Why AAA grade meat may cost more at one stall than the next

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I have had the delicious fortune to have had three meals of quality kebobs, infused with a flavourful marinade of garlic and herb. Ben has started a part-time job at a butchery at the local farmer’s market and twice he’s been given packages of meat to take home! We felt like we were feasting like the king and queen, though you’ll never know it from the mostly eaten plate on the left and the plate on the right under the glow of a tiny lamp. We had one beef skewer, chicken, and pork.

First day on the job, Ben came back and said they provide the best beef in the entire market, and that he wasn’t biased, since from what he could see, on his first day without any real connection to his store, they do indeed provide the best, which is saying a lot for a farmer’s market. He also learned the interesting fact of why grade AAA meat can cost more in one stall than another. The answer is this- the cows (we were talking about beef) are treated the same, and the living environments, views toward feed and vaccines may be the same. What makes it different is the time it takes to get from farm to table. Some grade AAA beef takes weeks, maybe even a month or two to get from the farm to the butchery. What sets his store apart is the time it takes in delivery. This puts the term ‘fresher’ into a much more tangible perspective. When you can calculate it in weeks, the term ‘fresh’ loses its ambiguity.

That said, my dear friend Becky has talked with farmers at multiple stages of her life from living in New Brunswick, Canada. The laws here are strict (this applies to all grades of food) and apparently more stringent than they need to be. More so than our American counterparts. I’m not sure what the difference is here, but these are from conversations I’ve had with her regarding conversations she’s had with farmers. If you’re interested, check out her blog and send her a line – I’m sure she can tell you more (especially about our chicken eggs).


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