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Regarding Organic Meat …

August 04, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Today, many are turning to organic, free-range meat with the belief it is a healthy form of food. According to Organic Processing, the organic meat industry is growing at the rate of 35% per year. This is unfortunate because instead of realizing that a plant based diet has many more benefits, consumers are misguided by the diffusing of two concepts. These two concepts are: 1. feeling the "need" to eat meat, which is unnecessary and is continually fueled by the multibillion dollar meat industry and 2. The use of the term "organic" which is misleading when applied to meat and animal products in general. The reason it is misleading is that the consumer is led falsely to believe that since the meat is "organic", it must be "healthy"; good for them and good for our environment.

In fact, organic, free range meat is not healthy for you or our environment for the following reasons:

  1. While the intent for "organic meat" is to eliminate all contaminants from the food these animals are ingesting, the current labeling system and protocol still allows for the potential of many toxins and diseased animals to end up on your plates. According to theCode of Federal Regulations 7, the wording and enforcement is ambiguous at best. For instance, "organic meat" still allows for the use of antibiotics, other chemicals to kill parasites, and fishmeal containing synthetic preservatives with pre-slaughtered animals.
  2. With organic, free range meat, there would be a continued devastating effect on our environment. Twelve billion animals are raised and killed for food each year in the U.S. alone. Most of these are raised in unacceptably cruel conditions and small areas. Raising this many or more animals in open, "free-range" settings is illogical if not preposterous as it would only dramatically increase the overgrazing, desertification, and add to the 6 billion tons of topsoil already lost due to cattle. Livestock grazing, as it exists today without any additional demand for "free range", is already the driving force behind habit destruction and eventual extinction of wildlife and plant species. Hundreds of thousands of wildlife are killed each year to "protect" cattle. A recent report by the Fish and Wildlife Service concluded that 1/2 of all species studied in the southwest U.S. were endangered or threatened by cattle ranching. Another report by the General Accounting Office and the Bureau of Land Management revealed that 90% of all riparian habitat (strips of land along rivers, streams, and ponds where the majority of wildlife species live or depend on) in Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado were gone or near gone due to "livestock grazing".
  3. Organic meat does not improve the inefficient use of our grain and water supply by the cattle industry. It would still require more than 12,000 gallons of water to produce one pound of organic meat while only a few hundred gallons to produce one pound of soybeans. An acre of land will produce 10 times the amount of protein from plant sources to feed people than from raising cattle in the same area.
  4. Producing organic meat will generate tons of pollution from the methane gas and excrement of cattle.
  5. Organic meat contains saturated fat, cholesterol, and heterocyclic amines. This, combined with the fact that it contains no fiber, no antioxidants and no phytonutrients will continue implicating organic meat with various disease states such as coronary heart disease, diverticulosis, and certain types of cancers.

All those who purchase and consume "organic meat" in an attempt to be more educated or health-oriented, are in reality, contributing to continual habitat loss, unnecessary use of our land, water, and supply of grain, air and water pollution, and are increasing the potential for their own ill health. If a consumer is truly attempting to make the right or best food choices then they should not support meat in their diet, whether it is "organic" or otherwise.