While other people are fiddling with barbecue grills, deep-fryers and ovens this Thanksgiving, John Beerman will
reach into a simmering mound of fertilizer, pull out a fully-cooked turkey, and serve it to his family.
Beerman is the co-owner of California Bio-Mass in Thermal, a company that turns green waste into organic fertilizer. He has been cooking the holiday fowl this way for three years. This turkey chef says his process is “basically like a luau.” Beerman spent parts of Monday and Tuesday with a thermometer in hand looking for a compost heap hot enough for baking.
He figures the mixture of bacteria, green waste, water and air double as a natural oven because temperatures inside a compost pile can rise to more than 130 degrees. It was trial and error for Beerman to find the proper cooking
time — his first turkey needed 24 hours at about 160 degrees to cook thoroughly.
He even got compliments for his cooking – before he confessed the bird was cooked in compost.