Organic, free range, naturally raised… New categories for consumers concerned with genetically modified foods, growth hormones and antibiotics in their meat. I confess to getting a bit lost here. So, here’s a list of meat stores in Calgary and the labels they claim for their meat. It’s a list in progress, so feel free to suggest stores I’ve missed and to check it again and again over time…
- Second to None Meats – three stores available on 4th St SW (#3-2100 4th St SW), Macleod Trail South (7400 Macleod Trail South) and Bowness (4612 Bowness Road NW). Sells Alberta beef from the Canadian Celtic Cattle Company which is labeled ‘naturally grown’ – according to producers, this means no hormones, no steroids, no antibiotics used in the finishing period (what does that mean???). The pork is available from Broek Pork Acres and is labeled no antibiotics, no growth hormones, no animal by-products. The chicken is brought from Maple Hill farms in BC and is labeled free range, no animal by-products, no medication. The eggs are certified organic free-range. You can also find a range of home-cooked meals (I was told the meat pies and the cabbage rolls are absolutely delicious).
- Spragg’s Meat Shop at Calgary Farmers’ Market – Sells pork labeled free range – according to producers, this means raised outside, no hormones and no antibiotics in the feed (does it mean they can be injected though?). Delicious sausages and wide variety of pork meats.
- Grazin Acres at Calgary Farmers’ Market – Sells pork, chicken, turkey, duck, lamb and eggs. All labeled organic, no hormones, no growth hormones. In my opinion, cheapest organic eggs (4.99 the extra large 12 eggs pack). A small leaflet from the producers clarifies the following terms: certified organic (no growth hormones, medication, free run, fed certified organic grains), natural (no hormones and medication), free range/ run (animals raised able to walk around).
- Sun Works Farm at Calgary Farmers’ Market – Sells chicken, turkey, pork, beef, and bison. The meats are certified organic, and the eggs are organic and free range. I love the ground bison – a small pack is around $5 and it’s enough to prepare 4 servings of the meatballs I was talking about here. They also sell bones for stock, which I find useful.
- Hoven Farms at Calgary Farmers’ Market – Sells Alberta beef, certified organic – according to producers, this means no antibiotics, no artificial hormones (see comment below from producer), fed with chemicals-free grass. You can also get the beef bones for stock.
- Regina’s Fine Meats at Crossroads Market – Sells Alberta pork, chicken and a good selection of smoked meats and sausages. A poster at the shop indicates that the meat was not medicated, but doesn’t clarify what this means. The website says that the sausages have no msg, no nitrates, no binders or fillers.