It’s probably not a traditional best business practice to use this space to discuss a turkey product we currently don’t make. But a few of you responded to our January request for feedback (feel free to keep it coming, by the way), to ask why we don’t offer a Ferndale turkey bacon. It may be no surprise that turkey bacon is one of our most commonly requested items, both in our market and from our retail partners, so I thought I’d share the back story. There are two closely connected hurdles that have prevented us from jumping into the turkey bacon game.

I’ll start by saying that I love pork bacon in all its forms. Give me a BLT or a side with my eggs any day of the week. But, it’s important to remember that pork bacon has an inherent natural advantage over turkey bacon. Namely, pigs have a pork belly and turkeys have lean breast meat in its place. Since there’s no “turkey belly” to use, turkey bacon requires some creative processing to simulate a texture and flavor that resembles bacon. And, unlike pork bacon, this often involves added ingredients, which sometimes can fly in the face of the simple, clean ingredients we use in our products today.

More practically, the complexity involved in making a high-quality turkey bacon means that the smaller regional processors we work with don’t have the needed capabilities. It tends to be the “big guys” who have the equipment and expertise, so smaller independent farmers like us don’t have an easy pathway to get it made.

All of this leaves us unable to make a turkey bacon today, but I’m keeping this in the “never say never” file.  In the meantime, we do make a Turkey Breakfast Sausage that’s pretty darn good (in my unbiased opinion, of course!), and we have plenty of great local pork bacon options here at Ferndale Market.

This completes your short course in turkey bacon! Thanks to all of you who shared New Year’s feedback with us, and for your curiosity about our farm and food. The desire to know more drives us all toward positive change in our food system. We appreciate your support!