Ground Turkey

Ground Turkey

Ground Turkey has revolutionized the choices we have for our favorite ground meat meals. From burgers to chili, spaghetti sauce to meatloaf now a days many are choosing to do turkey instead of beef in these popular meals.  Whether it is a conscious decision to avoid excess fat or you just prefer the taste of poultry over beef, ground turkey is all the rage. You may have thought you were opting for the “healthier” option when standing in line at the grocery store but some ground turkey may hold a dark secret.

What is in ground turkey? “Just ground turkey meat” is how I would have answered before learning that often times ground turkey is produced using the bi-products left over from other turkey cuts. That in itself is not too disturbing but when I learned those other things could also mean fillers like “skin” and “natural flavorings” I pondered how that could possibly be healthier. These fillers are added to keep costs low and give it a more palatable flavor. Luckily, you do not need to worry about that craziness when you choose John Henry’s Ground Turkey. We use only our highest quality free range turkey. We have created a special blend boneless, skinless breast and thigh meat. No flavoring, fillers or extras of any kind are added to our ground turkey.  

Turkey packs a punch when it comes to health benefits by providing important vitamins B-6 and B-12, niacin, choline, selenium and zinc. It is also high in protein which is a necessity in a healthy diet, 3 ounces of turkey will provide your body with 26 grams of protein. Lack of protein in your diet can lead to lack of energy, feelings of weakness, jitteriness or spaciness. The high protein in turkey can keep your energy up for whatever your work/school day throws at you. There is no need to grab your third cup of coffee in the afternoon if you are nourishing your body at lunch time with some turkey.

One of my favorite ways to incorporate a little more turkey into our dinner routine is the “John Henry’s Homestyle Meatloaf”. This was a huge hit when I made the Simply Wholesome Wildtree Freezer Meal Bundle for my family last year. This meal changed my opinion about meatloaf and we even offer it to our John Henry’s customers as one of our Easy Meals. It is made with half ground beef and half ground turkey with Wildtree’s Red Pepper & Garlic Blend, coconut flour, egg and onion. I was very leery at first and wondered how that combination was going to work. But my dinner was a big success and I love that I am able to feed my family grass fed beef and free range turkey the way it should be – without fillers.


Love, Katie 

Danger Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency

Danger Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency

I am ready to say so long to the gloomy winter and hello summer sun, but not just for the instant mood lift. My littles have been cooped up for many months and even though I bundle them up and send them out to play as often as possible, they are not reaping the rewards of summer sun.  I hope this post can show you why our bodies desperately need Vitamin D.

Our bodies absorb Vitamin D in two main ways – exposing our skin to sunlight and by taking Vitamin D supplements. Though there are some foods high in Vitamin D,  you cannot get enough through food alone. The best way to get the optimum amount of Vitamin D Is exposing your bare skin to direct sunlight (UVB rays). Sitting in a car and letting the sun shine in on you while driving, doesn’t cut it. Unfortunately, the glass blocks those special rays and your body can not produce Vitamin D. It is easy to be in the direct sun during the summer or if you are vacationing to a warmer climate. You don’t need to burn or even tan to produce the beneficial vitamin. It is estimated that over one BILLION people worldwide are deficient and over 75% of American children 12 and under are either insufficient or deficient. I was shocked to learn this but growing up in Michigan, during the cold winter months, my body rarely sees the sun from November to April.

I find the deficiency numbers staggering because as I walk into my local drugstore I can see the SUNBLOCK aisle stretching nearly the entire length of the store. It has definitely grown since when my grandma was a little girl. I watch my friends cover their kiddos in the white cream throughout the day unknowingly BLOCKING all those beneficial UVB rays. I am not suggesting sending those babies out to play all day without protection because allowing our skin to burn can definitely cause damage and has been proven to lead to cancer. But while the risk for cancer has grown, sunscreen products do not seem to be the clear answer. Sunscreen, in every form, is found in almost every store around the world, yet the risk is still there. Often the most dangerous forms of skin cancer are detected in places where the sun does not reach, between your toes for example.

So what can be done?

Be intentional to get sun on your bare skin for short periods of time. Don’t sun bath for long periods of time, move to the shade to relax. Find a sunscreen that is full of beneficial nutrients to the skin versus toxic chemicals.  Change your diet to REAL foods and eliminate processed junk. Those who have modified their diet and have eliminated grains, polyunsaturated or hydrogenated oils notice a much higher resistance to the sun. I can definitely attest to this. My littles rarely wear sunscreen yet they never burn. If we happen to be going to a place where extended sun exposer is unavoidable, I will use a natural zinc oxide based cream but those times are very few. I found this so intriguing because my kids are outside all the time, mostly with very few clothes on and barefoot. I used to be concerned until I read Dr. Axe’s book “Eat Dirt”, now I send them out to play and know their little dirty feet are pulling microbes from the ground that will benefit their immune systems.

Why is it so important?

You must have ample amounts of Vitamin D for your body to absorb calcium. I am sure we have all seen the commercials about calcium enriched breakfast foods for “strong bones” in kids. Calcium is so important to our body and bones, without it, children have soft, fragile bones and adults suffer from osteomalacia.

