Difference Between Local-Natural, Hormone-Free Meats & Organic Meats?

Farmers who raise organic animals have a lot of hoops to jump through, resulting in higher prices for the retailer, and therefore the customer.

Everything needs to be certified – the feed, the water, the living conditions, and the farm cannot be located within a certain distance from other farms that might be spraying chemicals because of risk of cross-contamination, etc. While these rigorous stipulations result in a quality product, it doesn’t always guarantee the animal is raised locally or free-range (Animals that are raised indoors, with access to the outdoors at certain times of their lives.)

We find that the majority of our customers are happy knowing that the animals are raised close to home, that they’re treated humanely and fed a quality diet, rather than going the extra mile to have it “certified” organic. It’s sort of our “happy medium” – our customers still get what they are looking for, but at a lower price than they might pay for organic.

It is important to us to know where our animals are coming from, and what they are being fed. Let us introduce you to what we source and where we source it from.

BEEF

Grass-Fed Beef From Cache Creek

Our local cattle are raised outdoors in Cache Creek, and are primarily grass-fed. During the last two months of the cow’s life, it is fed a diet of barley and alfalfa, which helps to increase marbling (Marbling is the thin, vein-like trails of fat that run through the beef. A good cut of meat should be well-marbled, as marbling is one of the primary sources of flavor. As the meat cooks, the marbling “melts”, while the meat remains juicy and tender. A common misconception about marbling is that a “fatty steak” is poor quality—the reality is, if it is properly trimmed of excess gristle – the tough, inedible cartilage that runs through the middle of some steaks and along the outside of others – then fat is good! We pay extra for it!), and filter out any “gamey” taste that might be acquired from its natural diet.

We “hang-age” (or “dry-age”) our cattle for 21-28 days. This is an old-school method that involves hanging the carcass in a cool, controlled environment, and allowing it to break down naturally. The carcass develops a sort of outer shell as the exposure to oxygen breaks it down, which is later trimmed off and sold as dog food.

Dry-Aging

Dry-aging is a more expensive way of aging, as you lose about 1% of total weight per day, and is therefore becoming a lost art. The result of dry-aging is more tender, denser meat, which retains its flavor without the added blood weight. We bring in a half of local beef every two days or so, and do all of our cutting on location. All of our roasts, sausages, and ground beef are from our local, happy cows.

AAA Beef From Alberta

In addition to our local cattle, we also bring in AAA beef from Alberta, to offer another option for customers who may be seeking a little more marbling. AAA cattle are the highest-quality in terms of grading because of their excellent grain feed, and are exceptionally well-marbled and flavorful. However, because of the additives that are often present in their feed, we cannot guarantee it to be hormone-free or antibiotic-free. We bring our AAA meat in what is called “block-ready”, which means that it is cut down into loins, rather than cutting the whole side of beef. The only AAA loins that we bring in are rib-eye, striploin, and tenderloin. All the other beef that we cut in our shop is local.

CHICKEN

Our chickens are raised in Chilliwack by multiple farmers, but all come from the same distributor.

The appropriate term for the life-style of our chickens is free-range, which means that the animals are fed a specialty diet of vegetables and grains and raised in large, spacious barns with access to the outdoors during certain parts of their lives.

Due to fluctuating weather conditions and unstable outside influences (eg. stray birds that might fly over carrying bacteria or viruses, etc.) it is impractical for most chickens to be free-run (Animals that are raised entirely outdoors).

Our chickens do not contain any salt water injections, which is a method commonly used in factories to plump up the chicken and add weight, as well as simulated flavors or seasonings. Because our chickens are strong, healthy animals, you may find the breasts to be firmer or denser than “grocery store chicken”. This does not mean that the meat is tough- rather that it is a muscle, and will still remain juicy, as long as it is not overcooked. Our chicken actually tastes like chicken! What a concept!

Some of our chickens have “halal” certification, which is a Middle-Eastern standard that requires the animals to have a quality diet (not to be fed any hormones or animal by-products), to have quality of life, and to be killed in a way that is in accordance with their laws.

We also carry certified organic free range chicken from Yarrow now.

CHICKEN & TURKEY: ROSSDOWN FARMS (ABBOTSFORD, BC)

We source our certified organic, free-run, locally-grown, non-GMO, free run chicken and turkey from Rossdown Farms & Natural Foods in Abbotsford, BC, a fourth-generation family-run poultry farm and processor that believes in providing only the best locally-grown, free-run chicken and turkey. They’re also proud to be halal certified.

