In recent years, more chefs and consumers are demanding local, sustainable meats, driving some to raise and butcher their own livestock. We get into the gristle with three butchers and talk all about meat, from what consumers should be asking at the counter to how to cook a whole pig in the back yard.

Jessica Applestone, co-author of "The Butcher's Guide to Well-Raised Meat" and co-owner of Fleisher's Grass-fed & Organic Meats in New York
Joshua Applestone, co-author of "The Butcher's Guide to Well-Raised Meat" and co-owner of Fleisher's Grass-fed & Organic Meats in New York
Tia Harrison, co-owner of Avedano's Holly Park Market, executive chef and co-owner of Sociale restaurant and co-founder of The Butcher's Guild

  • Jstew52

    This would be a much more enjoyable listening experience if the guests, and especially the moderator, did not talk over each other….

  • Fay

    How are consumers to identify this “well-raised” meat? The meat industry is beset by hormones and antibiotics with ruminants being fed to ruminants. Salmonella from Cargill’s ground turkey, anyone? A person died eating this diseased flesh and dozens more were sickened. So choosing the good from the bad is the big question to be answered. The meat industry has alot to answer for and federal regulators pay safety inspections and antibiotic resistance lip service. Other countries are much more restrictive and enlightened in this regard.

    • PescaderoBill

      Farmers’ Markets that offer local, grass-fed meats being sold by the actual producer. Associations such as American Grassfed Association, Animal Welfare Approved that can tip you off to local producers following the strict guidelines. And organizations in your area like where you can find local resources you can contact and talk with the actual food producers.

      But by all means, avoid the industrialized 2500-head-a-day processing meat factories.

      • I’m interested in the Shop Local CA website, but the link above does not seem to be valid.  Please verify website.  Thanks…

        • PescaderoBill

          Sorry about that. Try instead. More in line with what I was thinking.

  • Sarahrox159

    im a teenage girl very interested in butchering and i was wondering how Jessica got started  being a butcher

  • Rr_alexander

    How do your guests stand by the “sustainable” part of their local meats?  The environmental damage of meat is not due to it being local or from a distant land…. it is the resources that go in to raising the animal which doesn’t change whether raised in your yard or some where else…

    • PescaderoBill

      Not true. Grass-fed animals raised using rotational grazing methods are a very environmentally friendly and prove a sustainable food resource.

      Pound for pound I would hold it up to farming practices if you consider the land tilled, planted, and tilled again year after year. Given that, you have a fairly per-acre unsustainable food production method.

      Perennial plants and grasses are far more carbon sequestration efficient then are annuals and plants picked and cleared several times a year.

      Food for thought.

      • Duane

        I generally agree.  

        Some research (granted, thin on breadth at this juncture) has suggested that grass-fed beef is also healthier as it appears to lower triglycerides and inflammation (i.e. C-reactive proteins) versus the corn-fed cattle that appears does the opposite. I’d like to see more bison grazing and at-market, but know they’re wild and require much more open pasture than cattle.

        • Pegkev

          Grass-fed beef is still full of saturated-fat, cholesterol and growth hormones. It may be true that beef from cattle who are fed grass is somewhat better for your health than meat from animals who live their entire lives confined on feed-lots. However, eating a plant-based diet is even better for your health.  We’ve known for years that beef consumption is linked to the major killers: cancer and heart-attack. Furthermore, it’s a myth that beef from grass-fed cattle does not contain hormones. It is common knowledge that all animal products contain hormones, but you might be surprised to hear that grass-fed beef can also contain added artificial hormones. A short time before being slaughtered, grass-fed cattle are often fatten-up with by being fed corn, soy, and given unnatural growth hormones. If you eat meat, those hormones go right into your body.Read more:

          • You have it wrong, the myth is “a vegetarian diet is better for you”, and “animal products will kill you”. Seriously, get your facts straight.

      • Pegkev

        Raising animals for food, especially cattle, is one of the leading causes of global climate change. In 2006, the UN release a study called Livestock’s Long Shadow which made the point that raising animals for food is the largest contributor to global climate change. The biggest environmental problem with raising animals for food is the greenhouse gases that they produce–methane and carbon dioxide. Feeding cattle grass instead of corn or soy is somewhat of a reduction of resources, but does not address the issue of greenhouse gases. It does not matter whether the cattle are located on a giant mega-factory-farm or on a small farm in Central Massachusetts, each cow still produce a huge amount of greenhouse gases.Read more:

  • Louisa Tu

    It’s interesting to hear about the butcher shops and promoting the use of entire animals. Your guests should also look into minority cultures and recipes. As an Asian woman in San Francisco, I’m accustomed to eating ox tail soup, soy sauce pig ears, chicken feet, beef tendon noodle soup, and beef tongue sandwiches. And you can find these types of dishes at local restaurants. It would be encouraging to educate your consumers that these parts are delicious and aren’t just for the dogs.

  • Dennis

    What’s name of butcher shop on Cortland in S.F.?

    Thank you.

    • a listener

      It’s listed above in the guest bios: Avedano’s Holly Park Market.

  • Ccarney

    could you please repeat the local appearances that jessica and joshua are making?  thanks–

  • Doggydetail

    I do bbq I’ve done competitions & done well. I am looking for a local contact since switching a more sustainable life. I’d also LOVE to take a trimming class… It takes hours to properly trim a brisket for competition & I’m looking for tips & tricks

  • guest

    After listening to this show I am thinking of becoming a vegetarian.

  • E-pattycake

    Please repeat where and when you will be in Napa.  Thank you.

  • Emunah Hauser

    Berkeley is slated to get an artisan butcher shop later this year, one
    that’ll trot out a variety of sustainably raised whole beasts. The Local Butcher Shop hopes to launch in early September, in the old Red Hanger Kleaners at 1600 Shattuck, on the Cedar Street side of the complex, just behind Crepevine, and staring smack into the parking lot of Andronico’s. The proprietors: current Chez Panisse cook and Oliveto alum Aaron Rocchino and his wife, Monica, an account exec at Emeryville’s Paula LeDuc Fine Catering.

    They’ll be breaking down whole animals almost exclusively.

  • Pegkimo

    The truth behind meat production:

  • Shelley

    My question is why a program in SF only has one person from San Francisco and 2 people from New York. There are many restaurants in SF and the East Bay that get in whole animals and butcher them, using every part the the animal. Nopa, A16, Incanto, Chez Panisse, Oliveto, just to name a few. There are also many excellent butcher shops in the Bay Area. Fatted Calf in San Francisco and Napa, and Marin Sun Farms in Oakland are both fabulous.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor