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Friday, September 29, 2023

Many households may be doing without one of Thanksgiving’s traditions this year, and it’s not the cranberry sauce.

More households are substituting meat with a vegetarian option or providing fake turkeys for their guests who do not eat meat. Natural food stores and grocery stores in Gainesville are carrying these vegetarian options for Thanksgiving.

For UF student Casey Kochey, this will be his first vegetarian Thanksgiving. He will be joined by his grandfather and cousin, both of whom are vegetarians.

For Thanksgiving dinner they will be making two types of stuffing: one with chicken broth and one without.

Seth Tibbott, the president of Turtle Island Foods Inc., the company that manufactures the Tofurky, said that he has seen a rapid increase in Tofurky sales every year since 1995.

The company, Tibbott said, is up 10 percent this year in shipments. In 1995, they sold 500 Tofurkys. That number jumped to 340,000 in 2009.

“The southeast has always been a strong region for us,” he said. “Publix, in particular, is a big customer.”

“This is the busiest time of the year for us,” said Heather Lindseth of Turtle Island Foods.

She said all natural food stores and most grocery stores in Gainesville will be carrying the Tofurky Feast and the Tofurky Roast and can usually be found in the produce department.

The Tofurky Roast is an imitation turkey made from organic soybeans and comes with gravy. The Tofurky Feast contains the Tofurky Roast, rice, stuffing, imitation jerky and chocolate cake — all organic.

Marlyn Moser of Mother Earth Market, 521 NW 13th St., said they are carrying the Feast for $31.59 and the Roast for $18.69.

Kathy Whipple, assistant manager at Ward’s Supermarket, located at 515 NW 23rd Ave., said they will be carrying three different brands of imitation turkey: Quorn, Field Roast and Tofurky.

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