HOOD RIVER, OR - With Canadian Thanksgiving around the corner and the American counterpart not far behind, the environmentally conscious Turtle Island Foods just announced a new line of Free Range Tofurky.
“There are growing concerns about the manner in which we – as a society – raise and produce our food,” said Dale Halloran, CMO of Turtle Island. “This company brightened the holidays for vegetarians by introducing Tofurky nearly twenty years ago. We’re happy to see other companies starting to address the dietary needs of non-meat eaters, and it’s time for us to raise the bar.”
Turtle Island Foods, a family-run operation an hour east of Portland, has been producing “delicious, nutritious, convenient and affordable vegetarian food” since 1980. Having grown from its humble roots to a household name amongst vegans, yoga practitioners, and PETA members, it produces an impressive array of vegetarian sausages, deli slices, ground “meat” and of course, Tofurky. The neatly packaged spherical feast weighs in at just about 2 lbs, comes already stuffed, and even has gravy and vegetarian wishbones included in the easy-to-prepare kit.
Self-proclaimed as “America’s Leading Turkey Alternative Since 1995,” the company’s website echoes Mr. Halloran’s statement, claiming that “holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas in particular, can be a lonely time for vegetarians.” Of course, this sad state of affairs was eradicated with Turtle Island’s heroic introduction of Tofurky the year that OJ Simpson went on trial.
Indeed, dietary concerns have evolved so much in the last two decades such that words like ‘organic’, ‘free-range’, and ‘non-GMO’ are now found hidden in crossword puzzles on the back of Froot Loops cereal boxes (whose nutritional information boasts that each box contains 3 servings of sustainably-sourced froot); in the year of OJ’s trial these words only belonged to the vocabulary of the most orthodox herbivores, Farmer’s Almanac devotees, and fans of David Suzuki.
While some criticize Turtle Island’s introduction of Free Range Tofurky as a cash grab aiming to capitalize on a rapidly growing market, others are wildly thrilled. Supermarkets have reported it impossible to keep these products on the shelf for more than a few hours, and an employee at a Bay-area grocery store was reportedly trampled as rambunctious vegetarians launched themselves over, upon, and under his cart while he attempted to stock the store’s shelves with the first shipment.
“I think this is just about the best thing since wasabi,” said Howard Schnurr, a chiropractor who proudly emerged from Portland’s Fiddlehead Groceteria handling three of the new ‘furkys. “I do what I can to keep [my family] healthy. Of the few food items we expose to heat, I can tell you that these Free Range Tofurkys will be at the top of our list this Thanksgiving.”
This autumn at the Thanksgiving table vegetarians and environmentalists alike can show their gratitude toward Turtle Island for making the world a little healthier, and of course, a little more free range.