Organic meat has become more popular over the past few years. Studies have found animals that live in poor conditions are contaminated with more diseases, chemicals, and fertilizers, prompting individuals to eat factory-farm meat alternatives such as organic meat. This is seen by the revenue from organic foods tripling over the decade, recording $36 billion in 2014.
What is Organic Meat?
Organic is a term that indicates the food or agricultural product has been produced following the USDA approved guidelines. Soil quality, animal raising practices, living conditions, additives, and treatments are all considered when farms are being reviewed. This means animal diets are antibiotic and growth hormone-free.
Here are a few facts that you probably didn’t know about organic meat.
- Organic meat cannot be grown using synthetic pesticides or chemical fertilizers, but over 40+ pesticides are allowed in organic production. Natural chemicals such as fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides are still widely used in agriculture, meaning the foods you eat still contain pesticides. Although these are organic pesticides, some were found to be carcinogenic (causing cancer) as well.
- Organic foods contain fewer pesticides than factory-farmed animals. Having access to the outdoors, fresh air, water, and fed 100% organic feed, they are still the best meat alternative. These meats are richer in nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, known to reduce depression, anxiety, heart diseases, and fight inflammation.
2. Foods only need to be 95% organic to be labeled ‘Organic’
USDA labels a product organic if they contain 95% organic ingredients, while the other 5% comes from an approved substance list.
- Products that are fewer than 70% organic ingredients, can still use the word organic without the USDA approved seal. Most products use the phrase “Made with Organic Ingredients” will fall into this category.
- Other areas such as casings of sausage and disinfecting washes can still contain synthetic chemicals that can contaminate the foods.
3. Organic isn’t a new trend
Before the agricultural revolution in the 1940s, all crops were grown organically. As technology improved, farms became more efficient by using synthetic chemicals and antibiotics to minimize diseases, prevent animal suffering, and live a healthier life. Since this shift, the overuse of antibiotics and chemicals has created resistant bacterias called superbugs. These superbugs are deadly to children and pregnant women as they have a weaker immune system.
Organic Animals are raised free of antibiotics and fed with organic feed making their meat more nutrient-dense than other factory farms. They are able to free-range, allowing them to graze and eat natural bugs. Their manure is used to naturally fertilize the soil, creating a food cycle for the environment.
4. Organic and Non-Organic Meat doesn’t taste the same
The way an animal is raised impacts the quality and flavor of their meat. According to CleaversOrganic.com.au, the food that animals eat, the stress they handle, the amount of freedom they have, impacts the taste of the meat. If they are raised in bad conditions, the meat is guaranteed to taste bad. Animals that have been raised properly, given access outside to exercise and develop their muscle, creates a darker and deeper delicious flavor.
5. What Organic Label and Terms actually mean?
- Natural – It means that your food has no artificial ingredients or preservatives. It is an unregulated term that tells nothing about the quality of the food.
- Fresh – The meat has never been cooled below 26 degrees Fahrenheit or -3 Degrees Celsius
- Pastured – Pastured tells the quality of how animals were treated from having access to the outdoors.
- Made with organic ingredients – The product contains between 75%-95% organic ingredients.
6. There are reasons why small farms aren’t organic
A USDA certification is expensive, not all farmers have their organic meats labeled. Most of the small farms are family-owned farms and don’t have the resources to keep their animals healthy without the use of antibiotics and standard food.
Eating real food is constantly a journey. Organic meats are often more expensive due to their farming and safety practices. If you’re looking to reduce exposure to pesticide and superbug exposure for your children, then organic is a good choice. As bacteria and bugs develop a tolerance against synthetic pesticides and antibiotics, more strong and toxic solutions will be needed. This makes it more likely for your children to develop chronic diseases such as cancer and mental illnesses. Organic foods are the perfect investment in saving the environment and providing a better future for your children. Support your local market and groceries today by incorporating organic food into your diet.