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Howard Shafer

Good Meat Project Board Member, Sub Edge Farm - Hartford, CT

Howard retired after a career as CFO/COO for large law firms and started a small USDA processing business focused on purchasing whole animals from local farmers to create delicious charcuterie and contribute to the creation of a more sustainable food system. In 2021, Howard joined forces with a customer, Sub Edge Farm, where he now works as a butcher processing animals raised on the farm. Howard has a BS in Statistics from the University of Michigan; an MBA with a concentration in Non-Profit Management from Boston University; and a Grand Diplôme from the French Culinary Institute.

Where do you live/work

I live in Hartford, CT and Work at Sub Edge Farm in Farmington, CT

How do you define your Good Meat® values?

Meat from a farmer I know and trust that embraces principles of health, ecology, fairness and care that, as articulated by, are the roots from which organic agriculture grows and develops.

Why is it important to center your Good Meat® values in your professional career as a butcher?

My commitment has evolved over the years starting from the perspective of a chef passionate about using the highest quality ingredients which led me to support local organic food and join the board of the Connecticut Northeast Organic Farming Association. Over the past dozen years on the board of CTNOFA my eyes have been opened to the role animals can play in a farm’s ecosystem.

What is one thing you wish more people knew about the food on their plates?

We all need to do our part to fight climate change. Good meat comes from smaller local businesses and farms and, according to the UN Environment Programme, supporting these businesses reduces fossil fuel emissions associated with transport and cold chain storage. “Sustainable agriculture uses up to 56 per cent less energy, creates 64 per cent fewer emissions and allows for greater levels of biodiversity than conventional farming.”

What is one of the biggest misconceptions you encounter as a Good Meat® butcher?

That there is a binary choice: abstain from meat or consumer meat raised on an industrial scale. The farm where I work raises animals that are an important part of the farm’s ecosystem playing a role in such things as soil regeneration and carbon sequestration.

What meat, or meat dish, do you eat most regularly and what do you eat for a special occasion?

As a farm butcher I have the good fortune of having access to great meat cuts and items I make for the farm store. The meat I eat most regularly is whatever is available and can be prepared quickly. I enjoy sausages and steaks cut from the pork shoulder muscle that when cured becomes a cappicola salume. For special occasions I enjoy making pates and homemade pickles and mustards.

Good Meat® Snapshots

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