What's the big attraction with organic meat? What makes it special and why is it better for you? Why is organic grass fed beef high in CLA and Omega-3 and low in Omega-6? Why is grain fed beef just the opposite and why is that important? We'll answer these questions and more as you read through this page.
We'll explain why if you eat anything other than organic meat such as organic beef, organic chicken and organic turkey you are taking a huge risk. We've found a supplier that just straight up does it right when it comes to organic meats.
We'd like to explore a little information about the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Why are these two US Government consumer protection groups so far apart on the opposite ends of the spectrum with regard to food health and safety?
The USDA is the branch of the US Government that regulates agricultural standards and is charged with overseeing the USDA Certified Organic program.
The FDA is the regulatory branch of the US Government that oversees what is and is not considered safe in food and drugs.
The FDA along with the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), a branch of the USDA, regulates what is allowed to be used in all aspects of the production of non-organic food.
The FDA seems to operate from the position of, it's safe until proven otherwise. Unfortunately their position should be exactly the opposite, unsafe until proven otherwise.
What's Allowed In Non-Organic Meat?
Why is there anything in meat that doesn't get there naturally? That question should be the first thing which comes to mind with that headline.
Perhaps the best way to explain why organic meat is better would be to let you in on some of what is allowed on the non-organic meat side of the story.
First we'll take a quick look at the dangers of processed meats and why everyone should STOP eating processed meat NOW.
Then we'll take a look at what IS allowed in non-organic meats, primarily non-organic beef but also to some extent non-organic chicken and other poultry.
Additives In Non-Organic Meats
There are nearly 3,000 chemical additives which are approved for use in food.
Most producers of non-organic beef have started the practice of injecting their meat with a solution of water, salt and sodium phosphate to add moisture (added weight), to improve tenderness and to extend shelf life.
Many lean cuts of meat are now injected with hydrolyzed proteins to add flavor and tenderize them. According to the FDA these hydrolyzed proteins contain MSG. However, when added as part of hydrolyzed proteins the labels are not required to list MSG as an ingredient.
There are many ways to produce hydrolyzed protein. The two most common processes are prolonged boiling in a strong acid or base solution or using an enzyme such as those found in the fluids released by the pancreas (pancreatic juice) also known as pancreatic protease enzyme to stimulate the hydrolytic process.
Certified organic meats will not contain any additives of any type.
Follow this link for more information on some of the FDA approved additives being used by the meat industry.
Antibiotics In Non-Organic Meats
You may ask, don't they need to use antibiotics if the animal gets sick? The simple answer to that is, yes sometimes.
If an animal gets sick it may need to be given medication, non-antibiotic if possible, to help it get well. However, in mass production feed lots and other non-organic meat production facilities the animals are give antibiotics constantly, sick or not, day in and day out from birth to slaughter.
In the beef industry for the past 40 plus years it has been an acceptable practice to constantly administer low levels of antibiotics. This is done to compensate for the conditions which exist in overcrowded feed lots. If the animals were not given a constant supply of antibiotics a sickness could spread like wild fire and wipe out the entire herd.
By virtue of how they are raised, organic animals have much stronger immune systems and seldom get sick. However, if this happens the animal must be removed from the herd until all medication has cleared their system plus a buffer time period. If antibiotics are used the animal must be removed permanently from the organic herd.
Certified organic meats will not contain any antibiotics
Follow this link for more information on potential for epidemic health dangers to humans associated with the use of the FDA approved antibiotics in the meat industry.
Hormones In Non-Organic Meats
There are 6 FDA approved hormones, 3 synthetic and 3 natural, for use in the beef industry. The 3 synthetic ones are melengestrol acetate, trenbolone acetate and zeranol and the 3 natural ones are estradiol, progesterone and testosterone.
Virtually all beef in the US that is not organic meat is produced using one or more of these hormones. The hormones are used to speed the growth of the animals thus speeding production and reducing feed costs and improving ROI.
There are those in the scientific community that believe there is a potential for these types of hormones to cause reproductive and metabolic problems in humans. They believe the use of these hormones needs to be halted until further research can be completed.
Certified organic meats will not contain any hormones
Follow this link for more information on the serious threats to human health associated with the use of the FDA approved hormones in the meat industry.
CLA and Omega-3/Omega-6 Comparisons
What is CLA and is it good for you? Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a trans fatty acid and a cis fatty acid. The cis bond allows for a lower melting point and therefore healthy benefits. Unlike other trans fatty acids, CLA is beneficial rather than harmful.
CLA has been shown to contain both antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. Research has shown that CLA slows the growth of tumors in mammary, skin and colon tissue.
Nursing mothers who drank mostly organic milk and ate organic meat produced approximately 50% higher levels in their breast milk.
CLA has been found to reduce body fat, especially abdominal fat, combat Arteriosclerosis and help fight the onset of diabetes.
Organic meat from grass fed cows is an excellent source of CLA, and contains much higher levels of it than meat from grain-fed animals. Research has found that dairy products and meat from grass fed cattle can have CLA levels at 30% to 50% higher than those of cattle fed a diet of primarily corn and grain.
There is a considerable amount of research which shows that excessive levels of Omega-6 relative to Omega-3 increases the probability of arrhythmia, arthritis, cancer, depression, heart attacks, inflammation, mood disorders, osteoporosis and stroke.
Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that we as humans need to be healthy. Omega 3 has been found to fight cancer and improve heart health. Omega 3 is very important to human health.
The optimal ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 is 4 to 1 or lower. However, the typical North American diet has ratios in excess of 10 to 1 up to as high as 30 to 1. Is it any wonder that we see such high levels of some of the medical conditions mentioned above?
The first chamber in a cow's stomach sets the stage of fatty acid production. The pH levels in this chamber determine the levels of Omega-3, Omega-6 and CLA in the cows system.
A cow which is fed its natural diet of grasses and other green leafy plants, has a near base pH7 digestive solution. This diet of green plants is a great source of Omega 3. This in combination with the base digestive solution produces high levels of Omega-3 and CLA and very little Omega-6. That's very good.
A cow which is fed a diet consisting of mainly corn and grain will have a very acidic pH digestive solution. This acidic solution in combination with starches in the corn and grain produce elevated levels of Omega-6 and lower levels of Omega-3 and CLA. That's not good.
What They Eat Really Does Matter
Animals raised for the purpose of providing certified organic meats are not allowed to eat any food which has been treated with synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, sewage sludge or radiation. Their food sources cannot contain any preservatives, additives or GMO's.
The best of the best is meat which comes from animals raised on a diet consisting of their natural foods.
Chickens and turkeys in their natural environment eat seeds, grains, berries and insects. Just because chicken or turkey says that it's "free range" does not mean that it's organic. Truly organic free range chickens and turkeys are raised under conditions which do not allow for any of the toxic chemicals so common in non-organic meats.
For cows and bison that would be various species of green leafy plants (not corn, grain or animal by-products).
When cattle eat the right diet, their meat is incredibly lean, has better fatty acid ratios and less total fat. Grass fed organic beef is just all around much healthier to eat with its higher levels of CLA and Omega-3.