Here is a real world example of how lack of Vitamin D and calcium can affect children:

My son’s best bud was over playing at our house over the summer, he fell from the monkey bars on our swing set and he came running in crying holding his arm. I was so worried and after a long night in his mother’s arms, she knew it must be more serious than a bump or bruise. It turns out, he actually fractured his elbow. His pediatrician told them that it was imperative to get more calcium into his diet because it was a pretty significant break. The need for calcium in our daily lives is very important, however if our bodies are not getting the adequate amount of Vitamin D, it will not and cannot absorb the calcium we are consuming. This knowledge is crucial.

Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to several kinds of cancer, heart disease, depression, weight gain and other conditions. It’s definitely a bad deal and sometimes our bodies do not let us know there is a big problem until something major happens. It is very important that we take control over our health to protect and heal ourselves.

Inflammation – this is a big No-No for those with any form of autoimmune disease. Lack of Vitamin D can cause inflammation in the body. If you suffer from an autoimmune condition or maybe just have symptoms of soreness or achy joints, you definitely need to get in the sun and cut out inflammation causing foods. According to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine “Researchers have found that the deficiency may negatively impact immune function and cardiovascular health and increase cancer risk.”  I found this fascinating because exposing 25 percent of our skin to sunlight for 10 minutes a day and a minimum of 3 times a week will help maintain our Vitamin D levels. However, people with beautiful ebony skin may need a little bit more.  This should encourage us to get outside as often as possible and send our little ones out to play even more.

What do we do during the cold months?

When you do not have direct access to the sun for an extended period of time, you will need to supplement. You may want to get your blood levels checked to make sure you are in the optimum range, if not, hit the beach before the winter and start taking a high quality Vitamin D supplement.

These foods provide Vitamin D also:

While these foods do provide Vitamin D, your diet alone is unlikely to give you all you need. According to the Vitamin D Counsel, adults need 10,000 IU/day and children need 2,000IU/day per 25lbs of body weight. Those are some big numbers and I can totally understand why there would be such a large percentage of people deficient in Vitamin D. With the increase in technology, and so many more people living in large cities, adults and children struggle to get enough sunlight. So plan to take a walk, ride your bike, or just plain get outside to enjoy the sun, you’re worth it! 



28 February, 2017

Beef & Liver Blend

Beef & Liver Blend   


Many of you may have wondered what this blend is all about? Maybe you have questioned why we would even offer such a thing? If you would have asked me about this 10 years ago, I would have said you were crazy to even think of such a thing. But fast forward a little bit and here we are now combining our amazing grass fed beef round with grass fed beef liver. I worked with our butcher to develop this unique blend with just the right ratio of each. 

      We created this unique blend to allow more of our customers the option of adding organ meats into their diet without just eating straight up liver. This blend is very kid friendly and since I have 3 little ones of my own, it is definitely kid tested and mother approved! You can't tell the difference between it and our standard ground round when you make it into any dish with a sauce or seasoning. Some of our favorite ways to eat it are: Spaghetti with Veggie Noodles, Tacos, Chili, or Sloppy Joes.  You do not even realize we are eating organ meat! 
       My grandma loves liver and onions and I have always wondered why it seemed to be such a staple in her home while she was growing up. I think her mom had some inside health knowledge that the doctors hadn't figured out yet. Gram for gram liver is one of the most nutrient dense foods. It is a high quality protein and an easy way to absorb iron. Liver also contains all of the B vitamins including B12 and folic acid in significant amounts; many trace minerals as well as the powerful antioxidant CoQ10. Many want to avoid liver because its main job is flushing toxins out of the body but what people do not realize is the liver does not store those toxins there, it marks them to be eliminated via the intestines or kidneys. We take great care in feeding our cows a great no toxin diet however we cannot control the air they breathe. What we do know is our cows have the healthiest livers available and in turn you are able to reap all the benefits of a healthy liver too.


~ Katie 

Hormone Free Grass-Fed Beef, Pastured Turkey Pork, Open Range Chicken

The benefits of eating pasture raised, grass-fed meats are hard to deny. From the extra nutrients to the shaky ethics surrounding commercially raised animals, pasture-raised cows and free range chickens win every time. While we hear the most about steaks and beef, the same benefits can apply to any animal raised without hormones in its natural habitat. Typically pork or chicken is referred to as pasture raised, or free range instead, as these animals are natural omnivores and eat a little of everything. Our family farm produces grass-fed beef, pastured pork, and free range turkey and chicken. Our gourmet meats and dairy products are shipped fresh to customers in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and the Chicago, Illinois area. Pastured pork, beef, chicken, and turkey is not only better for the animal, but it’s also better for the consumer too. If you’ve shopped for meats at most grocery stores, you probably saw bright red packages of similar shapes and sizes, which is different from the varying packages of beef you would find when shopping with an small, local farmer. Each animal is unique, and John Henry’s doesn’t use steroids, hormones, or fatty feeds on our farm. This produces a higher-quality cut of meat that can vary in size, shape, and color depending on what muscles were exercised more. Grass-fed beef, and pasture raised turkey, pork, and chicken also have fat that is more yellow due to healthy beta carotenes that are present. We also cut each of our meats fresh and ship it to you the same day! If you haven’t tried grass-fed beef, pastured pork, or free range turkey and chicken you don’t know what you’re missing. Save $10 on your first shipment with promo code “New10” John Henry’s ships to Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennesee, New England, Virginia, West Virginia, THe Carolinas, And more!