In a supermarket or a grocery store, we are often confronted by a plethora of choices available. There is ‘local’ or ‘imported’ food or a can of soda against a can of beer. Of course, there’s always the price issue that often determines our budget and our checklists. But more important than those mentioned, the choice of organic yet expensive clashes with the cheap and mass-produced.
Statistics of food consumption in the recent decade show a marked improvement of consumers to buy organic farm products – organic vegetables, organic meat, organic milk, etc. – as a result of the fear brought by mad cow disease and other food-borne ailments. A lot of people today have looked for more organic sources of nutrients for them and their families. ‘Organic’ or ‘100% natural’ have been the terms many mothers are looking for to establish a balanced, healthy diet for their children. Those who regularly check their diet are constantly on the look for better, more affordable organic food.
Organic meat is meat produced from small scale farms and ranches rather than factory farms. Poultry and livestock from rural farms are treated more humanely and are raised healthier. The growing demand for food as a result of an expanding, hungry population has left producers with problems of mass production. Often, these food providers take a shortcut to acquire profit, leaving the general welfare poorly, if ever, noticed. Some commercial meats are genuinely healthy; but there are some that even disguise their food products to be ‘natural’ or ‘organically processed’ when in fact these are processed with God-knows-what steps.
They are what they eat
Organic meat is without antibiotics, modified genes, and other chemicals and adjustments that factory farms put into their meat. Organic meat is made from farms that raise livestock naturally: that is, letting their animals roam free around the farm and feeding them without any chemicals inside their food. Factory farm animals, on the other hand, are being fed with cheap animal feeds or, worse, animal manure. Animals that are fed with crops from farms that use pesticides shall be avoided. The components of pesticide are in the fats and tissues of these animals; you don’t want yourself to contain some of them, too. There are farms that force some of their livestock to be cannibals; for example, attribution for the damage of the nervous system in cows points to feeding them with ground remains of the dead from the same species. If those cows are slaughtered, processed, sold and cooked, it is thought that we may have a higher risk of obtaining Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, a degenerative nervous system often attributed to human and animal cannibalism.
Free range animals are better
Livestock are often cramped into small spaces that these animals often have a few feet to walk about; chances of spreading contagious diseases, like mad cow disease, is very high as a result of the unsightly conditions. Pigs and cows are tucked together like sardines; contact is certainly inevitable. The good thing about open spaces is the regulation of their diet, nutrient-wise. Chickens are able to be more nutritious by letting them eat more grub and insects in open spaces rather than administering commercial feeds to them. Cows are able to graze in fields for naturally grown grass instead of hay and vegetables from fields laden with pesticide in cramped pens.
Chemicals are a no-no
Sometimes, commercial farms inject growth hormones in order to keep up with demand so much that these businesses tend to forget the adverse effects brought by genetically modified organisms. Hormones wear the animal down prematurely because its body strives to keep up with the rapid growth. Synthetic chemicals from these hormones are spread throughout the body and are embedded in the tissues. If we eat those tissues, these chemicals are then transported to our body and we are left at risk for diseases as a result of a radical change in our bodies’ chemical composition. The best organic meat available is from animals that are raised naturally: calves are fed with fresh grass and milk from their mothers; chickens eat herbivorous insects; etc.
Help the local – and organic – farm
From the farmer’s perspective, buying organic meat results to more income for small farms and ranches instead of big multinational food corporations. Cash will be then infused to generate more organic foodstuffs from these farms and thus continuing production. Otherwise, in a factory farm, you are likely to pay for pesticides, fossil fuels, chemicals, scientific research on hormones, and few species of cows.
Organic meat is more nutritious than that of the factory variety; this is attributed to the absence of non-essential chemicals and humane practices farmers do in raising livestock and poultry. Health remains paramount for you and your family, so arm yourself with a keener sense of observation the next time you are inside a supermarket and do prefer organic meat.