Buying from a butcher shop


TaraV

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I start my first whole30 Monday and I've been doing a ton of research and sourcing but the meat is really hard where I live! I have several butcher shops around me but how do I know there meat is any better than the supermarket meat?

I don't have a whole foods or trader joes. I don't have a club membership either. I'm really worried the meat I'm going to have to buy isn't going to be that high of quality.

What sort of questions should I ask the butcher at these local places to determine if the meat is compliment?

Also, can we talk about the eggs?! I read the cheat sheet for sourcing good proteins and I had no idea that most of the labels are not really regulated and aren't much better than factory farm eggs. Ugh! I feel lied to! And for the record I have never ever seen anything labeled "pastured" in my life. I've been to about 6 different stores and markets and not one egg carton claims pastured. They are only say cage free, free range etc.

I just want to get the best I can but feeling discouraged with the lack of resourses around me. And the funniest thing is I live in the heart of farm country in PA!

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What sort of questions should I ask the butcher at these local places to determine if the meat is compliment?

All meat is compliant as long as it doesn't have anything added to it. That said, you can ask about meat quality, where the animals are sourced, how they are raised, hormones & antibiotic usage, what they are fed, how they spend their days, how they are butchered etc.  Ask the questions that matter to YOU.  If the butcher is local and not a chain, chances are they source their product locally as well.  Just go in there and start chatting.

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I'm in Australia and near my house the butchers are woeful, they have a lot of additives in things like ground meat because apparently it's unregulated in butchers but not in supermarkets (ironically I think because they thought the butchers would show good judgement - hah!). However, not a long drive away I can get some incredible meat and my local supermarket has been increasing it's grassfed meat options, I ask for lots of stuff there I know they don't have, so they know I shop elsewhere for the stuff they can't provide me.
 

Eggs are often a local thing and it depends a lot on the local market.

Free range is better than cage free usually, I go for organic if they're available, free range if not.

 

My first Whole30 I probably had no pastured anything and I had great results.

 

What kind of supermarkets do you have there?

 

If you can get it, lamb is often grassfed because sheep are funny and won't eat much else ;)

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What sort of questions should I ask the butcher at these local places to determine if the meat is compliment?

 

 

I'd just start with asking if they use any additives or preservatives. You probably want to stay away from any prepared products like sausages - I have a fantastic local butcher with great quality meats, but they put sugar in the sausages so they're not OK on a Whole30. But it doesn't hurt to ask!

 

If you're just starting, the key thing to remember is that you can have a perfectly compliant Whole30 buying whatever's in the case at your local chain grocery store, checking for additives. You don't *have* to buy free range/organic/grass-fed/pastured/unicorn everything. There's a lot to think about when you're first starting - if this search is adding a ton of stress for you, take a deep breath and just do your best! It is a super frustrating thing to learn about our food system, though, certainly. The longer you do this, the more you'll figure out what works for you.

 

As far as the eggs - I've only ever seen pastured eggs at the farmer's market (or my butcher actually carries farm eggs). I think pastured eggs from a chain store is a pipe dream. :) So I usually just get the best quality ones I can find.

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