Local Butchers, Not Local Meat

Demand in local butcher shops is increasing, but consumers aren't exactly getting California Cows

By Annalisa Guidone
|  Friday, Aug 5, 2011  |  Updated 11:58 AM PDT
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Demand in Local Butcher Shops Increases

AP

Raw meat (Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.)

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An increasing number of meat consumers have flocked to local meat markets, seeking that fresh and sustainable alternative to chain grocery store meats.

Yet the local meat markets that have recently seen increased revenue don't necessarily sell local meat, as Tony Balenzuela from the Butcher Block on National Avenue pointed out.

“Customers have a need for fresh product at wholesale, but they’re still getting their meat from a national brand out in Texas,” he said.

Even though there is an increase in demand for natural and wholesome foods, it is rare to find a butcher shop that supplies locally grown meats.

“There’s a big demand for what we handle and that is corn fed beef from the Midwest,” said Richard Vought, an employee from Iowa Meat Farms on Mission Gorge Rd.

Whole Foods, which maintains a reputation for selling sustainable food, said that their stores don't sell entirely local meat either, but that doesn't mean they aren't considering other sustainable options.

"Just because it comes from the Midwest doesn't mean it's bad," said Kris Sousa, a spokesperson for Whole Foods. "Our lamb is from New Zealand, and their standards are even higher than in the U.S."
 

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