About Going Green

Why Organic Meat is Healthier – What the Research Says


Cows-Why Organic Meat Is Healthier

Over the past few years the topic of organic food has reached headlines numerous times. So what is organic and does buying organic meat really make a difference? Numerous studies have been conducted on both sides, so which ones are we to trust? What can we learn from the research? What do consumers say?

Here at About Going Green we are happy to answer these questions for you and help you to better understand why organic meat is healthier.

What is Organic?

When you buy organic food you are buying quality food that is better for your personal health and it is better for theWhat Is Organic Green Coffee - Organic farmers responsible for the production of the produce. It is also better for the animals.

When shopping for organic produce always look for the USDA label. This can be found on a huge range of products; meat, dairy, fruits and vegetables, dry food etc.

By purchasing the food with this label, the organic seal, you can guarantee it is a quality organic produce. These foods have the organic certification with USDA. Companies using the label are responsible for meeting five organic standards.

In relation to the “USDA Organic” or “Certified Organic” seals on food, items must:

  • have an ingredient list
  • content must be at least 95% “Certified Organic”

According to the USDA “Certified Organic” means free from synthetic additives such as chemical fertilizers, pesticides, dyes and can not be made with the use of industrial solvents, genetic engineering or irradiation.

But what about the other 5%? Don’t worry, these last ingredients must be on their approved list too.

Apples and Oranges - Why Organic Meat is HealthierThe certification appears to be a thorough process. Once certified, companies will be subject to annual reviews.

In addition, organic meat farmers must raise their animals in more spacious surroundings.

For more information about USDA, please visit their website here. 

Different countries have a different understanding or certification for ‘organic’ produce. What is written here applies to the certification process of the U.S.A.

Is there Research Available?

Some studies are supportive of organic farming methods and some are against it. The majority of studies I have found, surprisingly, actually support inorganic farming methods. However, don’t let this put doubt into your mind.

I too have found that a lot of the studies supporting inorganic farming methods have been funded by people or companies that would benefit from these findings. Basically; many of them are bias.

Microscope-Why Organic Meat is HealthierWhat I also found interesting is the greater number of studies comparing the differences between organic and inorganic fruit and vegetables. It was much harder to find studies on the subject of organic and inorganic meats.

A study by Susanne Padel found that most people associate the term organic with fruit and vegetables and at first tend to purchase these particular types of produce. This could be one reason why there is less information readily available on organic meat.

What Can We Learn?

Inorganic Meat

This farming industry tends to confine animals for their entire life, from birth to butcher. These animals produce more stress hormones that can remain in their bodies after butchering and these could cause adverse effects in humans.

Living in these circumstances also promotes the risk of sickness from bacterial infections which could kill the animal and/or spread to the other animals.

Antibiotics - Why Organic Meat Is HealthierTo prevent sickness from occurring, these animals are regularly dosed with antibiotics. These antibiotics reside in the animals body for the rest f their lives. When we buy and eat this meat, the antibiotics travel into our bodies.

Antibiotics are an incredible invention. They have saved millions of people from dying from a huge variety of bacterial infections. However, in recent years it has become more and more transparent that the overuse of antibiotics is causing some bacteria to become resistant of them, e.g. staph and salmonella.

We, as a society, tend to over-use antibiotics. We head straight to urgent care at the first sign of a runny nose or sore throat. We pop these pills like kids do candy and this is where the main problem lies. When we combine this while obtaining antibiotics from the meat products that we eat, we create an environment where bacteria can become resistant or even immune to antibiotics.

Some alternative research suggests that antibiotics can completely obliterate the bacteria Bacteria-Why Organic Meat Is Healthierin your body; the good and the bad. It takes years for these healthy bacteria to reestablish themselves again. Having high levels of unhealthy bacteria encourages our body to eat unhealthy foods which in turn leads to health problems such as wight gain, diabetes, obesity and heart attacks to name a few.

When the animals who have been treated with antibiotics excreet their waste, some antibiotics leave their system and enter our soil as a pollutant. The antibiotics then enter plants through their root systems. They may look healthy plants-Why Organic Meat Is Healthieron the outside, but the inside tells a different story. Then, if we eat the plant we receive the antibiotics. If another animal eats the plant, they receive the antibiotics. We then eat the animal and receive the antibiotics. These are then excreeted from their bodies into the soil.

There is a cycle where the antibiotics travel from one ecosystem to the next, having impacts on the bacteria it comes into contact with, which in turn has an effect on our ability to fight bacterial infections or maintain a healthy gut for regulating our health.

