What You Need To Know About Whole Foods' Thanksgiving Meal Insurance

Thanksgiving turkey dinner can be memorable in many ways. There are the meals when all your old favorites come out just like your folks used to make them. Then there are the meals that you really could have done without because let's face it, while there are many ways to get a Thanksgiving turkey right, there are also a million ways it can go south.  

So if you can't make it home to enjoy a holiday roast with all the sides, and your cooking ability isn't anything to write home about, Whole Foods, in a partnership with Progressive Insurance, says it's ready to help by offering its first-ever Turkey Insurance — a $35 dollar gift card which you can spend on whatever you like. To be eligible for the Turkey Protection Plan, you need to buy your turkey at Whole Foods and save your receipt, take a photo of your problematic turkey if it turns out to be a problem, and write a brief explanation of what went wrong. You also need to be one of the first 1,000 people to apply — and Whole Foods has the right to decide whether what you've sent them is bad enough for a consolation gift card.

The Turkey Protection Plan protects first-time cooks

Whole Foods vice president of meat and poultry Theo Weening explained the company's decision to launch its Turkey Protection Plan for the first time ever this year. "As we anticipate more smaller Thanksgiving gatherings and first-time cooks tackling turkey preparation this year, the Thanksgiving Turkey Protection Plan allows customers the freedom of culinary exploration, knowing all is not lost should their cooking go astray," he said in a statement (via CNN).

To help you ensure that your turkey fail isn't deliberate, Whole Foods has come up with a list of its five tricks for cooking the perfect turkey, which includes picking the right bird, dry brining it (rubbing salt and seasoning into the skin and meat) for more flavor, using a thermometer to work out if your turkey is ready (165 F), and letting it rest. 

If you're still not sure how to roast a bird — because let's face it — getting a $35 gift card after Thanksgiving isn't going to make you feel like a star chef after ruining the main event on the day of, there's always Butterball's Turkey Talk Line. The hotline even had a star turn on The West Wing, when President Jed Bartlet rings up the hotline after a question over the cooking temperatures of a turkey stuffed with sausage arises (you can watch the clip on YouTube).