The antithesis of Queen West chic, the Healthy Butcher (565 Queen West, at Denison, 416-674-2642) has the feel of a Hooterville general store. The only thing missing is organic sawdust underfoot. All of its meats are certified organic - prime rib, goose and thick-cut pork chops - as are its take-away card of comfort foods like macaroni 'n' cheese, Italian-style rice balls and lasagna. You'll find the Butcher's superlative sausages and burgers at Organics on Bloor (468 Bloor West, at Brunswick, 416-538-1333), too.
At Dufferin Grove Farmers Market (875 Dufferin, Thursday 3-7 pm, www.dufferinpark.ca), Ute Zell and Tom Greenall of Stonehenge Farms specialize in organic game, including pheasants, ducks and wild boar. At Saturday's farmers market at St. Lawrence (92 Front East, at Jarvis, 416-392-7219, www.stlawrencemarket. com), find terrific elk tourtiere at 2nd Wind and certified chicken at Clement's Poultry of Peterborough. And though they don't have their papers, the free-range, corn-fed birds at Gasparro's Meat Market (857A Bloor West, at Roxton, 416-534-7122) are a steal at $2.49 per pound.
Stephen Alexander 's Cumbrae Butchers (481 Church, at Maitland, 416-923-5600) has never claimed to be organic, preferring to work outside the certification bureaucracy by offering upscale custom meat that's naturally raised and free of chemicals. Sure, some of it's pricey. But four beefy precooked barbecued ribs in syrupy sauce for six bucks is a bargain no matter what the budget.