Russ Flint
Butcher, Rain Shadow Meats

1531 Melrose Ave, 467-6328

I am dying to make a sausage joke right now.

I know! There are so many jokes to make in this line of work. Every day, I'm overwhelmed by the choices.

Speaking of choices, how do you choose your meats?

I look at the rancher's character. That's huge. Ranchers, whether they're raising cows or lamb, are some of the nicest people in the world. They're doing what they love for very little money, and it's good to give them a resource to get their product out. Many of them are local farmers.

Let's say I'm looking for meat from a cow that wasn't fed crap and was allowed to just be a cow and do cow things before I ate it. Do you buy from any farms that seem like especially lovely places to just be a cow?

Sure, I can think of a few. Thundering Hooves farm in Eastern Washington is just gorgeous. It's filled with big juniper trees and rolling hills as far as you can see. When I visited, I just wanted to stay with the cows and ranchers there forever because they're incredible people and they make such an incredible product. But I put a lot of care into choosing all my meat, so really anything you see here was responsibly raised.

How do you let people who come to your shop know that the meat they're getting is from lovely farms like Thundering Hooves and not some factory-farm bullshit?

Mostly I've just been telling people verbally where each meat is from, but we're going to get pamphlets soon. I've also begun writing the names of the farms on little placards by the meat, so you can see what's what.recommended