Recently, I switched from buying my meat at the grocers to buying meat from a local butcher shop. I had resisted this move due to a fear I had around costs, but I have to say I have been pleasantly surprised.
Depending on where you live in the world, the type of food you have available will vary. Living in Canada we tend to have very expensive, and often dubious quality, fresh produce. Our produce is shipped from so far it simply has very little time left once we bring it home. This means I need to make multiple trips every week to buy produce. To offset that I wanted to go local with one of the things we do have access to year round: meat.
Here are my top reasons for shopping at a butchers:
1) Buying from a local butcher has actually been surprisingly cost effective. The cost is on par and in a lot of cases cheaper than buying the equivalent quality from my grocer.
2) My butcher carries extremely high quality meat. There is a lot of pride in how the animals are raised and prepared for market. One chicken breast from my butcher feeds my family of four. ONE! It is crazy. The meat tastes much better. And the bacon? OMG the stuff is heavenly!
3) The other cool thing is that buying local has given me a piece of community. The ideology of the old school shops where the people know your name has become such a rarity. I love visiting my butcher. They know my name, they know what I like to buy, they have even customized some items to suit my needs and taste.
4) If I want a specific cut of meat or something special, my butcher takes care of it. If I need advice on how to prepare something they are happy to help. They are there for me and to help me really enjoy their products.
5) I know where my money is going and not only am I supporting them, but they are supporting me and my goals to feed my family quality foods.
6) But one of the biggest benefits has been for my children. My oldest son, Jackson, recently had a lot of questions around the meat he was eating and where it came from. It was wonderful to be able to get honest, straightforward answers for my highly inquisitive son. I didn’t have to side step anything due to lack of knowledge. My butcher answered all my sons questions without hesitation.
Stopping at my butcher has become a highlight of my week and it feels good to add another piece to our village.
My next step is to add summer time visits to the local farmer’s markets.
Do you shop directly from farmers or butchers?