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November 2010 Issue

A Renaissance for Heritage Meat

As you prepare for Thanksgiving, you might be tempted to try the latest culinary trend—heritage turkeys. Heritage turkeys, as well as other heritage meats, come from breeds that have been raised for hundreds of years. In modern times they’ve all but disappeared to make way for a few specialized breeds selected for maximum output in a controlled environment. Take a look at today’s lack of diversity in the U.S.: 91 percent of dairy cows are Holstein, more than half of beef cattle are Angus, Hereford or Simmental breeds, 75 percent of pigs are Duroc, Hampshire or Yorkshire breeds; and more than 90 percent of turkeys are Broad-breasted White turkey.

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