Most grocery store foods these days, including meats and cheeses, are made with artificial ingredients and coloring, additives, and preservatives. They’re also heavily processed, stripping them of flavor and critical nutrients. Real food is just the opposite. They incorporate only limited quantities of all-natural ingredients with no or very limited processing. With the grocery stores around Newtown, CT and surrounding Fairfield County so full of unnatural options, how do we ensure we’re putting real food on our tables? The following ideas will help.


Butcher Shop Meats & Dairy
When it comes to butcher shop beef, chicken, pork, and turkey, many of the modern meat shops in grocery stores carry industrial products from factory farms. Many of these meats contain steroids, hormones, antibiotics, and other medications designed to grow the animals faster. Butcher’s Best carries local and small farm raised meats that do not use the same practices. We pride ourselves on carrying natural steak, pork, and chicken raised humanely with no antibiotics, steroids, or growth hormones.

The dairy industry today is loaded with unnatural foods. In some cases cheeses, and even milk, are made with vegetable oil. This is not only unsettling, but also results in a lack of nutrition. Another unsettling ingredient is wood pulp — currently being used as a drying and separating agent in national brands of shredded cheese. When it comes to milk, most brands use cows that are raised on hormones and antibiotics. These types of foods can be avoided by shopping for local dairy brands like Arethusa Farm in Litchfield, CT, currently being sold at Butcher’s Best.

Packaged Foods
If your food is in a package, chances are it contains unnatural ingredients. To evaluate your packaged foods, start by taking a look at the list of ingredients. Ask yourself: Could I make this product at home with ingredients I have in my pantry? Chances are you don’t have aspartame, diacetyl, or butylated hydroxyanisole lying around. That’s a good thing because these are preservatives and artificial ingredients. Real foods are typically made with a small list of real, natural ingredients.

Grocery stores aren’t the only places you’ll find theses types of foods. Fast casual and fast food chains are notorious for using unnatural ingredients. It’s easy to frequent these types of restaurants because they’re convenient and relatively inexpensive. The real food alternative is to make meals from scratch at home using quick recipes with a simple list of ingredients. You can also shop a local marketplace known for natural, real foods, like Butcher’s Best. Every day we have a selection of hot prepared foods, such as homemade shepherd’s pie and meatloaf, all made from scratch in-store using our butcher shop natural meats. Only the highest-quality, all-natural, real ingredients are used.

Cured Meats
Cured meats such as bacon, salami, and ham have a bad reputation for being unhealthy. Grocery store deli meats are heavily processed and made with nitrates, fillers, colorings, and other artificial substances. Butcher’s Best carries real, flavorful alternatives. We bake all-natural ham in-house, we cure our own nitrate-free bacon, and we make natural sausage in-store from scratch.

Although it can be hard to skip the grocery store for everything in your kitchen, it is possible to get real food staples into your diet, particularly if you live in the Newtown, CT area. Not only are these natural foods good for you, but they also taste better. That’s a win-win.