Why you should support your local butcher
Supermarkets make life much easier, don’t they? You can get everything you need in one go, and they are nearly always cheaper than smaller, independent businesses. But if you’re buying meat this weekend, have you considered making a detour to your local butcher? If you’ve been looking over a recipe website and are feeling inspired, maybe it’s time you did.
For starters, visiting your local butcher puts money back into the local economy. You will be supporting a local business run by people from your community, who in turn buy product from local suppliers and farms. Visiting your high street supplier will show support for your area.
It also means that the meat they provide you with will also have travelled less and so will be better for the environment. Much of the meat that you buy at your supermarket has been imported from overseas, which we all know massively increases its carbon footprint. This is avoided by eating locally sourced produce.
One of the problems with the major supermarket chains often cited by producers in the UK is that they push farmers harder and harder to provide more food more cheaply. Local butchers are more likely to be paying a fairer price to farmers for the produce they sell.
However one of the main advantages is that you will be able to build a relationship with your butcher over time. Unlike the spotty teenager straight out of basic training at the supermarket, he or she will have a lifetime’s experience of working with meat and so will be able to advise you on the right cuts of meat, how long to cook them for, what to cook them with, and also valuable information about what’s in season and when meats are at their best.