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  • Butcher/meat questions

    How and where do you find a good source for meat? By a good source, I mean a good selection, there is still fat in and around the meat, you can ask the butcher a question and they won't roll their eyes or sigh and you can ask for special requests or ask for advice on how to select or cook something new.

    If I shop at my gourmet health food store, the butcher's are just underpaid, annoyed employees. The meat is all surgically removed of fat. And why do they only have ribeye and NY steak? What happened to the rest of the cow?

    If I shop at Whole Foods, there's no offal. I didn't see any grass-fed beef at all. Don't bother asking them any questions or you get attitude.

    If I shop at the hippie food co-op the grass-fed meat is relatively inexpensive and less hoity-toity cuts, but it's all frozen. There is no butcher.

    If you have a good relationship with a butcher, how did you find it? What kind of store do you shop in? Do you go to an old-fashioned meat market? Did you have to forgo the grass-fed/pastured stuff in order to find a decent butcher? Where do you get the offal?
    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

  • #2
    Do you have a farmers market nearby? (even cities have farmers markets)
    I get my meats from our local one. They have several vendors from local grass fed farms and they sell all kinds of cuts and products (though usually for something like offal they may not have it with them but can bring it next time or if you call ahead and ask they could bring it). If you want something specific you can ask (even if it is not on their product list-I asked a local vendor about lard and I will get some next time even though lard isnt on their products list).
    That said the meat is frozen but usually cheaper than what you would get at a store.

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    • #3
      I'm not bragging, but we have an old-time butcher close to where I live (and really close to where we hope to build a house). This last time I was there, we bought fresh ground beef...as in the cow walked in that morning. I have a cow that is just about done with her calf bearing years and is going to be going on a little ride (what fun!). No, I guess I am bragging. Look in your phone book, it might be worth a drive to a butcher shop, this place also has bulk prices, like 1/2 cows, front 1/4, back 1/4, so technically one trip every couple months would probably do.
      If I just said LOL, I lied. Do or do not. There is no try.

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      • #4
        My husband found an actual butcher near us on yelp that is very close to us and is really helpful. He will get anything in that we want. That butcher also gave us the name of his supplier so we can order our 1/4 cow directly from the farm. They're pretty cool. It may be worth it to ask on a local forum like yelp or city-data.

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        • #5
          That's a good idea. We have a local forum where you can ask such questions. I'm pretty sure I already know what meat markets they will recommend, though. Should I just walk in and tell the butcher I'm an idiot trying to learn to be a better cook and I'm going to ask a lot of idiot questions so be nice? Have you found butchers to be fairly hip to the whole paleo thing?
          Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
            That's a good idea. We have a local forum where you can ask such questions. I'm pretty sure I already know what meat markets they will recommend, though. Should I just walk in and tell the butcher I'm an idiot trying to learn to be a better cook and I'm going to ask a lot of idiot questions so be nice? Have you found butchers to be fairly hip to the whole paleo thing?
            I'll have to ask my husband since he does all the food shopping. But, I know he loves the butcher we found. He and some of his coworkers have sort of gone off the paleo deep end when it comes to weird meats; they're constantly talking about their odd meat choices and new sources for them.

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            • #7
              We found the most amazing butcher through a friend. The prices are even about the same as the supermarket since there is no middle man, it comes straight from his farm to the shop. There are eggs as well. All meat and eggs are from free ranging/grassfeed/hormone free animals. All his sausages are made with no preservatives, just herbs and spices, and actual chunks of meat. There is a huge range of stuff, and if I can't see something he usually has it out the back. Everything is so fresh and delicious.
              I am so grateful to have found it. I do have drive an hour ish to get there, but I go about every 3 weeks, but its so worth it.

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              • #8
                Local Harvest / Farmers Markets / Family Farms / CSA / Organic Food
                Primal since March 2011

                Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs

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                • #9
                  Move out of California

                  No issue where I am. Butchers still get in whole beasts and you can get any cut you want, most of the time. Supermarkets just don't cut it in this regard
                  Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

                  Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

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                  • #10
                    Skip the butcher, call the farmer.
                    Crohn's, doing SCD

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                    • #11
                      I absolutely LOVE my butcher. He's the best!

                      I found my butcher in a local flyer. Hunting is a way of life here come fall, so the first thing was to find out where the hunters (who have deer processed) go. A lot of folks here do it themselves, like we used to. Around deer season you see ads in local papers for deer processing. Some guys just do it out of their garage on a seasonal basis, and some of the butchers around here actually shut down their regular business to cater to deer hunters.

                      I contacted my butcher about having a deer processed, and the rest, as they say, is history.

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                      • #12
                        How about Mexican carnicerias? Have any of you tried one of those?
                        Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                        • #13
                          I would think a passionate butcher would be thrilled to talk about meat with you all day long
                          Sandra
                          *My obligatory intro

                          There are no cheat days. There are days when you eat primal and days you don't. As soon as you label a day a cheat day, you're on a diet. Don't be on a diet. ~~ Fernaldo

                          DAINTY CAN KISS MY PRIMAL BACKSIDE. ~~ Crabcakes

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                          • #14
                            I live in a whole different country/hemisphere to you But I also live in a large rural town, in a big cattle producing area, so it's pretty much a given we'll have good beef here (both beef and dairy, yummo!)

                            Yesterday I picked up half a lamb, some mince, a full blade and some liver. I had a choice of lamb's fry, ox or yearling liver. I chose the lamb's fry (I'm not too thrilled on the strong taste) and gosh was it nice!

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                            • #15
                              sbhikes: You might want to check out your local "Edible" magazine. My butcher (who is awesome with a capital A) advertises in the Vancouver edition along with many other natural, organic, farm gate, etc. types. I found the online version for Santa Barbara: Edible Santa Barbara Magazine - Local Food Magazine of Santa Barbara California.

                              For everyone else (in North America, at least) you can check to see if your community has its own version here (dozens and dozens of cities): Edible Publications. It is certainly not a paleo/primal magazine, but, at least in Vancouver, the ads can guide you to many different sources of great food that fit within a paleo/primal lifestyle.
                              Kevin

                              Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.
                              William James
                              US Pragmatist philosopher & psychologist (1842 1910)

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