It has been a great deal nowadays whether to buy organic products and foods rather than conventional ones. This is due to the harmful effects the latter may affect to humans. There are certain products which are highly recommended to buy organic and one of these is the meat.
Organic meat is one of the most expensive items you will find in the store. In fact, some of it costs twice as much as its non-organic counterpart. But what is organic meat and why it is stated as healthier than non-organic ones?
In order to be certified to the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) organic standards, farms and ranches must follow a strict set of guidelines. A certifier inspects these farms and ranches annually to ensure the standards are met. For an animal, the following must be followed in order to be certified as organic.
- 100 percent Organic Feed
Animals raised organically are not allowed to be fed with antibiotics and growth hormones. Instead farmers use a well-rounded diet or organic materials to promote growth and fight off infection in their livestock. For an animal to be raised for its organic beef, turkey or chicken, its mother must have been fed organic feed for at least the last third of growth.
On the other hand, non-organic meat are mostly fed antibiotics and growth hormones to make growing faster and easier. Studies stated that a high-level hormones may present health risks to consumers, especially young children and pregnant women or nursing.
- Animals free-range
The word “free-range” and “ranch raised” are clues that the animals were raised in a more organic way. Organic Animals are given access to the outdoors in the fresh air and are not confined to buildings.
On the contrary, it is common for a non-organic animals to be kept in tightly confined cages and often never move more than a few feet their whole lives.
- No Animal Parts
Organic farming prohibits the practice of feeding animal remains to herbivores and safeguards against dangerous infection. Instead they are fed 100 percent organic feeds without ground up animal parts. By eating organic meat, you are protected by a label insuring the cow has only been fed 100 percent organic feed.
While non-organic farmers fed cattle ground up cattle and animal remnants to encourage growth, this practice can cause diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalophaty also known as mad cow disease. It is a disease that destroys the central nervous system and brain, can be given to humans who eat the meat. The disease in humans has a very long latency period, and is called Creutzfeld-Jakob disease.
- No Pesticides or Chemical Fertilizers
Organic farms use natural materials to promote crop growth. They are not using any variety of pesticides and chemicals to encourage growth of their crops and ward off insects. By purchasing organic meat, you can decrease the exposure to harmful chemicals and toxins since animals are not exposed to chemicals that can be grazed on the land.
- Produce Less Waste
Organic farms raise less livestock and produce just enough manure to rejuvenate and fertilize the soil. Also, because they are fed with organic diets, their manure is pure and free from any toxins.
On the other hand, since large numbers of non-organic animals are confined to small area, it results to a large amount of animal waste and often contaminates the earth. The overflow of manure can infect wells and other areas with E. coli and other harmful chemicals.
Choosing organic meat not only reduces the amount of contaminants we consume, but will also benefit our environment. Organic meat is and organic farming is safe for us and our planet.