For my second "Give Thanks" post, which allows me to highlight a local business that I respect due to its responsibility in the world of wellness, I chose The Healthy Butcher. The Healthy Butcher serves local, organic meat and gourmet foods. Their overall goal is to provide food the way that nature intended. They have three convenient locations; one in downtown Toronto (565 Queen St W.), one in midtown Toronto (298 Eglinton Ave. W.) as well as one in Kitchener/Waterloo (25 Bruce St.).

I was able to touch base with Mario Fiorucci to hear more about the company's integrity, and their ethical standpoint vis-a-vis meat production.

Me: Why are you so passionate about serving organic foods that do not feature chemicals and antibiotics? How does this apply to our bigger picture?

Mario: Our food today is unlike any other time in our history... It's almost as if humankind is performing the biggest experiment ever done; problem is, we are experimenting on ourselves. If you pick up 99% of food products today and read the ingredient label, I bet you can't pronounce many of the ingredients. Did your grandparents experience the same problem? Of course not. Chemical additives and antibiotics are only the beginning, then there are genetically modified ingredients, hormones, slaughtering methods and transportation when it comes to livestock - everything combines to form a shocking picture. So to answer your question - our passion at The Healthy Butcher stems from both the health aspect, because obviously what we are eating is harming us, as well as from a goal to simplify things and bring us back to a time when there was a simple answer to the simple question: "What is in that meatball?" Me: Discuss the importance of quality over quantity (ie independent butchers/farmers over mass meat production), and why applying this attitude to our foods is important for life as a whole. Mario: Going back to my answer to #1, we have reached the state we are in because of a general goal to make food cheaper and cheaper and cheaper. Now, when you raise an animal the way it should be raised and feed it food it should be eating, or when you make a prepared food item from scratch in small batches without preservatives, there are naturally extra costs involved. If we eat less, but eat better, all of us will feel better. Certainly, I think people eat far too much meat. Eat less meat, but better quality. Well, I agree whole-heartedly. In general, people are eating far too many processed / poor quality foods swarmed with extra fats and unnatural flavours. A lot of these foods come from extremely inhumane production practices. I've discussed it before - if we eat these lesser foods, we feel dissatisfied and eat more of them. When we are consuming natural, clean and healthful foods, they are bounding with flavour. We enjoy what we eat more, and our bodies crave less. And this affects our health, our environment, our society and our entire world!

So, for your next high-quality, delicious meal, head on over to the Healthy Butcher. You can feel just as confident about supporting some courteous and passionate people as you will about the meal you will serve and love.

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