There’s an ever-growing trend nowadays to eat more organic food, believing that it’s better for our health. When it comes to organic foods, fruits and vegetables get most of the attention, but organic meat is an equally important part of ensuring that your diet contains as much organic food as possible. Of course, the cost of organic meat is considerably higher than the alternatives, sometimes double the price, which makes many of us hesitant to eat organic meat, but there are a wide array of benefits to eating organic meat that make it well worth the added cost to our food budget.
The first benefit to organic meat is being able to know where your food comes from and what exactly goes into producing the meat that you eventually eat. The government has strict regulations on what kind of meat can be given the “organic” label, so when you buy organic meat you know for a fact that no antibiotics or growth hormone went into the animal that you’re eating. You also know that everything the animal ate was organic, and that no animal parts were included. Seeing meat labeled “organic” gives you insight into how this particular animal was raised and treated, whereas meat that isn’t organic comes with no such guarantee. With organic meat, you can feel secure in how the animal was treated, and more importantly, secure that there are no additives in your meat that could make you sick or have a negative impact on your long-term health.
The health risks that come with eating organic meat are much lower than with conventional sources of meat. Organic meat is less likely to be infected with mad cow disease, which is becoming a larger concern with the meat we consume and is sometimes the cause of a meat recall, although those recalls rarely include organic meat. There are also lower levels of cancer-causing hormones in organic meat, making them far better for your health.
In addition to there being less additives than conventional meat, organic meat also has great nutritional benefits. Organic meat is lower in saturated fat than the alternatives. It also contains more omega-3 fats, which are healthy fats, as well as more conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, which is known to reduce your risk of cancer.
The slight caveat with organic meat is that there’s no guarantee that the animals have been grass-fed, although many of them are, while there is little chance that meat that isn’t labeled organic has been fed with grass. Most of the non-organic meat on the market comes from animals that have been fed with cheap grains, which lowers the amount of healthy fats in the meat you consume. Finding meat that is both organic and either free-range or grass-fed will help ensure that you’re eating the most nutritious meat available. Usually, organic meats are much more expensive, but you can get them cheaply from a hunter if you ask them nicely. Typically when they go hunting the end up with much more meat than they can use.
If the animal rights and nutritional benefits of organic meat aren’t enough, consider the fact that buying organic meat usually means buying from local farms, which is beneficial for the local economy. Most organic meat doesn’t come from big companies or large-scale farming operations, so when you buy organic meat you’re supporting small businesses in your own corner of the world. Between that and the wide variety of health and nutritional benefits of eating organic meat, not to mention the ethical treatment of animals, it should be well worth the extra money to eat organic meat.