Podcast Episode 067: The Turkey Opportunity – Farmer Gary Cooper & Chef Dan Phalen

Jun 13, 2017

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“Turkey is a great ‘blank canvas’ for a wide variety of flavors, seasonings and marinades, making it a versatile choice for almost any dish. It’s also naturally low in fat and packed with lean protein to satisfy your appetite for health and fitness.” – Farmer Gary and Chef Dan

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Dan Phalen, Chef

Gary Cooper, Farmer


Gary Cooper, of Cooper Farms, is one of America’s turkey farmers. As a second generation farmer, he has been working full time in the industry for 42 years and runs the family business along with his brother and sister. Today, Cooper Farms is a leading food supplier, selling a variety of fully-cooked and ready-to-cook turkey, ham and chicken products. Though the company has egg and hog facilities, most of its business involves turkeys.

Dan Phalen is the Corporate Executive Chef at Luby’s Fuddruckers. Chef Phalen has over 25 years of culinary experience and has been with Luby’s for 11 years developing the culinary services division and oversees all culinary for Luby’s cafeterias, Luby’s Culinary Services, Fuddruckers and Cheeseburgers in Paradise restaurants. Dan is a native Houstonian who lives in Spring with his wife and two children. His daughter, Danielle, just completed her master’s degree in dietetics.


Gary on his farm


Gary with President Obama


Dan in the kitchen


Dan with his daughter


Here are the resources we mentioned on the show: 

  1. National Turkey Federation website with resources, recipes and more!
  2. Turkey grilling tips, protein info, nutrition info, FAQs and more
  3. Datassential Menu Adoption Cycle (MAC) Charts
  4. Turkey on facebook and twitter
  5. Melissa’s Do M.O.R.E. with Dinner blog posts and podcast episodes
  6. Food Waste podcast episode: The (Re)Purpose of Food with Judy Barbe
  7. Protein-related podcast episodes: Protein Powered Breakfasts, Protein & Exercise in Aging, Protein Challenge, The Power of Protein (research)

Produced by Team Podcast

Music by Dave Birk




1 Comment

  1. Judy on September 22, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    Thanks for the inspiration! I made a Turkey Larb for dinner after listening!!

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ABOUTI’m the Guilt-Free RD® – “Because food shouldn’t make you feel bad!™”. So, on my Food for Thought blog I’m exploring the secret ingredients needed to enjoy your food with health in mind.  I’m also a “Dietitian Enthusiast” so I’m showcasing interviews with dietitians.  My “How To” Series shares practical advice to help boost communication skills and gain more visibility, influence and success.

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