce that we have partnered with one of our favorite farmers to bring you a truly special holiday turkey unlike anything you have ever imagined! Consistent with our overarching sourcing strategy, we upgraded this holiday tradition by partnering with farmers who practice humane animal care, promote the natural behaviors of species, and strive to enrich the land on which we depend. With an industry leading approach to land regeneration and an unwavering commitment to using livestock to heal soil, sequester carbon, and produce nutrient rich food, we couldn’t think of a better partner than the Harris Family at White Oak Pastures!

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As with all nourishing meals, EPIC food begins with a living animal. These majestic broad breasted bronze and black turkeys lived their entire lives freely roaming the thriving pastures of a 150-year-old 5th generation family farm in Southern Georgia. These unconfined animals consume diets of bugs, grass, and a Non-GMO feed! With further accolades of being Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane, and GAP Step 5+, these majestic turkeys are hand-butchered in a “beak to tail” (zero-waste) USDA inspected processing facility located on the farm! The proximity of the abattoir to the fields that these animals call home helps mitigate stress and incentivizes the people conducting the harvest to have upmost respect for the animals raised on their land. As with all EPIC animals, these turkeys are never treated with antibiotics, steroids, or hormones. With such amazing attributes, these turkeys will surely make a great centerpiece for your holiday meal as well as communicate your values of supporting farmers who “do the right thing”. 

As with all properly managed animals, these birds have a mission that’s much bigger: to heal and restore the earth on which we all depend. Earlier this year, White Oak Pastures purchased 250 acres of neighboring land that had been stripped of life by decades of monocultural row crop production. By transitioning to a wide variety of diverse species of plants and animals through holistic management (the practices taught by Allan Savory), they are working hard to turn this soil from a dead mineral medium to one that’s teeming with life. This spring, the Harris family took their first step toward restoring the land by moving cattle onto it to eat hay, break up the soil with their hooves, and urinate and defecate to add nutrients to the land. These are the same cattle that EPIC uses in our Beef Tallow, Hunt & Harvest Mix, and Beef Liver Bites! After the cows do their part, it’s time for the turkeys to enrich the earth. Following a unique Serengeti Rotational Grazing Model (emulating the multi-species biodiversity found on the Serengeti Plains of Africa), the turkeys spend their days pecking and scratching the ground to open up the soil and evenly spread the fertilizer left by the previous herd of cattle. They’re adding more fertility to the soil by depositing their own manure, removing weeds that the ruminants won’t eat, and preparing the land for the new grasses that are beginning to grow. 

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By simply engaging in their natural behaviors, these turkeys are serving a higher purpose by turning this land into productive pasture that will benefit future generations. Leading into a holiday meant for reflecting on the things that make us feel grateful, we at EPIC are especially thankful for the biodynamic organism that is White Oak Pastures. This is truly the highest quality turkey available on the market and embodies our founding principle of “feeding others as you wish to be fed”. Make your holiday turkey dishes extra special this year and help EPIC support ranchers who go above and beyond conventional livestock models. 

We hope you and your family will enjoy our holiday turkeys as much as we do; visit our webstore to pre-order yours today.

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All photos by Laura  Mortelliti and c/o White Oak Pastures