Whole animal butchery has gotten popular in recent years as part of our growing attention to what constitutes sustainable food systems. That has prompted a spate of new butcher shops, but running a butchery isn't easy -- as evidenced by the fact that the popular 4505 Meats had to close its butchery doors earlier this summer.
Yes, you can still buy 4505 wholesale sausages or sandwiches at the farmers' market. And yes, Belcampo did take over the butcher shop location. But that doesn't mean it's easy to ensure the kind of high-quality, locally-sourced, sustainable meat we all love at prices we can actually afford -- and that the shops can afford to sell it at.
It can all get a little confusing. Some places outsource to their favorite ranches. Others operate the farms themselves. Some focus on pasture-raised meat. Others want hormone-free products. If you're not sure what to eat for dinner, then start with some of our favorite butcher shops. If we missed your favorite, then share it in the comments below.