24 The big event

Its time for the turkey!  The traditional meat at Christmas time is the turkey and we produce a lot of turkeys for the Christmas market.

There are several main breeds of turkey which are used – Norfolk black, Bronze Turkey, Bourbon Red and white turkeys.

Turkey wins! You get around 150 calories in a 100g portion of cooked turkey breast. That’s lower than almost every other meat.

Where possible, get your turkey straight from the farmer. If not, make sure it at least has the Scottish or UK flag with the Red Tractor logo.

When buying your turkey (or any other kind of meat or fish), look for products from ‘farm-assured’ or ‘certified’ producers. This means that they have been independently inspected on key criteria such as traceability, food safety & hygiene, environmental protection, and animal welfare.

There are several such schemes, and some of the most common ones in Scotland include Red Tractor, RSPCA Assured, Quality Meat Scotland (pigs, sheep, and beef only), Marine Stewardship Council (for fish and shellfish) and the various organic certification schemes.  Why not find out more about the differences between the schemes as part of a class project?

Never wash your turkey (or other poultry) – this is because bacteria can splash on to worktops, dishes and other foods. Proper cooking will kill any bacteria anyway.  Find out how to cook the perfect turkey here.

Turkey is the most common Christmas meal here in the UK – but what about other countries around the world?  What do they eat at Christmas time, or for their main winter festival? Why not find out more, and perhaps make contact with a school in another country to share ideas and recipes?  Why not try making some of these and sharing them with other people in your school or community?

Let’s face it – we ALWAYS cook far too much food at Christmas!  Save money and do your bit to save the planet by using up all those leftovers.  Left over turkey can be mixed with potato and veg/breadcrumbs and put filling in pastry. Check out the Love Food, Hate Waste for loads of great recipe ideas for leftovers, and general tips on how to waste less food – and save money!