Whole animal butchery
Also known as “nose-to-tail” eating, whole animal butchery is another one of those trends that reaches back into the annals of food history. There used to be a time when this kind of butchery wasn’t trendy; it was simply normal to use every part of the animal from nose to tail. With mass production, this largely went out of style -- until some dedicated butchers and chefs started to bring it back.
Using every part of the animal means getting innovative with broths, sausages, and lesser known cuts. It also requires a certain talent as a butcher to get all the meat off the animal. The Butcher’s Guild, founded by locals Marissa Guggiana and Tia Harrison, has become a go-to source for consumers looking for sustainable butchers and for butchers looking for information and training. After one of the first books on the topic came out of the UK in 1999 and was re-released in the US in 2004, it caught on quickly with Bay Area food advocates -- especially among those who were already following the practice in their own shops. Ryan Farr, of 4505 Meats, for instance, was buying whole animals in the late-1990s and has helped spread the good word. Today, there are four or five dozen Bay Area restaurants and butchers that do some form of whole animal butchery, including local favorites like Fatted Calf and Avedano’s.