All-Oregon Thanksgiving feast more expensive, but possible

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SALEM — As Thanksgiving approaches and Oregonians begin their shopping, they might consider taking the local approach and opting for an all-Oregon feast.

Although the choices are vast, the price range is not.

The American Farm Bureau Federation takes an annual survey of the price of major components of a Thanksgiving dinner. According to this year’s survey, prices were slightly higher than 2011, but the overall average cost of the meal as a whole still came out to $49.48 for 10 people, or less than $5 per person.

If shopping around for low prices is the goal of the meal, Thanksgiving can remain an affordable holiday. But with so many harvest fixtures such as turkeys and pumpkins available in the state, an Oregon-only holiday is possible as well.

But it does cost more to eat local and to eat organic.

The Farm Bureau’s average finding of a 16-pound turkey came out to $22.23 in 2012. According to the details of the survey, participants were instructed to price only basic, frozen turkeys and not take into account organic, fresh or free-range birds.

LifeSource, a locally owned natural and organic grocery, boasts a large stock of Oregon-only products.

The store has begun taking names for its Thanksgiving turkeys, which will be coming in from Deck Family Farm in Junction City. At $8.49 per pound, a large turkey can easily reach well over $100 — or $135.84 for a 16-pounder.

Roth’s Fresh Markets is another grocery chain that often features Oregon-specific products. Thanksgiving turkeys aren’t on sale yet, but the chain plans to offer a number of options starting Wednesday.

Peter McPartlin, the meat and seafood buyer for Roth’s, said their turkeys will be coming from Utah and California. Although they aren’t local birds, Roth’s chose them because of a reputation of quality and the ability to keep up with high consumer demand.

The Utah turkeys are from a national chain called Norbest and will cost $1.29 per pound. Another option will be free-range turkeys coming in from California, closer to $2.49 per pound.

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