Wednesday, September 19, 2012

10 Reasons To Buy Organic Meat

We all know that buying organic meat is better for our health.  Eating organic meat means we’re not ingesting harmful antibiotics, hormones or herbicides and pesticides.  However buying organic isn’t just good for your immediate health, it’s also better for the environment.  Here are 10 green and healthy reasons to buy organic meat.
#1  Better Manure Handling:
Okay so it may seem odd or perhaps distasteful to begin by talking about waste, however, manure on large industrial farms is nothing more than pollution.  It’s a health risk that runs into our water supply and contaminates the land for miles around.  However, smaller farms that produce organic meat use the manure in sustainable ways to fertilize soil, the same soil they’re using to grow the grass and food for their animals.  They’re sustainable farms that manage their resources in the most environmentally friendly way possible. (For a great example of this, see Polyface Farms.)

Approaching the Eggmobile, at Polyface Farms i...
Chickens on pasture, at Polyface Farms in Virginia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
#2  Less Chemical Pollution and Contamination:
Organic farms do not use synthetic pesticides and fertilizers on the food they feed their animals nor on the land they’re raised on.  This means not only are the animals, and those who subsequently consume them, saved from ingesting these chemicals, the land isn’t contaminated with them. Our soil and water supply remain healthier.

#3  Diversity:
Nature thrives on diversity.  If it didn’t, there wouldn’t be more than 1 million types of bugs.  Large industrial farms typically raise one or two species of cow, pig or chicken; however smaller organic farms typically raise a variety, preserving the diversity of our food supply. (See this post if you're not sure why this is important - the same that goes for seeds and plants also applies to our livestock species.) 

#4  Resource Conservation:
Industrial farms consume vast amounts of resources to keep their farms running.  They go through thousands of gallons of water each day and the processes to automate the processes consume large amounts of electricity and fuel.  Not to mention the cost of fuel to distribute the grain and feed for the animals. 

However, organic farms typically use about 70 percent less energy than industrial farms.  They’re about sustainability and renewable resources, not mass production, and are therefore generally more aware of their environmental impact. 

#5  Sustain Your Local Economy:

When you buy local and organically grown meat, you’re generally supporting your local farmers.  These same farmers employ local residents and you contribute to the overall quality of life for your neighbors.  Not to mention that you’re buying food that is typically fresher and healthier for you and your family - it's a win-win-win!

#6  No Antibiotics or Added Hormones:

Industrial farms argue that they have to inject their animals with antibiotics to keep them healthy and they have to inject them with hormones to increase meat production.  However, what happens to those antibiotics and hormones?  We consume them and then flush them into our waste treatment facilities where they become part of our water supply and our soil.  The environmental and health effects are only now starting to be realized. 

Hungry pigs at Polyface Farms in Virginia.
Hungry pigs at Polyface Farms in Virginia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
#7  Ethical Treatment Of Animals:

Now it’s true that the end result for the animal is essentially the same.  Unless we’re talking about dairy cows or laying chickens, most livestock ends up on someone’s dinner plate.  However, many argue that we’re all simply a collection of energy.  Whether we’re a bug on a flower, a chicken pecking at her feed or a parent making dinner for their family – we’re all energy.  And when this energy is treated well, it affects us all in a positive manner. Making sure an animal has a pleasant and happy life (however long it is), and isn't abused, is the least we can do. 

#8  Support one, support them all:

The dollar, and the consumer holding the dollar, has a mighty voice.  If you purchase organic meats, you’re helping to demonstrate to larger industrial farms what you want.  They will in turn, eventually adopt more environmentally sound practices or go out of business.  Money talks and business owners and farmers listen.

#9  Offspring:

One great thing about organic farms is that they tend to be smaller so that they can operate efficiently.  Smaller farms are more sustainable and thus more profitable.  However this means they cannot house or care for large numbers of animals.  What to do with the babies?  Offspring are often sold to other small farm owners thus spreading the diversity of livestock and helping other small farmers start and grow their businesses. 

#10  Better Green Practices Everywhere:

Believe it or not, as we change our behavior it affects others.  If you make a conscious decision to buy organic meat you’re not only affecting the farmer who raises the livestock and the folks they employ, you’re also bettering the environment.  However, your influence reaches far beyond that.  Your decision to buy organic meat is probably something you’ll talk about, even if only to one person.  Like a random act of kindness, your decision will have the same positive effect.  You’ll touch lives and others will in turn make the same decision to buy organic meat.  The end result…a better environment, better farming practices, and better health for everyone.

More About Sustainable Meat Farming Practices:
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment