Taking a bite from a juicy steak brings an unexplainable feeling, except for vegetarians. Meat has been a delicacy globally since time immemorial. In the past, the only way you could get such a meal was through hunting or slaughtering one of your own cattle. However, that has changed with time, and today you can get meat from a butchery near you, whether you want it for your household or an event. This comes with several benefits which you will be learning about in this piece.
The Benefits of Purchasing Meat From a Butcher
Competition in the meat market has been rising steadily between butcheries, supermarkets, and online vendors. Gone are the days when you would wait until the butcher opened their shop for you to purchase some meat. Today, you can hop into a supermarket and get a slice of your favorite beef, pork, chicken, or even mutton as you head home from work. However, there are different reasons why it is recommended to get your meat from a local butcher. These reasons include:
Locally Available Meat is a Healthier Alternative
Your health should be the priority when it comes to anything to do with food. Health practitioners recommend buying meat from a local butchery because it is fresh and has better protein content. The meat is sourced from local farmers who, unlike some industrial farms, do not use fattening chemicals, growth hormones, and other dangerous solutions to their animals. That gives you the comfort of knowing that the meat is safe for human consumption.
For a long time now, research has been conducted on the effects of meat on human health, and the results are not so enticing. This is mainly for the city dwellers who like to buy everything from the supermarket. We have seen the current news covering stories about how that steak or beef rib you buy from the supermarket is harmful to your health. First, you must understand that such shopping centers have extensive meat inventories, which should be seen as ‘fresh’ until it gets off the shelves. You can watch different videos on the internet captured using a security surveillance system. Such videos show how large meat shops use dangerous chemicals to keep their meat fresh for several days or even a week. Therefore, you can get a clear glimpse of how risky such meat can be.
Times are hard for many people globally. This is why you should be willing to do whatever you can to save that coin. Additionally, buying in your local meat market means that you are supporting the business and local farmers and maintaining a steady cash flow in your community. Supermarkets source their meat from different locations. This means that they will price the product higher to cater to transportation and storage costs.
On the other hand, a butcher in your locality gets whatever he wants from the local farmers, which means they pass the savings on to you, the consumer. Of course, it is not like I had to sell my car for cash to buy meat from a supermarket, but the price differences are pretty conspicuous. So, buying from a local butcher means that less money will end up with meat manufacturers and suppliers, meaning more for the small businesses and livestock keepers in your area.
The Best Customer Service
Chances are the butcher who sells meats in your local market knows you or maybe your family, considering that you may have been buying from them for a while. In such a case, you can be sure that the kind of treatment you get from the butcher is different from the one you would get from strangers in the supermarket or meat manufacturers. The attendant serving you in a supermarket may have received the best customer service training or work with professional marketers. Nonetheless, the personal connection you create with your local butcher matters more. Additionally, with such a relationship, the local butcher will be more than willing to direct you on which meats are the best and give you a short explanation on how to prepare them. It can be challenging to acquire such information from the supermarket or meat manufacturers.
You can also learn where the slaughtered animal was brought up and which part of the carcass you buy. Finally, unless you request otherwise, a local butcher will always cut or grind the meat in front of your eyes, depending on how you want it. Therefore, you go home with a well-cut piece and with an understanding of precisely what you are bringing home. These are the kinds of services you can barely get from meat processing facilities or supermarkets.
A Butcher’s Love and Respect for Animals
Animals are a butcher’s number one asset in their business. This is why your local butcher loves animals because they keep their business running through their meats while nourishing those who support the enterprise. In this regard, butchers concentrate on picking the animals that have been raised well and happily and humanely slaughter them. Additionally, your local butcher ensures that no part of the slaughtered animal goes to waste, which can be translated as respect and honor to the animal’s life. Besides that, a butcher ensures that they do not use chemicals or preservatives in their meats. This is why the meat from such a local shop is flavorful and safe for your consumption.
Supermarkets order their meats from industrial farms, but butchers get theirs from the local farmers who put in time and energy to raise their herds. This is the main reason behind the sweetness of the meats you buy from the butcher in your local town. So, the next time you want to prepare some meat, buy it from a local butchery. You will be mesmerized by its difference from supermarket meats in terms of tenderness, taste, and ease of preparation.
