The Health Benefits of Organic Meat
Organic meat differs from regular meat in the way the animal farmer raised the animal priorto butchering.
must be certified through one of several certification organizations, including the Midwest Organic Services
Farmers must follow strict organic guidelines in the production of the meat product.
Meat certified organic are often born on farms and raised with the utmost of respect and animal dignity.
Beef cattle are
not raised in pens but are often free to roam the farm with unrestricted access to water, food, sunshine and
outdoor air at
Everything that goes into an organic farm animal must also be organic. The pastures the animals graze in
must be certified
organic themselves. Organic forage and grains grown organically must be fed to the animals and organic
pest control must
be utilized on these farms. No synthetic or chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers are applied to local
Organic animal farms must apply specific conservation practices to preserve the natural surroundings and
the soil in the
area. Water is not wasted and recycling is used whenever possible.
No organic meat can be certified organic if the animal has been fed any antibiotics, growth hormones,
steroids or animal
byproducts. Animals are fed what they eat in the pastures and organically grown farm products, such as
organic hay. Water
is free from contaminants.
In many cases, animals grown on organic animal farms are removed from the program if they ever become
sick enough to require
antibiotics. They are removed from the herd as soon as their illness is discovered. While antibiotics are an
to treat bacterial infections, there is always the risk of developing resistant strains of bacteria and no one
health effects to consumers who eat meat treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics speed the growth of cattle that
grow using less feed but, because of resistances, sick animals often can’t be well treated and often die of
Growth hormones, eliminated from the production of organic meats, are given to cattle to speed up their
growth on less feed.
This is another situation where scientists do not know the effect of this practice on consumers who eat non-
Most organic meat comes from animals grown from birth on small farms in which the animal has free range
to move around on
the pasture and to eat when it wants to. Such animals generally are healthier than their conventional
counterparts and are
treated more humanely. Animals are allowed to mate as they wish, adding to the sustainability of the
Much of the organic meat is derived from bull meat, which is some of the leanest meat around. Farmers
who raise bulls and
sell them (called seed stock producers) must provide affidavits stating that their bulls were not raised using
or growth hormones from the time of their birth. Such affidavits generally go back at least twenty months
prior to the time
that the organic farmer purchased the animal.
Organic meats, particularly organic meat, may be somewhat more expensive than conventionally-grown
meat. In general,
however, the meat is fresh and the consumer can guarantee that there is nothing unhealthy in the organic
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