Do you know how organic meats and poultry differ from their conventionally-grown counterparts? Keep reading to learn why organic meats and poultry are considered healthier and tips to make the best decisions on the meats to feed your family.
To Eat Organic or Not?
The simple answer when it comes to eating organic is a resounding “Yes!”. But this isn’t without caveats. Although there are many rules and regulations governing how organic meat is raised and cared for, only “USDA certified organic” meat meets these rigorous standards. Meats that are simply labeled “organic” may still be organic, but there is no way to know for sure. Ask the butcher or farmer about where the meat comes from and the organic practices used to raise the animals. Then it is your choice to purchase or not.
Why Eat Organic Meats?
The main differences between organic and conventional meats are 1) the foods the animals are fed, and 2) the manner in which the animals are raised.
Organic feed: Farmers that follow USDA organic rules are not allowed to feed their animals any remnants of other animals; animals can only be fed 100 percent organic feed or are allowed to roam wildly and eat grass.
Antibiotic- and hormone-free: Organic animals are not administered antibiotics or hormones or fed GMOs or pesticide-containing feed, meaning you also will not be ingesting any of these drugs or chemicals.
Humane treatment: If your meat is labeled “free-range” or “grass-fed,” then you can be certain that the animals were raised humanely and ethically. They were allowed to graze on whatever is in the area and were not caged in tiny coops or fenced-in areas.
Whether or not you eat a lot of meat, it is a good idea to go organic whenever you can. Children and pregnant women can especially benefit from avoiding foods with extra antibiotics and hormones.
Is Organic Meat More Expensive?
In many cases, organic meat is more expensive than conventional meats, but usually by only a few cents to a dollar per pound. Simply start by buying organic meats for one meal a week or comprise your meals to be more plant-based and consume less meat, albeit organic, in general. Also, stock up on organic meats that are on sale and freeze them.
Does Organic Meat Taste Better?
Organic meats often have a fresher and more authentic taste because they are fed more naturally and are free of hormones and chemicals that conventionally-raised animals are administered. A few studies have also shown that because organic meats are higher in antioxidants, they will give your taste buds a better taste experience. To determine which you like better, buy a piece of conventional meat and piece of organic meat and cook both to see which you like better. Chances are the organic meat will be your choice.