In addition, these farmers are often allowed to use growth hormones and other chemicals on their herds. These chemicals are passed onto humans during consumption and can have negative impacts on our health such as early puberty.

Organic Meat

Organic meat is different and much better. These farming practices promote the daily living life of animals, meaning they are not continually confined.

Cows-Why Organic Meat Is HealthierAnimals who are not continually confined, then they have the space they need to move and grow. This space discourages stress and crowding that can promote the spread of bacterial infection and therefore the risk of sickness from bacterial infection is dramatically reduced.

As a result (and under the USDA certification) they are not regularly fed doses of antibiotics. This means the antibiotics do not enter their bodies then they can not enter our bodies when we consume the meat.

Seedling-Why Organic Meat Is HealthierThe animals do not excreet antibiotics into the soil through their waste. This means that our soil is healthy and the plants that grow in it will not absorb antibiotics from the soil because there are no antibiotics in the soil to absorb.

What Do Consumers Say?

When I have spoken to people about the reasons why they consume inorganic meat, they tend to come out with answers based on these key points – cost and availability.

Inorganic meat is cheaper and there are lots of people out there trying to make ends meet. Take single parents for example. They have one person bringing income into the family household, providing for more than just them self.

Inorganic meat is readily available in almost every store. This makes shopping for this meat easy and convenient. With our busy schedules today, there are few people who can say that they haven’t grabbed something unhealthy on the go for the sake of convenience.

On the contrary, when I have spoken to people about the reasons why they eat organic meat, they tend to come out with answers based on these key points – personal health, animal Money-Why Is Organic Meat Healthierrights and the environment.

When I ask them about cost they often tell me that they don’t mind paying the difference because they think that the benefits outweigh the difference in price.

In terms of availability, they say that they tend to shop in stores that provide a wider selection of organic produce such and Whole Foods, Sprouts Farmers Market or they shop online, so availability isn’t really an issue for them.

 

If you would like to read an in-depth review about online shopping for organic meat, please click on this link. 

 


 

Is Organic Meat Better?

This comes down to your own personal judgment. There are a variety of reasons why people may choose to go green and eat inorganic meat; it is cheaper, more readily available and lots of research suggests that inorganic meat may be as nutritional as organic meat.

Pigs-Why Organic Meat Is BetterHowever, here at About Going Green we definitely believe that organic meet is much better! Yes it may be more expensive, but you get what you pay for. Not only can eating organic meat promote your personal health but it can promote the health of our environment. We believe that a healthier environment means a healthier and happier you.

I like to know that when I bite down into a steak, burger or chop that I have promoted healthier farming methods which protect our environment and the animals which live among it. I like knowing that the animal I am eating has been giving more physical space to grow and live a happier life.

If you would like more information on how livestock can effect the environment, please read this article by another fantastic green living write, Dwyan Anthony Alford. 


Yes, Organic Meat Is Healthier!

When you buy organic food, you are buying quality. These farming methods promote happier and healthier lives of the animals we eat. This makes me happy. This in turn also has healthier effects on the meat we consume and the surrounding environment. Organic meat is more expensive and less readily available but you get what you pay for and making a few small changes to your shopping habits can enable you to purchase organic meat conveniently.

Happy-Why Organic Meat Is Healthier

My family and I love to hunt and fish, and we believe that this is the true definition of organic. Sourcing a lot of our meat this way ensures that we have a better idea of where our meat came from. And, because we have to do more physical work to obtain it… we generally eat less. Evidence suggests that eating less meat (especially red meat) can have great health benefits. More on sourcing your own meat to come in the future.

 

Final Notes

If you ever have anything to share about this article or about Going Green, I would love to hear from you. Please use the comment section below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

If you enjoyed this post, please follow me on my social media accounts. Links to these can be on my floating menu (right) or at the very top of the page.

All the best,

 

Catherine.

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Have any Question or Comment?

17 comments on “Why Organic Meat is Healthier – What the Research Says

Thank You for the useful information on organic foods. I already knew allot from my days at Lecordon Bleu but you have expanded my knowledge on Organic foods even more.

Reply

Hi there Tim,
Thank you for your comment.
It is great to know that my post has been of use to you!
What were your experiences at Lecordon Bleu?
Kind regards,
Catherine.

Reply

I love your logical explanations here. I never thought about the fact that animals stress levels would be so much higher when not allowed to be free and how this would translate to the meat we eat. Very well written.

