Saturday, November 19, 2011

Turkey Talk

The Big Feast Day is coming! Americans are a bit weary of just about everything these days, even pro sports and college football have taken very dire and uncomfortable turns. In our attempt to be the optimists we are, in the midst of endless debates, ongoing budget crises and such, we are going to be really feasting this Thanksgiving. My guess is that carbohydrates will probably be quite the theme as usual. Today I was sitting at the Grove School Farmers Market in Redlands, and it was such a treat watching people go to each vendor with their list of must have ingredients for the special dishes in store. In honor of the big feast, this weeks show will feature Gary Flanagan, the President of Shelton's Poultry in Pomona. I have grown up with Shelton's Turkeys but never knew exactly where they were located. In my research to try and find an Organic Turkey Farmer in Southern California, to my joy and almost shock, Shelton's came up as a resource. It always amazes me at how ignorant I am of where my food sources come from exactly. We have such a rich agricultural heritage here in the Inland Empire, and my hope is that we can all become a bit more aware of the delicious offerings available in our own back yard (California style that is....) I learned all sorts of interesting things from my research this week, for instance it takes 3 lbs of feed to make 1 lb of turkey, and of that one pound only 9/10th of a pound is for consumption. One reason organic poultry, particularly Turkey is so expensive is that the animals can not be fed GMO or conventional feed. Mr Flanagan informed me that all the feed he had to get to his fowl, had to be imported from the midwest, and the organic feed was very pricey. Why can't we grow feed here I thought? More ideas for initiatives. What struck me as I was listening to Mr Flanagan, was that even our Thanksgiving meal was touched by the budget mess. Some of the largest government subsidies are given to corn and soy. MIllions, billions of dollars go to the big agribusiness, which control the price of our food, basically making it near impossible or extremely difficult for small farmers to go organic. Problem is that such subsidies are for unhealthy food. If you are like me, I do not wish to contribute to the food mess, my tax dollars are subsidizing these companies enough thank you very much, so not a penny more to them. It is so great to know we have a family owned business that can offer quality, organic products to us at a fair price, right here in Pomona! So by getting an Organic Shelton's Turkey, I can contribute to my community, support a family owned business and know I am supporting the environment and health of my guests as well. All with one Turkey! The store is at 204 Lorrane Ave in Pomona, just off the 10 freeway and Indian Hill and Holt. YOu can also call them at 909-623-4361. I have it on good authority that all questions related to Turkey for the big day will also be answered via email. If you go to the website, there is a store locater available. If you don't hear from me before hand, Happy Thanksgiving! Tune in to KCAA 1050 AM for the show on November 20th, you can live stream at, where you can also listen to the podcast at a later date!

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