With our daily living costs rising rapidly there will be times when most of us will naturally turn towards cheaper alternatives. But should this be to the detriment of your local butcher? when you want to buy meat you can turn to either your butcher or the supermarket. A lot of us will choose based on how easy it is for us. If we walk in a supermarket we can purchase everything that we need in just one place. We know the butcher is going to cost us a premium for the meat we buy but lets take a look at some great reasons why we should stay and support our local butchers.
When we purchase from the supermarket we will very often find row upon row of prepacked meat. This would have been packed in a factory, (often far away) stuck in the back of a truck and then sits in the refrigeration units at the supermarket until somebody buys it. When you walk into the butcher he or she will often cut the meat right in front of you or they will have cuts prepared for sale that were cut that morning. It is almost impossible to beat the freshness that your butcher will provide. The butchers meat will often be free of hormones, antibiotics, and you can feel great about the food that you are feeding your family with.
A supermarket chain will supply many of their stores out of the same packing plant. Your meat could be travelling hundreds or thousands of kilometers before it ends up in your local store. Whereas a butcher will mostly work with nearby farms. For those who think about farm to plate this is a huge advantage of using your local butcher.
When you go to the butcher in your town you will often know the people that you are dealing with. It might start of as just a face that becomes familiar until eventually you end up in full conversations with each other. But, these are people that know about meat. They will give you a personal service and impart their knowledge to you. They are generally very experienced and will give the best product they can get hold off. If money is slightly harder to come by they will offer you cheaper cuts and give advice on how to use them correctly.
This is not to say your supermarket does not have a friendly, knowledgeable butcher. Many do, it is just that the service might not be as personable due to the number of customers they serve each day.
Supermarkets carry a huge number of food items across every genre so many times the selection of each type is not so high. A butcher on the other hand focuses on just one thing, meat! So, if you are looking to try the more unusual cuts such as bone marrow, beef tongue or pigs liver then a trip to your local butcher would be the place to go. Generally, a good butcher will also know a few tips and tricks to get the most out of each piece.
Keep Your Money Local
This is a huge one for me. By shopping at our local butchers we are keeping the money within our communities. The butcher will take your money and spend it amongst other local businesses more often and not. Its just another way of looking after all the different businesses in your neighborhood. Spend your dollar in the supermarket and it will end up back at head office which could very easily be the other side of the country to you.
It is very likely you are going to be paying slightly more at your butcher than you would at the supermarket. The supermarkets have huge buying power that the independent cannot compete with. This is of course not a pro to shop with a butcher just a reality. I hope however, that the reasons above have been strong enough to swallow the price difference and keep shopping locally.
We would love to hear your thoughts on this article. Do you shop locally? How much extra does it cost you to use your local butcher? Do you even have the choice anymore or has your local butcher been put out of business? Let us know in the comments.
Just got back from the butcher with some amazing brisket? Check out how to choose and prepare it here.