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Live to Eat Newsletter by The Healthy Butcher

Mario Fiorucci with Mark Schatzker, holding Mark's new book - The Dorito Effect

I’m really excited about this month’s Live to Eat! Thanks to Mark Schatzker, there is now a clear amalgamation of scientific research that backs what we’ve been preaching for the last decade: Eating real food is the answer to today’s health problems. Mark is Canada’s answer to Michael Pollen and to say I have respect for Mark’s writing is an understatement; his last book, “Steak: One Man’s Search for the World’s Tastiest Piece of Beef” was the inspiration for The Healthy Butcher to import 100% Grassfed Wagyu beef from Firstlight Farms in New Zealand, and that beef has truly taken Toronto by storm. In his new book, The Dorito Effect, Mark gets to the heart of where our relationship with food went wrong, and that is, we interfered with our flavour instincts.

I hope you enjoy this Q&A with Mark, and we will be offering signed copies of The Dorito Effect at 40% off cover price in The Healthy Butcher stores and for delivery through, Toronto’s best eGrocer.

The Healthy Butcher's Extraordinary Meat Box


We are proud to announce the launch of our newest and meticulously curated collection of meat - XO The World's Greatest Meat Box.  An amazing value for your own gourmet feasts, and certainly an amazing gift for Father's Day, birthdays or any occasion.  Get your XO Box at any of The Healthy Butcher stores or online at CLICK HERE



The Healthy Butcher's Cottage Meat Pack - Urban Escape EssentialsJUST IN TIME FOR COTTAGE SEASON!

We've collected our most popular pre-weekend meat purchases into one convenient box and reduced the regular price by 13%.  Make your urban escape that much easier. Of course, the same collection is great for your own backyard! Purchase your Cottage Meat Pack at any of The Healthy Butcher stores or online at CLICK HERE


The Healthy Butcher's 2015 Burger and Sausage MenuNEW CLASSES ADDED!
An awesome Father's Day gift! From sausage making classes to butchering classes to knife skills classes to cooking classes, all are entertaining and packed with content.  CLICK HERE for the schedule.

The Healthy Butcher's 2015 Burger and Sausage Menu2015 BURGER & SAUSAGE MENU
There are 100 days till the end of summer, and 50 varieties of the world's best Burgers and Sausages to consume!  Pick up a copy of our menu in-store or CLICK HERE for a PDF.

100% Grassfed Red Deer VenisonWE'VE GOT GAME!
Change up your meat palate with some game.  From the newly introduced and absolutely outstanding 100% Grassfed Red Deer Venison (CLICK HERE) to Wild Boar, Bison, Rabbit, Quail, and Squab, we'll keep you excited about healthy meat.



Q & A with Mark Schatzker,
author of The Dorito Effect

The Healthy Butcher:  The Dorito Effect - I love the title and I want to start there; how do these three words sum up the theme of your book?

Mark:  The first Dorito was just a plain salted tortilla chip. It didn’t sell very well. It wasn’t until Frito-Lay added flavourings – the first flavoured Dorito tasted like “taco” – that it became the irresistible snack we know today. And this explains so much of where food has gone wrong.

We have spent the last fifty years on a nutritional witch hunt for the evil nutrient in food – fat, carbs, sugar, on it goes. In “The Dorito Effect,” I argue the real problem with food is flavour. Very simply, the whole foods we grow – tomatoes, strawberries, chickens, beef – keep getting blander and less nutritionally dense. Flavour technology, meanwhile, has gotten immensely powerful. We now spike so much of our food with chemical flavourings that we have completely transformed the prime incentive for eating – flavour. All food, in other words, is becoming more and more like Doritos. We have trained ourselves to crave the wrong foods. And as a result, obesity has become the number one public health problem.

The Healthy Butcher:  So the problem is beyond the artificial flavourings in our food, but it’s also with real foods that have been bred for looks rather than flavour?

Mark:  Our agricultural system has been focused on increasing output since the end of WWII. We have achieved it in spades. Everything we grow is cheaper and more abundant than ever. But we have paid an enormous price – quality. Food is not only losing nutrition, it’s losing flavour. For proof, bite into a supermarket tomato. It tastes like cardboard. In fact, everything tastes like cardboard. That’s one reason North Americans use five times as much spices as we did a hundred years ago, and why the use of chemical flavourings is measured in the hundreds of millions of pounds.

