Organic meat is one of the more expensive items you will find at your grocery store. In fact, organic beef costs almost twice as much as its non-organic counterpart. There has been much debate on whether or not organic meat offers enough benefits to warrant the price difference. Though there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that there is a great difference in the nutritional of value of organic and non-organic meat, there is a great difference in the practices of organic and non-organic farmers.
Organic livestock is raised in a more humane, more sanitary way and the production of organic meat has less of an impact on the environment than traditional meat production. Here are just a few of the other differences between organic and non-organic meat.
No Antibiotics or Growth Hormones
In order to stimulate growth and prevent the spread of disease, non-organic cattle and livestock are given antibiotics and growth hormones. Recent studies suggest that such a high level of hormones may present health risks to consumers, especially young children and women who are pregnant or nursing. These hormones can remain in the manure of the animals and lead to the contamination of groundwater. Organic animals, on the other hand, are not given any hormones, antibiotics or growth stimulants. Instead, farmers use a well-rounded diet of organic materials to promote growth and fight off infection in their livestock.
No Animal Parts
It is common for non-organic farmers to feed cattle ground up cattle and animal remnants to encourage growth. This practice can cause diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy also known as mad cow disease. Organic farming prohibits the practice of feeding animal remains to herbivores and safeguards against this dangerous infection.
No Pesticides or Chemical Fertilizers
Traditional farms use a variety of pesticides and chemicals to encourage the growth of their crops and ward off insects. Animal are exposed to these chemicals when they graze on the land. Organic farms use natural materials to promote crop growth. Therefore, by purchasing organic meat, you can decrease your exposure to harmful chemicals and toxins.
Promotes the Humane Treatment of Animals
Factory farms seek to produce as much meat as possible for a minimal cost. The emphasis on product and profit means that the animals are subject to inhumane conditions. Animals are crammed into barns and crates and given little access to the outdoors. Organic animals spend less time confined indoors and are given plenty of time and room to graze.
Produces Less Waste
Industrial farms raise so many animals and produce so much manure that the excess often contaminates the earth. The overflow of manure can infect wells and other areas with E. coli and other harmful chemicals. Organic farms raise less livestock and produce just enough manure to rejuvenate and fertilize the soil. Also, because organic animals are fed organic diets, their manure is pure and free from any toxins.
Organic meet may not contain more nutrients or less calories than meat produced by a traditional factory farm. However, it contains less toxins and is better for the body and the planet.