Farm-To-Plate

Farm-To-Plate means Rossdown does everything at their family-run farm: they produce the eggs, hatch the chicks, feed and grow the poultry and then process it in their own federally-inspected facility. Rossdown Farms is one of the only companies in the country to use this innovative, integrated approach. By not outsourcing to third party suppliers, they’re able to maintain exceptionally high standards at every stage, ensuring the highest quality poultry for you and your family.

PORK: GELDERMAN FARMS (ABBOTSFORD, BC)

The pigs on Gelderman Farm are raised in spacious pens with natural light and ventilation. The Gelderman’s purchase quality grains and make a vegetable diet on the farm, knowing exactly what their pigs are eating. Their stringent standards in raising their pigs results in high quality pork for you.

Here’s why we source pork from Gelderman Farms:

  • Raised locally in the Fraser Valley
  • Bedded on sawdust
  • Freedom to run and root
  • Supports the 100-mile diet Quality Pork Products
  • Feed custom-made on their farm
  • No animal meat by-products
  • No therapeutic antibiotic treatment
  • No growth hormones (as per Canadian regulations)
  • Animal Care Assurance Certified
  • Canadian Quality Assurance Certified
  • Government Inspected

DUCK: FRASER VALLEY SPECIALTY POULTRY (YARROW, BC)

We source our duck & goose from Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry, a 3rd-generation family farm based in Yarrow, BC, nestled at the base of Vedder Mountain just east of Yarrow, a local landmark since the early 1970’s.

Known locally as the ‘Duck & Goose’ farm, they provide ducks, geese, specialty chickens, and squab mainly for the large Asian ethnic population in the Greater Vancouver area, and for a number of white table cloth restaurants throughout the region. If you have visited Vancouver’s Chinatown and seen the delectable barbecued ducks displayed in store windows, you have seen their products. Recently, they’ve expanded their product line to include ready-to-eat duck sausages, smoked duck breast, ‘duckeroni’, and more.

Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry keeps their focus on:

  • Farming & processing methods to give the birds the highest level of care.
  • Producing top quality, healthy, safe products for their customers.
  • Using environmentally friendly and sustainable production practices.
  • Remaining Certified Organic by meeting or surpassing every requirement.

BAKED GOODS: JUL’S GLUTEN-FREE BAKERY

Juls Gluten Free Bakery is located in and operating from the The Town Butcher store. Jul’s gluten-free, vegan-dairy, egg free-baking using quality, mostly organic ingredients has customers falling in love with her carrot cakes, cupcakes, cookies, pies and muffins.

Some of her typical endorsements sound like,

“The cupcakes and carrot cake are the best I’ve ever tasted, everyone who tries Julie’s baking loves it!!!”

“All amazing baking and I highly recommend them all!!!”

“Delicious Gluten Free Goodies. I am in love with the carrot cake and her pies.”

“Wowzers! GF that tastes better than traditionally baked goods. Can’t get enough!”

INFUSED HONEY & HERBS: GREENDALE HERB & VINE

Over the last 30 years, Doug has raised sheep, goats and chickens, but decided to change to something that didn’t run into fences. He discovered a love for Russian Garlic!

Doug and Katy now grow an amazing variety of fruit, vegetables and herbs, from wine and table grapes to Russian garlic and numerous different herbs. The excess herbs are dried and used to infuse wine vinegars and to make rubs.

Their farm is situated in Greendale, in the fertile Fraser Valley, with stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

SOAPS: SELBY SOAP

We’ll let Sasha Selby introduce herself:

“My name is Sasha. I am a naturalist, flighty artist, free spirit , partner to an amazing guy, and mother of two little beans, Jack and Audrey.

Our family lives on a boat off the coast of Vancouver with no tv or electronics…..but TONS of adventures 😉

I have been making soap for many years now learning as I go and perfecting my recipes. All of my soap is cold process, scented with essential oils, and dyed with herbs / botanicals / clay / charcoal / roots and spices.

I don’t use any fragrance oils, micas, sls, or melt and pour soap ( no synthetics!).

I render my own tallow to make my soaps that is supplied through The Town Butcher because its very important to me that I know where it comes from (local, organic, ethically raised and happy meat!).

Since starting this company I am blown away at the love and support I have witnessed. Honestly. Its mind blowing. People are becoming more aware of the importance of supporting local and more invested into who and why. This movement is life changing for artist like myself because you are enabling me to follow my passions no matter how unconventional they are. Its amazing to be able to show my children that you CAN follow your dreams. Is it hard work? ….heck ya. But its all worth it!

As a family we also try and shop strictly local through local farms and artisans (even other soapers, there is room for all of us) because that is the best way to spread the movement through the community.”