It's a sad and telling sign of the SOLE food movement's popularity, when people use the movement's principles to market their beef and hide the bullshit behind the counter. As Matthew Richter writes in "Mystery Meat" for Seattle's The Stranger, J'Amy Owens and William Von Schneidau, the people behind Puget Sound's new "Bill the Butcher Organic Meats," are all too happy to make misleading claims to their customers about the organic, local sourcing of their meats. Their shops label products as organic, even when they are not.
How local and organic are the products? They admit that they buy beef from Colorado and Nevada, instead of from one of Washington's 18 organic beef ranches. They refuse to name the ranches where they source their beef. Their chickens, labeled "organic" by the butcher shop, are not organic according to the farm that raises them. The chicken farmer adds that he has told Bill the Butcher not to label his chickens as organic.
Owens goes so far as to say, "Well, 'buyer beware,' honestly. In any consumer proposition, you have to trust the person you're buying from." Owens and Von Schneidau give little indication that they are the people to trust.
Richter's article shines much needed transparency on a company that has mislabeled its products as organic and local. But if Owens' and Von Schneidau's responses in the article are any indication, we won't see a confession from Bill the Butcher any time soon. (The Stranger)