Understanding the difference between organic meat and non-organic meat is imperative for making informed decisions about the foods we eat.
Organic animals are not allowed to be given antibiotics, any genetically engineered drugs, or bovine human growth hormone (rbGH), a drug that artificially increases milk production in cattle.
Over half of the antibiotics fed to mass-produced farm animals, including chickens, are the same ones prescribed to human beings. It has been well publicized lately in the media that the overuse of antibiotics is leading to super strains of bacteria that are growing resistant to antibiotics. This is creating a wide opening for human diseases that potentially won’t be helped with the antibiotics currently available.
Organically raised animals are not allowed to eat genetically modified foods
.GMOs are genetically modified organisms whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. For example, scientists have been able to splice fish genes into tomatoes, producing the trait of a more freeze-resistant tomato. While this may sound good in theory, virtually nothing is known of the consequences of these laboratory creations. In addition to not being fed GMOs, an animal that is certified as organic cannot itself have had its genes modified in any way. By eating 100 percent organic meat you are protected by a label insuring the cow has only been fed 100 percent organic feed.
Organic meat has fewer toxins.
Choosing organic meat significantly reduces the risk that you’ll be exposed to toxins, including the toxin that causes mad cow disease. If cattle are fed the dead remains of other cattle, this forced cannibalism can cause mad cow disease, a deadly disease that affects the brain. It is similar to chronic wasting disease in deer. Humans who eat the meat of an infected cows can contract this disease, which is called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. It is incurable and always fatal.
Organic farms are pesticide-free farms, so the animals raised on them are not routinely exposed to pesticides.
Organic meat is healthier meat.
Organically raised animals have more Omega-3 fatty acids and more antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin E, as the animals are grazing in the pasture, get a more diverse diet than conventionally raised animals who receive feed. Organically raised animals have been shown to be significantly healthier physically than their factory-raised counterparts, and they pass those health benefits on to us when we consume them.
Organic meat is happier meat.
The mass-produced chickens you find at the grocery stores are inhumanely raised in cramped quarters, where they can’t even turn around, cages stacked atop one another. Chickens can live their entire lives with their feet never even touching the ground! This creates stress in the chickens that can lead to diseases and the need for antibiotics. Stressed growing conditions cause stressed chickens, marinated with an abundance of stress hormones.
Organic, free-range chickens have plenty of room to roam and hunt and peck for a thoroughly natural diet. Thriving in a stress-free environment, this makes all the difference in the world in terms of their health and tastiness to you.
While cattle can be fed organic grains, and still produce organic beef, organically raised cattle are typically grass-fed. Cattle do not naturally eat grains in the wild. They eat only grass and other foraged foods throughout their lives. They get fresh air and sunshine. They have a better quality of life compared to their unfortunate “factory” counterparts.
Commercially raised cattle eat a diet consisting primarily of corn silage, which is not their natural food choice. They are often raised in confinement, in filthy conditions, and injected with growth hormones, so they can be slaughtered quicker.
The best choice is clearly the organic choice.
Byline: George Anderson writes on everything meat-related, whether it has to do with meat preparation, the berkel slicer, or organic animal farms.