Part of eating healthy is knowing what is in the food you eat. We all read labels and understand what ingredients go into packaged goods like bread, pasta, and yogurt. But have you stopped to think about the meat you buy? Knowing how an animal is raised is so important. We have some questions to ask your local butcher shop so you can know what’s in your food.
On a recent trip to Stillwater, Oklahoma I stopped in at 1907 Meat Company, a local whole animal butcher shop and restaurant, to eat some great food that I had heard so much about. I ended up talking to the owner, Adam Gribben, about food transparency and local farming. We talked at length about helping consumers know more about the food they were eating.
By working with local farmers, he is setting a standard for quality local products that customers demand. I was left with an appreciation for local businesses like his that are restoring the local food chain by connecting farmers directly with customers.
Living in a larger city, access to farms or even a locally sourced butcher shop is difficult. You simply go to the grocery store grab something out of the case and take it home. We have become disconnected with our food and that needs to change.
When you walk into a butcher shop or a farmers market, you should be able to learn more about the products that interest you. At 1907 Meat Company, they proudly work with 22 local farms that humanly raise pasture-raised animals. The quality is exceptional and you can taste it in every bite from the meat case to what they serve in their restaurant.
Behind the case, you can clearly see the list of farms available in the case. They are proud of the products they serve and are transparent with their customers. That’s what you want in a vendor/market. With a skilled, in-house butcher they are able to be involved start to finish.
Farmers markets, small local stores, and local butcher shops are your best options if you want to eat local products. If you want to learn more about your food, here are a few questions you can ask.
Questions to Ask Your Local Butcher Shop
- Where are these animals raised?
- How are your animals raised?
- What are the animals fed? Are animals given access to the outdoors/pasture to feed? If so how much? Are the animal grain fed?
- Are the animals confined?
- Are antibiotics used? If so, how often? Antibiotics are good when animals are sick, but not all the time and not in their feed.
- Are people welcome to visit the farm?
- How would you cook this? When you find new foods or are tired of eating the same way; simply ask the best way to enjoy it.
Whether you live in central Oklahoma to visit this shop or want to find a similar one near you, this list of questions will help you learn more about your food and support those local businesses that are produces quality products.