October 30, 2008

A Fresh Approach to Thanksgiving

AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- For fuller flavor, higher quality and faster cooking time, Whole Foods Market's Meat Guy suggests taking a fresh approach to turkey selection this year by buying and cooking a fresh, never-frozen turkey.

As a leader in the natural and organic foods industry, Whole Foods Market features a wide selection of fresh, free-range and organic turkeys, in addition to heritage and value varieties, this holiday season. All turkeys offered at Whole Foods Market have been fed only a vegetarian diet with no animal by-products and are raised without added growth hormones* or antibiotics. In addition, these turkeys do not have added solutions or injections and can be traced to the farms where they were raised.

"Freshness makes a huge difference in the flavor of a bird," says Theo Weening, global meat coordinator for Whole Foods Market, also known as The Meat Guy. "Our turkeys are renowned for great taste and quality. We believe this has a lot to do with the care that goes into raising the animals and the close working relationships we have with our suppliers. Whole Foods Market's quality standards take into account the comfort, physical safety and health of the animals. And, naturally, our poultry and meat are raised to taste better without antibiotics or added growth hormones*."

Weening recommends purchasing a free-range or organic turkey for optimal flavor and freshness. A free-range turkey is one that has been given free access to the outdoors. Organic turkeys are fed only certified organic corn and soy feed that has not been treated with pesticides or herbicides which, Weening says, results in one of the best-tasting turkeys available.

It's About Time

"The free-range and organic birds are our most popular, best-selling turkeys," says Weening. "Our shoppers really love the flavor of these birds and appreciate the fact that they don't have to invest additional hours and refrigerator space to thaw a frozen bird."

Since Whole Foods Market turkeys are fresh, lean and contain no additives, they may cook faster than a conventional, frozen turkey. Weening recommends using a meat thermometer to determine when a turkey is done and says all parts of the turkey should register 165ÃӚ“šÃƒÆ’“šÃƒ“š°F for doneness. Cooks should begin checking for doneness 30 minutes before the end of suggested cooking time.

Fresh turkeys are often juicier when they arrive at the Thanksgiving table because many previously frozen, conventional birds have been given growth hormones to have more breast meat which can result in drier meat. For recipes, a roasting chart, cooking tips and carving instructions for the perfect Thanksgiving turkey, visit Whole Foods Market's holiday web pages at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/holidays/.

When it comes to that perfect centerpiece to the holiday meal, Whole Foods Market stores offer a variety of choices in addition to free-range and organic turkeys. These include turkeys raised locally on family-owned and operated farms, heritage or heirloom varieties and smoked or already-brined turkeys. Weening encourages shoppers to order turkeys early to ensure that they receive the greatest selection available. For store locations, please visit wholefoodsmarket.com.

All About Brining

Brining creates a turkey that is succulent and flavorful and involves soaking the turkey in a salt-water solution in the refrigerator for several hours before cooking. Brining works especially well for free-range and organic turkeys and is best suited for small to medium-sized birds that are less than 20 pounds. Brining can be done for four hours or overnight. The brine works to infuse the meat with flavor and helps the turkey retain moisture so it doesn't dry out during roasting. A variety of brining kits and pre-brined turkeys are offered in the meat departments of Whole Foods Market so Weening suggests asking in-store butchers for recommendations. For a do-it-yourself brining recipe, visit http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/holidays/guides/turkey.php

Choosing the Perfect Wine

With the cornucopia of flavors represented on most Thanksgiving tables, choosing a wine to complement the meal can be challenging. The popular Beaujolais Nouveau, a light, fresh wine from France, that's released the week before Thanksgiving, is recognized as a perfect match for the Thanksgiving feast.

This year marks the first eco-friendly Beaujolais release by Georges Duboeuf. The Beaujolais Nouveau Special Cuvee 2008 is bottled in a 100 percent recyclable PET plastic bottle, which has a 50 percent lower carbon footprint than traditional bottles and an oxygen barrier to protect quality. Georges Duboeuf will arrive Nov. 20, and the environmentally friendly packaging is exclusive to Whole Foods Market.

"Fresh and playful, this year's first wine of the season perfectly balances traditional quality with a modern, eco-friendly sensibility," says Geof Ryan, national wine buyer at Whole Foods Market.

"Beaujolais Nouveau is a great choice for the Thanksgiving feast because it matches traditional Thanksgiving fare perfectly and it is an accessible wine that can be enjoyed by everyone. The fresh, grapey flavors are nicely suited to turkey and cranberry sauce and the slight crispness of the Beaujolais cleanses the palate to enhance every bite of Thanksgiving favorites."

Regardless of the size of the feast, using the highest quality ingredients and learning from the experts makes it easier for any cook to produce a great meal. "Be sure to talk to our in-store butchers for recommendations on the perfect type and size of turkey for your Thanksgiving celebration," says Weening. "Our experts can provide cooking suggestions and ideas to produce a truly unforgettable holiday."

*Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in raising turkey.

About Whole Foods Market(R) Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/) is a leader in the natural and organic foods industry and America's first national certified organic grocer. In fiscal year 2008, the Company had sales of $6.6 billion and currently has more than 275 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The Whole Foods Market motto, "Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet"(TM) captures the company's mission to find success in customer satisfaction and wellness, Team Member excellence and happiness, win-win supplier partnerships, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Whole Foods Market, Fresh & Wild(TM), and Harry's Farmers Market(R) are trademarks owned by Whole Foods Market IP, LP. Wild Oats(R) and Capers Community Market(TM) are trademarks owned by Wild Marks, Inc. Whole Foods Market employs more than 53,000 Team Members and has been ranked for 11 consecutive years as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" in America by FORTUNE magazine.

   Contact: Cathy Cochran-Lewis   [email protected]   (512) 542-0380  

Whole Foods Market

CONTACT: Cathy Cochran-Lewis of Whole Foods Market, +1-512-542-0380,[email protected]

Web Site: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/