Organic Consumers Association

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Close to Home: Neighborhood Butcher has New Appeal

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Factory Farming & Food Safety page and our Breaking The Chains page.
Jutta Graf of Portland prefers buying meat from her neighborhood butcher, Jarrod Spangler at Rosemont Market, rather than at a large grocery store.

There are lots of reasons. Graf likes the way Spangler cuts meat and that he renders his own lard. She and her husband enjoy trying the different sausages Spangler makes right in the store, and were recently delighted to find an air-cured beef known as bresaola that they had eaten in Italy.

And Graf also doesn't like the idea of putting meat from a factory farm into her body.

A growing number of consumers like Graf are buying their meat from neighborhood butchers who work with locally raised animals, rejecting the idea of pre-cut, pre-packaged meats shipped from large, anonymous farms hundreds or thousands of miles away.

The Hannaford ground beef recall, and federal investigators' failure to find the source of the salmonella contamination, has prompted some local butchers to change their meat grinding practices and encouraged a "buy local" attitude among shoppers like Graf.

Graf said she likes Hannaford, but the salmonella contamination and recall didn't really surprise her.

"They could not identify it because when you have scraps they make the hamburger meat out of it, and so they didn't really know where all the meat had come from," she said. "Whereas if you have a small butcher like this, they know exactly where everything is coming from, and God forbid there would ever be anything, it could be identified immediately." 
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