With Thanksgiving just a couple weeks away, reports that turkey prices are on the rise has some folks feeling ruffled. But there’s no need to panic or start hoarding turkeys, in fact, Ben Del Coro, vice president of sales and marketing at Fossil Farms says they’re not seeing a shortage of supply. Last holiday season, supply chain and labor issues caused ingredient shortages, but this year, there should be plenty of frozen turkeys to go around.
The thing is, prices are higher thanks to avian flu outbreaks and inflation’s impact on gas, feed and labor costs. Frozen turkey prices are up from $1.15 per pound this time last year to $1.47 per pound this year, according to the USDA. That’s an increase of nearly 28% per pound, which has led some to consider serving something else for Thanksgiving.
If you’re feeling adventurous or just want to try something different this year, these are some alternatives to a traditional Turkey Day dinner:
- Try a different bird or cut of meat - Del Coro notes that game meats were once a common staple for Americans, adding, “Venison was certainly part of the original Thanksgiving meal and is seasonally appropriate.” If you want to stick with poultry, he suggests guinea hen, pheasants and duck as replacements because they’re “more readily available and less expensive than turkey.”
- Revamp your menu to honor Native Americans - Some of the ingredients we think of in the “traditional” Thanksgiving meal - like squash, corn, wild rice and root vegetables - are also traditional Indigenous ingredients. You can also focus on foods prepared by tribes in the area where you live, like salmon and berries in the Pacific Northwest or tamales in the Southwest.
- Go plant-based - No one’s suggesting you serve Tofurky, but you could tweak side dishes to make them plant-based, like swapping chicken broth for veggie broth. Plant-based dishes that highlight seasonal vegetables also add color to a menu that’s often mostly brown and beige. Plus, when you’re buying in season, prices are lower.
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