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Should I Buy Organic Meat Products?

Wednesday - September 21st, 2016
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With all the buzz about organic products, it can make you wonder if they’re worth the sometimes hefty price tag.

When it comes to meat products, the discussion is no different. Here are some things to help you decide what’s best for you and your family.

No antibiotics or synthetic growth hormones.

If you’re concerned about growth hormones or antibiotic residues in your animal products, organic may be your best choice. If you’re only concerned about antibiotics, you can also look for foods with labels such as, No antibiotics added or Never given antibiotics. The USDA, Global Animal Partnership, or another reliable certifier should verify the claims on the package.

No GMOs.

Producers of organic meat and dairy products must also ensure that their animals are only eating organic feed, which means their feed must be free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), in addition to synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.

Animals with better quality of life.

Organic farmers must provide animals with cage-free living conditions that are safe and clean. The animals must also have access to outdoor pastures where they can roam freely and graze. Plus, organic cows are required to be grass-fed for at least one third of their lives. But read the labels carefully meat that’s marked grass-fed is not automatically also organic. Look for a certified organic label as well.

Misleading labels.

Some labels are not USDA approved and may be misleading. These include: Antibiotic-Free, No Antibiotic Residues, or No Antibiotics for Growth Promotion. Additionally, food labeled Natural only means the final product doesn’t contain artificial ingredients, added color, and is minimally processed. Make sure to read the labels carefully to understand what you’re buying.