Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Heritage Foods: Turkey

On May 19th 2008, Slow Food O'ahu had an event, working with Heritage Foods USA, to showcase rare breeds of turkey, pork, and lamb. Chefs Glenn Chu of Indigo, Savas of the Olive Tree, and Ed Kenney of Town and Downtown prepared these unusual breeds for a tasting at Downtown restaurant.

Saving endangered species by eating them: Strange as it may sound, we can save endangered livestock varieties by putting them back on the menu. As with so much of the food available to us, our choices are increasingly restricted to a handful of genetic varieties because of industrial farming practices. Where there were once dozens of varieties (if not hundreds, in the case of potatoes) of corn, potatoes, turkeys and pork, there are now just a handful of types in our markets... Slow Food USA saw an opportunity and told the story of these heritage birds and the farmers that grew them. For the first time in years, these varieties of turkeys were marketed and made available throughout the country. Now enough people are buying and eating these birds (instead of the ubiquitous Butterball) so that farmers are able to make a living.