It might be easier to run to the supermarket to grab your meat, but is it healthier and more ethical? If you visit a butcher shop, you can speak to the butcher directly and they can help you understand the labels, terminology and names. Stepping into a local butcher shop can help you dig deeper into the issues of where your meat is coming from and how it was raised.  There are some questions that should be asked to the butcher to find out about the meat you are purchasing.

Are your meats locally sourced?

Buying locally sourced meats is a great way to support the farmers in your area. It helps to foster a strong inter-business relationship between the consumer, the butcher and the farmer. Plus, buying local helps to support employment and the economy in your local community.

Does the beef come from grass-fed cattle?

Grass-fed cattle are more environmentally friendly than grain fed cattle. Plus, cattle fed grass are healthier and leaner. Studies have found that the beef from a grass-fed cow has up to a third less fat per serving as well being less likely to foster food sickness. Many people believe that grass-fed beef tastes better too!

Do you have gluten-free meats?

Most fish and fresh meats such as beef, chicken and pork are gluten-free and safe for those who need a special diet. Asking the butcher about products with added ingredients is important because they may not be safe to eat if you have Celiac’s disease or avoid gluten. Butchers suggest before you decide to you buy products like hot dogs or smoked sausages, ask if they contain gluten.

Are the meats organic?

Organic products are made in ways that care for the environment. Organic meats come from animals that freely graze on pastures free of herbicides, pesticides and other man-made chemical contaminants. Animals that are organic have been raised without growth hormones or antibiotics. Choosing organic meats are healthier for both you and the environment.

What do you recommend?

Butchers are more than just “meat slicers”. Butchers tend to know the best ways to prepare various meats, how to store them and can give you cooking tips as well. Butchers suggest asking more questions to get the perfect cut of meat for the best possible meal.


Steak Salad

Use organic ingredients whenever possible.

  • Author:
  • Yield: Serves 6 1x


6 8 oz. skirt steaks

9 heirloom tomatoes, sliced

10 cups arugula

1 1/3 red onions, sliced into pieces

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup balsamic oil

1 tsp dried oregano

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Season steak with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • In a skillet over medium heat, place steak in skillet to cook. About 3-4 minutes per side. This will depend on steak thickness and your preference of how you like it cooked.
  • Slice tomatoes and slice onions into pieces.
  • When steak is done, remove from skillet and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  • Slice steak against the grain into strips.
  • In a small mixing bowl, add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Combine well and set aside.
  • Add equal amounts of arugula, tomatoes and onions to 6 plates.
  • Top salad with sliced steak.
  • Drizzle dressing over steak and greens.
  • Enjoy