meat constitutes only a small part of the entire meat industry around the ; however, its increasing demand has attracted the attention of everyone. The demand for organic meat increased by 51% in 2005 in North America alone.
The ever increasing demand for organic meat isof the increasing consumer preference for the product. Consumers normally pay a higher premium for meat and organic meat. This premium is about 30% for natural meat and anything between 15% to 200% for organic meat.
Now, let’s have a look at the organicindustry. Organic beef accounts for only 1% of the total beef volume and only 2% of the total retail in the US. However, ever since reports of US and Canadian being affected by BSE in 2003 were revealed, the sales of organic beef have increased dramatically, nearly doubling each year.
To combat the increasing demand for organic meat, US organic meat Organic Monitor, the demand is so high that imports of organic doubled in 2005 in the US.are importing organic meat from other regions such as Australia, Canada, and America. According to the
Numerous companies are venturing into the organic meatto tap this . The conventional meat are either buying the already existing smaller organic meat or starting their own organic meat divisions. Although the European organic market is dominated by only 15 players, small organic meat have also created their niche.
But where do food and butchers.buy organic meat? Supermarkets are the most common sales channel and account for over half of the organic meat sales in the many countries. Special organic meat retailers have also made their presence. In contrast, consumers in and prefer to buy organic meat from organic
Types of Meat
Meat comes from different exercise and are forced to remain in a small area until they are butchered., most of which we are very familiar with. This article does not cover the types of animals, but rather the way the animals have been grown. Traditionally animals were grown in open /outdoors, but now most animals are grown in a factory where they are force fed with specific feed, including and animal by-products. Very often, they are not allowed to
Due to the alleged problems with conventional meat, people are now moving towards organic meat. Consumers are also demanding natural meat and-fed meat, as they are normally considered and rich in .
The issue with natural meat and grass-fed meat is that there are no standards for these products set by the USDA. Therefore, while producing these types of meat, thehave a free , although they have to indicate the important aspects of the production methods on the .
Characteristics of Different Types of Meat
Below is a comparison of conventional meat, organic meat, natural meat, and grass-fed meat in different parameters. This table will help you make an informedabout the type of meat that you purchase. What you purchase is now up to you; everything you need to know can be found below.
|Conventional Meat||Organic Meat||Natural Meat||Grass Fed Meat|
|USDA Definitions||No special definition||Produced according to USDA National Organic Standards||No artificial ingredients, minimal processing|
|Usage of Hormones||Yes||No||Vary||Vary|
|Feed Grown with Chemical Pesticides and Fertilizers||Yes||No||Vary||Vary|
|Necessary to Allow the Cattle to Graze on Pastures?||No||Yes||No Standards (Normallyallow to graze)||No Standards (Normally farmers allow cattle to graze)|
|Animal Confinement||Yes||No (Outdoor access not necessary, ifis not )||No Standards (Normally farmers provide outdoor access)||No Standards (Normally farmers provide outdoor access)|
|Animal by-products Feed||Yes||No||No Standards (Normally animal by-products are not fed)||Vary|
|Presence of GMOs in Feed||Yes||No||No||Vary|
|Safety Inspection by USDA||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Meat Irradiation Carried Out||Vary||No||No||Vary|
|Usage of Preservatives||Vary||No||No||Vary|
References: Organic Prairie
Free Range Meat
Free range meat production involves providing openaccess to animals instead of confining them to . They should be free to roam in open fields along with other animals and should be able to experience natural light. Open pasture access (for at least 120 days of the year) is an important criterion for organic meat production.
However, you should note that free range meat is not organic meat. Free range meat does not involve any guidelines for the animal feed. One good thing is that there are stringent guidelines for the medication of free range animals as well, which are more or less similar to those in organic meat production.
What Does Freedom Food Label Mean?
Many of you must have come acrosslabel on meat products. The freedom food label means that the animals have been raised by people who have taken their welfare into consideration. This labeling scheme has been set by the for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) in 1994 in the UK.
Certified Organic Meat
According to the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY), requirements for certified organic meat include the following:
Animals that have been transitioned to organic production techniques cannot be used for certified organic meat production. In other words, an animal that is used for producing certified organic meat should be raised according to organic means directly from birth.
The livestock animals that are used for organic meat production should be the offspring of an animal that has also beenaccording to organic standards for the last three months of its .
The animal should be fed only certified organic milk, without the use of any substitutes.
Poultry that has been raised in an organic way from the second day of life can be used for organic meat or organic eggs.
The feed of livestock meant for organic meat should constitute organic feed.
Animals fed with transitional fields will not qualify for organic meat.
Treatment withand hormones is strictly prohibited.
The slaughterhouse in which the organic meat is processed should be certified as organic and properly inspected by the USDA.
If whole livestock that is raised through organic means is sold to a customer, it does not require the organic certification or USDA inspection.
The USDA has given similar certification requirements for organic meat processing. These standards have been explained by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
What is Animal Welfare?
People are increasingly becoming concerned with the extensive cruelty caused to animals in conventional meat production. Hence,meat producers are beginning to use animal welfare methodologies.
Animal welfare, in organic meat production or otherwise, calls for implementing various guidelines including:
Providing more space to animals and reducing the number of animals per acre or per barn
Provide access to sufficient open fields,, and food
Ensuringfood instead of purely -rich diet
Greater healthcare facilities and reducing the stress levels of the animals
Prohibiting the use of electric prods
Five Types of Freedom for Animals
Farm Animal Welfare Council, a UK-based, has on five types of freedoms for animals, whether on the farm, in transit, or at the slaughterhouse. These five freedoms are:
Freedom from Hunger and Thirst
The livestock should be given a free access to a fresh water source and a fresh diet.
Freedom from Discomfort
The animals should be given a comfortable shelter.
Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease
Healthy conditions should be maintained and immediate attention should be paid toand .
Freedom to Express Normal Behavior
The animals should be given free space and company of their own species.
Freedom from Fear and Distress
Conditions that result in mentalfor the livestock should be removed.