Info on meat-buying habits and Brothers Quality Meats
Hello fellow chowhounders:
I'm a journalist with CBC radio and I'm doing research on a story about how (and if) meat consumption is changing with the economy. I've been calling butchers and meat counters, including Acme Meats and the meat counter at Andy's IGA. If anyone has any ideas for other butchers or meat counters I should call, that would be great. Does anyone know if Brothers Quality Meats in Capilano has closed down? The phone number I've found when I google the business is out of service and it's the only one I can find.
Also, I'd love to know if you're changing the kinds of meat you buy. Do you buy cheaper ( i.e. tougher) cuts and marinate them, braise them etc? Do you notice more variety of the cheap cuts of meat at your butcher or supermarket? Are you stretching your meat to make it last for more meals? If I decide to quote you in my story, I would definitely ask your permission first. And If you would like to contact me directly with your thoughts and opinions, that would be valuable as well. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks in advance!
Like many others here, we haven't changed our red meat habits radically as we mostly buy local free range/organic meat whenever possible. We've always liked the tougher cuts due to the flavor as well so we don't really pay attention when to buy things like shanks compared to rib roasts.
This forum is probably not the best place to ask about meat consumption linked to economy, due to the higher food education of the forum members here that place a higher value on quality over quantity in their food. What you really need to do is go to an anti-foodie forum (if such a thing really exists!) and see if consumers who really don't care about their food has changed their buying habits. Even if I lost my job, we would probably not change our food purchases much as we place such a high empathesis on the quality of our food and environment.
I should suggest that the better indicator of economy affecting consumers is to visit supermarkets that target the budget conscious consumer (aka lower income people) as they are usually the first to feel the effects of job layoffs and recessions.
My family hasn't decreased our red meat consumption, we buy a side of beef once a year. I definately use the cheaper cuts a lot - love the crockpot. Also, I have been buying chickens from the hutterites for years. Beaumont has a great butcher shop that has bison, some other wild meats, excellant cuts and their own smoked varieties. If anything, we eat a little more meat and variety.
Our family (of 5, three kids 7, 4&1/2 and 3) aren't huge red meat eaters to begin with. Red meat is a 2-3 times a week thing at the most and quite often it's local(local to Calgary btw) bison. Even before the economy soured we had started looking at where our food was coming from, and sourcing more local produce, meat etc. We have plans this summer to visit local upicks and farms gate sales.
The major change to our food budget these days has been the number of times we go out to eat; as a couple, and as a family we're dining out a lot less, maybe once a month rather than weekly.
Our family hasn't decreased our meat consumption, but we haven't been affected by the economy (yet). I've actually been buying more expensive meats - buying mostly AAA beef including ribeyes for bbqs, and also trying to buy more local and organic (or close to organic without being certified). It just tastes so good. I'll probably go back to the cheaper meats if I get laid off.
Brothers is indeed closed down and I am fairly sure I heard that the owner relocated to Ontario and opened there citing increasing costs and the labour shortage as the reason. Too bad considering that he was always our go-to place for something special.
In my house I have stopped buying so much meat and have come up with some great ways to use only one or two pieces of meat (chicken breast, pork chops, ect) to feed 4-6 people so that it keeps the cost of the meals to a minimum.
I definatly dont buy cheaper cuts of meat but have just come up with more cost effective ways of keeping our stomachs full with quality ingreadients.
Our family increased our "tough" meat consumption a number of years back. It probably coincided with Slow Food going mainstream. We are buying more organic chicken and eating less meat overall. I don't think I can link that to the recession. Tangentially, I'm eating way less mediocre sushi (actually almost never now ...thus eating less sushi in general) and I "save up" for great sushi once or twice a month. That I can partially attribute to the economy. Same goes for mediocre coffee eg starbucks.