The Healthy Butcher:  You really paint a scary picture Mark. Whether we're talking about artificial flavourings in processed foods, or the flavours that have been essentially removed from whole food that should be healthy for us, the bottom line is our bodies no longer have a healthy relationship with food. So what are we supposed to do? What is a consumer to do to right the wrong and ensure his or her body regains an understanding of flavour?

Mark:  Very simply, consumers need to start seeking out real flavour. Buy tomatoes that taste the most like tomatoes. Buy carrots that are sweet and carroty. And buy pork, beef, or chicken that tastes like what it is. Food is actually easier to cook when it tastes good. And it’s more satisfying. But most importantly, by purchasing high quality food, we consumers send a message to producers that we care about flavour. The more we demand quality, the more of it we’ll see. Just think about how the world of beer was transformed by craft brewers. We need to do the same thing with food. The good news is that revolution has already started.

The Healthy Butcher:  I did a presentation a while back at RISE: The Better Living Expo where my proposition was that nutrition labelling needs a fundamental overhaul, and the focus should be on the ingredient list, not the nutrition box. Frankly, I regularly have (heated) debates with many of my customers where I take the stance that the nutrition boxes are almost worthless and should be removed entirely as they mask the true nutritional profile in food. What’s your stance on this? Do you agree or disagree?

Mark:  I’m glad the nutrition boxes are there, but I agree with you that they can be very misleading. I know PhD nutritionists who have a tough time figuring it all out. I looked at the nutrition box on a package of unsalted cashews. They’re fairly high in calories. So should I stop eating cashews? I think that would be misguided. In The Dorito Effect, I talk about the amazing scientific research behind “self-selection.” Our bodies have an excellent built-in ability to meet our nutritional needs. It’s called your palate. The key is not to confuse it by consuming food with synthetic flavourings. Let’s keep in mind that 50 years ago, Canadians were a lot trimmer than they are now. They weren’t counting calories.

The Healthy Butcher:  Surely, all of us will continue eating prepared foods because we can’t always be cooking from scratch – how do we measure the nutritional value of a prepared food item?

Mark:  The first thing I’d like to say is that a lot of us could do a lot more cooking from scratch than we do. If you use good ingredients, it all becomes so much easier. I think part of the reason so many people don’t cook is because they’re sick of being disappointed by how bland the result is. As far as measuring the nutritional value of a prepared item, I’d advise the following: if you see the words “artificial flavour” or “natural flavour” on an ingredient list, you know the flavour has been engineered by a human, not nature. Those are foods that coax you into eating more than you’d want to.

The Healthy Butcher:  Last question, and this is a doozey but I think it’s a valuable question for our readers. You are a customer of The Healthy Butcher, and you know we offer two lines of beef – one is the local Certified Organic, the other is the 100% Grassfed (which is from local farms when in season, and from Firstlight Farms in New Zealand when the local is not in season). What do you buy and why?

Mark:  I buy grass-fed beef, local when it’s available and Firstlight when the local beef isn’t in season. I could give you a long – and correct – story about the nutritional superiority of grass fed beef. But the truth is, it mainly comes down to the flavour for me. Grain fed beef tastes like grease to me. I get a flash of beefiness that gives way to a cloying fattiness. The first few bites are okay, but that’s as far as I get. Great grass fed beef reminds me of outstanding fruit, or amazing chocolate – you sit there mesmerized by the flavour. It takes you on a journey. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that beef that tastes that way just happens to be better for you. I think flavour – real flavour – is trying to tell us something. Maybe it’s time we started listening.

The Dorito Effect is an informative, well-researched and entertaining read.  We highly recommend it.  Copies signed by the author are available at The Healthy Butcher stores and for home delivery through at 40% off the cover price.



The Healthy Butcher
565 Queen St. West, in downtown Toronto, 298 Eglinton Ave. West in midtown Toronto
25 Bruce St., in Kitchener, Ontario

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