While words like “natural,” “farm fresh” and “local” seem to be everywhere, there is a small butcher shop tucked away in Flanders that is actually trying to make these words mean something, as well as change how people think about the meat they eat.
The Pastoral Pig is a whole-animal butcher shop which exclusively carries grass-fed, organic and pasture raised meats. Founder Sebastien Destree is from Lyon, France, and spent most of his life working in the restaurant business. His travel and studies took him throughout Europe and eventually to the United States, where he attended culinary school at The Cordon Bleu in Chicago.
He worked for various restaurants in New York City, but by the time his daughter was born, he had become more and more interested in learning about the sources of the ingredients they were using in the kitchen, especially when it came to animals.
While high-end restaurants had access to the highest quality products and an ability to cultivate relationships directly with farmers, access to meat that was both delicious and ethically and sustainably raised was limited for the everyday consumer.
While doing research to try and shop for his own family, Destree stumbled upon a whole animal butcher (and training program) at Fleischer’s in Kingston, N.Y.
“From that point forward, it all came together for me,” he said, “I realized what I could do that combined my love of craftsmanship and healthy food, and at the same time hopefully make a positive impact for our family, and in our community.”
The benefits of grass-fed and pasture raised animals are vast, including better flavor, a multitude of health benefits, benefits for the environment, and a higher standard of animal welfare. Sebastien opened The Pastoral Pig in the Fall of 2015. It is located in the mall at 206, across from The Golf Zone. The store offers a selection of beef, lamb, pork and chicken, as well as specialty meats available upon request.
“Because we are a whole-animal butcher, we are able to offer products other meat markets cannot, and with a quality that is, frankly, not available, unless you go to extremely high-end restaurants, and even then, it’s no guarantee.”
The store offers a range of bone broths, fresh and frozen prepared foods, charcuterie, organic vegetables and bread brought in from Sullivan Street Bakery in New York City.
“For me, the best guarantee of our quality is that what we sell is what I feed to my children every day.” For more information, The Pastoral Pig has a Facebook page, Instagram and the website: www.thepastoralpig.com.