Not that long ago, all meat qualified as organic. The family farmer raised his cattle on pesticide-free grass. And, of course, he certainly didn't add hormones or additives to the cattle's feed. Even animals given a name ended up slaughtered on the farm and ultimately on the dinner table of family and friends.
The term 'organic meat' represents a new one, since factory farms or corporate farms, pesticides, and additives did not exist all that long ago. The cattle's health and the handling of the slaughtering process determined the safety of the food consumed.
How commercial organic meat is regulated and inspected:
Today, most of us purchase meat commercially and depend on government agencies to regulate and ensure the safety of the beef, pork, and poultry we buy. The USDA defines organic meat
as that which derives from cattle fed organic feed not treated with pesticides, hormones, or other additives.
Recent legislation passed during the Obama Administration required that to carry the label of organic, the animals also need to live in accommodations which allow them to practice their natural behaviors. In other words, animals confined in cages without daylight and mutilated before slaughter would not qualify as organic.
However, the Trump Administration did away with the regulations involving animal cruelty
. To make sure your meat or poultry does not stem from ill-treated animals, you need to look for more than just organic on the label. Researching the source or farm the animals come from represents the surest way to guarantee your organic meat also qualifies as cruelty-free. Additionally, the words free-range and grass-fed usually indicate the animals not confined in cages.
The purpose of rolling back the Obama era law to prevent animal abuse involves making money for the farmers and businesses involved. However, more and more, the public insists on products in which the animals come from appropriate conditions. One of the reasons for the desire involves basic morality, but additionally, cattle and other animals not exposed to sunlight produce an inferior tasting and less nutritious product.
Inspecting facilities producing organic products mimics what the USDA does for corporate farms. Federal inspectors visit the farms at least once a year and examine both the product and facilities and its procedures.
How to determine that your meat is safe:
Whether purchasing organic, grass-fed, free-range, or conventional beef, making sure you don't consume spoiled or contaminated meat represents a crucial safety and health concern. Eating contaminated meat causes everything from stomach aches to food poisoning.
Typically, meat represents the most expensive course of a balanced meal. Especially considering that many Americans add meat to their diets several times a week, many people look for more economical ways to purchase meat. Those with large families, students, and low-income individuals often look for sales and budget packages of beef, pork, and poultry.
And, who doesn't love a bargain? But, when buying meat on sale, you need to double-check the expiration date and examine the product to make sure no signs of spoilage exist. Once you get the product home, unless you plan to consume it within two days, it should be processed and frozen as quickly as possible.
Regardless of the care you take storing your meat, at times you may find yourself asking, "Is this still safe to eat?" To determine whether or not to consume the food
or prepare it for your family, check out the following points:
- Color- Beef may change color slightly after it sits in the fridge for a day or two. Changing from bright red to a more brownish hue doesn't represent a danger, especially with ground beef. But, if your meat takes on a bluish or greenish tint, you may want to go out for hamburgers.
- Smell- Spoiled meat gives off a definite pungent odor. If your beef or poultry smells even a little bit questionable, throwing it away makes the most sense.
- Touch- If your meat feels slimy, sticky, or slippery to the touch, it most likely needs to slide right into the garbage can.
Remember to save your receipt. In the event the meat goes bad within two days, you may qualify for a refund.
Why organic meat is better tasting and better for you:
You may think that conventional pot roast looks just as good as the pricier grass-fed option. But no matter how long you marinate or how hard you tenderize, the cheaper roast won't give you the same taste or nutritional value.
The Mayo Clinic
gives several reasons as to why organic meat provides a better option:
- It contains less harmful fat and more Omega 3 essential fatty acids.
- Organic meat offers more calcium and other minerals.
- Organic beef also contains more antioxidants.
- Organic meat may reduce the risk of cancer because of the linoleic acid content.
When you purchase organic meat, you also do the Planet a favor. Factory or corporate farms represent the second-largest source of CO2 emissions with only the burning of fuels as a worse offender. Factory farms cause both air and water pollution, whereas family farms typically pay more attention to water filtration and land rotation systems.
Additionally, free-range and grass-fed beef means less animal cruelty, and many would argue a better tasting product due to sunshine exposure.
Market demand continues to drive the cost of organic meat down, but admittedly, you will pay more for organic and free-range meat. Some would argue, a better option to cut costs would involve reducing your meat consumption in favor of quality. Also, using the entire animal rather than just getting steaks and roasts also represents a more economical option.
Why Cleaver's Organic is a great choice:
Due to its location in Australia, Cleaver's Organic
maintains much higher certification standards than US regulations. Cleaver's also selects its family farmers carefully and maintains a close relationship with them. An onsite inspector visits each farm at least once a year.
The cattle graze on grass void of pesticides. Additionally, the feed the animals eat contains no additive such as GMOs or hormones. Going beyond the US qualifications of organic labeling, Cleaver's Organic raises grass-fed and free-range cattle resulting in the highest quality meat.
For more information on the safety standards and value of organic meat, contact us here.