Butchers offer tips on being meat smart

LONDONDERRY - One of the great advantages of living in the Manchester area is to be able to eat local, fresh foods. Vermont's delicious, healthy meats are in high demand, and are shipped to restaurants and specialty retailers all over the Northeast. Meanwhile, here at home, many are serving beef, pork and poultry that is raised, processed and packed in places far-away from here. While local meats are pasture-raised and naturally fed, most of us unknowingly buy meat introduced with hormones, antibiotics, artificial coloring and preservatives.

Unless you buy large portions directly from a farm, it's difficult to find a convenient and economical way to get fresh, local meat for your table. Levi Gordon, a local farm manager with 15 years of livestock experience, decided to do something about that.

"What we're missing in our area is a professional butcher shop where folks can buy locally raised, quality meats for their own tables," he said.

So Gordon assembled a team of expert butchers, made arrangements with local suppliers, and established The Vermont Butcher Shop in Londonderry.

A visit to the shop is a step back in time. On display are large cuts of beef, pork, lamb and poultry. Customers can watch as a white-aproned butcher expertly works a full side of beef, see bacon freshly sliced to order, and learn the best way to prepare a lamb cut for dinner.

This is how Americans used to buy their meats - from a butcher who would hand-cut quality meat to the customer's specifications, wrap it in old-fashioned butcher paper, and give expert advice on how to best prepare it.

"My hope is that everyone will try our locally-raised meats, because then they will think twice about buying mass-produced meat wrapped in plastic on a Styrofoam tray," Gordon said.

Expert butchers are on-hand provide advice, custom hand-cutting, and superior service.

The Vermont Butcher Shop is located at 2167 North Main Street (Route 11) in Londonderry. The shop is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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