Reply

Hi there Eric,
Thank you for leaving a comment.
The stress level of animals is something that people often overlook it seems.
Hope you are well and have a great day!
Catherine.

Reply

Hi Catherine,

I like the idea of organic food and I feel like Organic food = Healthy food should be a commonsense but I know that isn’t the case.
Personally I’d like all my food to be organic, the only problem is the price of organic items.

Thank you for such a great article Catherine.

Reply

Hi there,

Thank you for your comment. Yes going organic can be expensive. You could try buying organic meat on the sales and then stock up your freezer. This helps me to eat organic while sticking to an affordable budget. My family fish and hunt too… not sure if that is ‘your cup of tea’, but we find it effective in saving money. Yes we pay for licences and equipment but we get a lot of fun out of it too.

Hope this helps. Thanks again!

Catherine.

Reply

Hey Cathrine, Really wonderful post. It’s very well researched and easy to understand. I would not lie to you, I knew that organic meat is healthy but always tried to save money. Your post got me thinking a lot, nobody is thinking about the life of an animal, I am gonna try organic and hopefully switch it to organic food completely. Keep up the good work.

Reply

Hi there Shan!
I am delighted to hear that you are going to try organic, I am certain that you will be healthier.
Thank you for the feedback on the quality of my writing. I have tried to break it down to make it easy to understand.
hope you are well and best of luck!
Catherine.

Reply
Jonathan

This is very informative. Do you have any information on the economic impact that federal subsidies for conventional and agribusiness farming have on the cost of organic agriculture? I often wonder how much more affordable organic products would be if they received a fraction of the funding that potentially unhealthy, unsustainable farming does.

Reply

Hi there Jonathan,

I just wanted to say a massive thank you for this comment. It is really great when somebody asks me a question that prompts me to do further research. I am currently putting my research together and will get back to you with a response to your questions asap. Thank you once again!

Reply

Very interesting facts. Many individuals do not eat organic foods. Despite the fact that organic foods are not consumed by nearly all Americans, they still come highly rated and recommended. In fact, many health-conscious individuals swear by them. Many claim that eating organic foods helps to promote lifelong health and happiness. Organic food consumption has increased in popularity over the years and that increase continues to rise at a relatively steady pace. I hope the organic food will become as popular as fast food one day! 🙂
Thank you for this article!

Reply

Hi there Mario,
Thank you very much for responding to my post. I am surprised at the small percentage of Americans that eat organic food. I wonder why this is? perhaps it is due to the small amount of research that is readily available? Maybe it is because it is more expensive? Either way, I personally agree with those who believe that eating organic food promotes lifelong health and happiness.
We will need some serious changes in the fast food industry before organic food is that popular. However, it is slowly catching on. I like eating at Chipoltle, are you familiar with it?
Thanks again!
Catherine.

Reply

Hi Catherine, organic wins over inorganic. However under organic there will still be a greater demand for water and land (grazing grasslands) since livestock must roam the land and eat grass rather than soy or corn. I am vegan so I would rather not breed animals for food at all. It is a sustainability issue too. But if you’re going to eat meat then the organic option, as you mentioned, is best for the reasons you laid out correctly. I like the part where you say you prefer to hunt and fish yourself because you know where your meat is coming from. And because of the work involved in doing that, you eat less. That’s so true! A good point.

Reply

Hi Dwyan,
Thank you so much for reading the article and commenting. I was vegetarian for ten years but was never able to commit to being vegan. It is hard to get ensure that you are getting all the nutrients that you need when making those diet choices. I have full respect for anybody who is able to commit to those life choices, especially vegans because it is that much harder.
I was finding it difficult to get the all the nutrients that my body needed being vegetarian, so much so that I was craving meat. I decided that ignoring my bodies needs would be a bad decision and started eating meat again. I will always eat meat that I have sourced myself over store bought meat. I believe wild caught is the true definition of organic. Sadly for some people, hunting and fishing is just not an option for them. Perhaps they do not have the skills, money to invest in the equipment of the physical capabilities.
Thank you so much for visiting and commenting. If you have any questions please feel free to ask.

Reply

Loads of great and interesting information. I do worry about all the chemicals I may be ingesting but it all boils down to the extra cost of organic products. Plus I never feel completely satisfied that they are all really organic anyway.

Reply

Thank you for your comment. Yes price is a concern. Another reader suggested that the price will drop as more people buy organic and that industry grows. I agree that this could happen. Always look for the USDA organic seal when purchasing in the states.
Al the best and thank you for reading.

Reply

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