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Nov 23, 2009 9:36 PM by Jeff Womack

Shoppers buying fresh turkeys

Fresh Turkeys are becoming a hot commodity for people this Thanksgiving.

The cost of buying a turkey is down a bit this holiday, while turkey sales are up slightly. Grocery store managers say turkey prices are down an average of 20 cents a pound from last year. Many shoppers are buying fresh turkeys instead of frozen ones.

"I think that with people eating healthier, they're a little more reluctant to buy frozen turkeys that have water, broth, seasonings and the hormones in them. The turkeys we have are free-range turkeys that don't have any of that," Poly Food Basket Owner Scott D' Ambrosia said.

The United States Department of Agriculture prohibits the use of growth hormones and other preservatives in the Fresh Turkeys. To keep up with this trend, Poly Food Basket placed orders for extra fresh turkeys from local Hutterite colonies. Billings used to be home to a couple of local Turkey farms, but these producers are no longer in business. This makes finding the fresh birds a little harder for store owners.

As of Monday, a little over 200 fresh turkeys have been sold at Poly Food Basket. The store still has some fresh turkeys left and expects they'll go quickly over the next couple of days.

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