Why You Should Opt For An Organic Turkey This Year

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Photo credit ©Ihor Kashurin/Getty Images

With Thanksgiving one week away, it's time to pick up for turkey and start the thawing process (24 hours for every 5 pounds in a refrigerator set at about 40°F). This year you should consider buying an organic one with the USDA Organic seal. The biggest and most important reason is that organic turkeys have not been given antibiotics. According to the FDA, Over 13 million pounds of medically important antibiotics, the ones used to treat illnesses in people, were used in livestock in 2018 wither the turkeys needed them or not. While it is illegal for any poultry to be sold that contain antibiotics, they can be given antibiotics prior to being prepared for food. This practice is a major factor in the widespread problem of antibiotic resistance. While there has been a decline in antibiotic use in raising chickens, the same can’t be said for turkey production. In 2018, 11 percent of the medically important antibiotics used in livestock were used on turkeys, while just 4 percent were used on chickens per FDA data. According to the latest estimates from the CDC, antibiotic-resistant infections cause 2.8 million illnesses and 35,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Although there are turkeys labeled "raised without antibiotics," "no antibiotics administered" or "no antibiotics ever," there is no verification required to use these marketing labels.  The only surefire way to know is to buy one with USDA organic label.

SOURCE: Consumer Reports

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