The Critical Factors to Remember When Buying Meat
In most cases, your local butchery deals with different types of meats. Additionally, you have your needs, preferences, and requirements for picking the right meat. This is the main reason why you should consider the following factors to ensure you buy a lump of flesh that will fully satisfy you. These factors include:
The reason why you want to prepare meat as part of your meal is different from that one of your neighbors. This is where quantity and size come in because you cannot prepare ten kilograms of meat for a casual family dinner. Therefore, it is your responsibility to clarify why you need the meat to understand how much you will require. If you want to buy meat in bulk, for instance, when planning a wedding, it would be ideal to talk to the local butcher and take advantage of their knowledge. If you are lucky, they can even give you a discount on massive purchases. However, be sure not to overeat so that the wedding gown can fit you properly!
The Meat Type
There are different types of meats in the butchery. These include beef, pork, chicken, mutton, and game meat. The choice you make depends on your cravings, personal preferences, and the consumers. You will find that your neighbor does not like pork but is so much into the chicken meat. If it is overwhelming for you to differentiate the meat types, it would be wise to talk to your local butcher to get clarification. However, the meat type defines its color. Red meat comes in varying dark colors, which range between brown, purple, and red. A brown color means that the meat has been exposed to oxygen, but it is still safe for you. Pork is usually light pink, while game meat comes in a dark brown color. Chicken and other poultry meat vary in color depending on their diet, but you can expect to find such meat in yellow or blue-white color.
It is usual for meat to smell, especially red meat, considering that it is dead flesh. However, the fragrance should not be so different from the typical smell of a cow, sheep, or goat. You should be keen on this one to avoid consuming rotten or spoilt meat in the name of a ‘normal’ smell. If the scent is somewhat pungent or resembles that of rotten flesh, it would be advisable to stay away from it to avoid compromising your health. Poultry meat is often smell-free, but it can have some odor in a few instances.
Get the Right Cut
You should note that how the meat is cut matters a lot when purchasing your local butchery. The cut will convey a message to you about which part of the animal the flesh is from. There is a significant demand for meat from animals’ backs, so it is more expensive. Additionally, a well-cut piece is easier to prepare than a jagged-edged piece. Meat pieces that are cut well mean that the slaughterers took time to remove joints and bones safely. This reduces the chances of you or anyone else choking on small bones as they enjoy the food.
The Meat Source
Yes, your local butcher gets their meat from local farmers, but it would be appropriate to inquire about the animal’s health history and where it was raised. Understanding where the meats the butcher supply come from is essential and can help you identify their quality. You have the right to question the meat seller about the source of their products so that you can understand whether to purchase from them or not.
Confirm Food Safety Standards
Before you get deeper into this matter, you should start by checking the cleanliness of the shop and that of the salesperson. Ensure that everything in the shop, including any colored rag, is clean. Meat is not supposed to be washed before cooking, which is why it must be sold in a clean place and by a thoroughly clean individual. Checking about the adherence to food safety standards is mainly for those purchasing meat from the supermarket. The packages used for these products contain a label showing that the meat is safe for human consumption. However, as explained before, it would be wise to be vigilant about supermarket meats. Your local butcher should lay out their certificates and permits to do business in the meat industry. A lack of a license could see them lose their business. You will then hear the butcher looking for a bankruptcy lawyer to file for bankruptcy due to a failed business! However, the butcher can now enroll in a cash program and rekindle their enterprise with the proper paperwork.
The Meat Texture
You should never ignore how the meat you buy feels to the touch. Always go for dry beef and one that does not look like it will fall apart on its own. It is advisable to stay away from any meat that looks and feels slimy or sticky. This goes for all meat types, be it poultry, pork, beef, or mutton. It is also wise to check if the meat does not appear watery and translucent when a knife goes through it. You can also poke the flesh before buying it to ensure it is not too soft or rigid. Those are the qualities of low-quality pieces. While still at it, ensure to check the color of any fat on the meat. If the fat’s color is yellow, you are probably taking home meat that is not fresh. Finally, you should see the fibers on the piece of beef using your naked eyes.
Meat consumption is an exercise that has been there for a while. Such a meal brings people together and makes occasions more memorable and enjoyable, considering there are several ways of preparing it. The meat business is a lucrative opportunity, which is why there has been an upsurge in the number of sellers. However, there are several reasons why you are encouraged to buy this delicacy from a local butcher instead of supermarkets and meat manufacturers, as discussed above.