24 January 2010

The Butcher Rant...


Okay, so I've been looking for a good butcher. If there was someone in our area who made it their trademark to find locally grown beef, pork, rabbit, lamb, poultry, and game I would be SUCH a happy woman! The more I get into the concept of  'locally grown and harvested', the more I hope that folks will once again support the 'local butcher' who provides a place for farmers who want to supply meat to local tables.
I can almost hear you saying to yourself... where is this coming from? Well, here's the rub. It's getting to the point where I'm beginning to be a bit more adventurous as a cook when it comes to working with cuts of meat and types of meat. For instance, I've got a real desire to cook with rabbit. I'd like to do something with herb rubs and skewer rabbit with veggies, but... there is nowhere in this area of New England that supplies rabbit! The supermarkets can't even get it... or choose not to cater to a small consumer interest. When I started researching suppliers for New England, I found only a few folks through an Internet search. It turns out they can't keep up with the demands from urban restaurant buyers, so the small buyers (like me) are out of luck! Researching further, I found that much of the rabbit consumed in the USA comes from ... China. Now, I have nothing against the Chinese, but they don't exactly have a great track record on food safety and they are not exactly local. Consequently, I'm holding out for a farmer here in my corner of New England to fix me up on the 'rabbit jones'. I'll let you know if I find someone in the area.

All this moaning and groaning does nothing, I know, but I wish I could give advice to a few young would-be entrepreneurs. Get an apprenticeship with an old-school butcher! Get yourself a few good local meat suppliers and some local suppliers for game. Don't price yourself out of the market and you will make a good living for yourself! I'll be one of your best customers!

In that vein, I got another link from my smart daughter who reads, reads, reads newspapers ... perhaps there's hope for the small family farm! I am encouraged and hope more young people grab onto the concept and make it work for themselves and their communities! And oh, by the way, I hope the federal and state governments re-institute incentives for farmers to make a go of the smaller farming operation.

Leaving Behind the Trucker's Hat

So, now I'm curious... how many of you out there in cyberspace have access to a small specialty butcher?

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