Organic meat better for the enviroment?

I was talking to a co-worker today about the pros and cons of organic meat, grass-fed cows, and GMO eating cows.  I was telling him that Xan and I wanted to find a middle ground.  Xan and I are not opposed to the cows being fed corn and we aren’t really concerned about making sure the cows are eating all organic products.  We ARE opposed to the cows being fed beef and other animal by-products.  I wanted to find a meat supplier that wasn’t organic, fed their cows some grass and some grain, but NO animal by-products.

He took me over to our meat selection and showed me our different types.

ORGANIC MEAT:  I found this section kind of ironically funny.  Did you know that many of the organic meats are coming from South America because they have large grasslands to allow their cattle to roam?  Where do those grasslands come from?  By burning down the Amazon forest… Does anyone else find that just a little bit funny?  Not the burning of the Amazon, but the fact that the organic meat isn’t as fantastic as the consumers think.  Not all organic meat comes from South America but you might want to check the labels to find the origin of the meat.

FOOD YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT:  Wegmans has a label they use on many of their products called “Food You Feel Good About.”  I LOVE Wegmans for it since many of these items such as salad dressings, pasta sauces, chips, ect will be artificial preservative free.  🙂  I learned today that their meat with this label means that there are no added hormones or anti-biotics and the cows are NOT fed animal by-products.  Basically, it has what I’m looking for without the snazzy organic label.  It is more expensive than regular meat but less expensive than organic.

REGULAR MEAT:  Hard to not buy since it is the cheapest.  But… these meats (poultry, pork, and beef) are more often fed animal by-products than not so I’m deciding to significantly decrease my purchases in this area.  Not so sure that I’m going to refuse to eat out at a restaurant occasionally just because they serve regular meat though.  My intolerance to artificial preservatives already limits my eating out consumption so I’m just going to continue my life in moderation.

LOCAL MEAT:  I didn’t realize they had this section until today.  We have a small freezer across from our meat department that contains frozen meats from local farmers.  The prices are very similar to the Food You Feel Good About meats but maybe a tiny bit higher.  Still cheaper than organic and it is supporting local farmers.

Seriously, I had no idea I had this many options when it came to buying meats at a grocery store.

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3 Comments

Filed under Natural Eating

3 responses to “Organic meat better for the enviroment?

  1. Maren

    I’ve been thinking about this issue a lot lately. The conclusion I’d come to is that local meat is best because often you can go to the farms, see what is going on and how the animals are treated, etc. and they’re probably (ok, definitely) being taken better care of than the animals in the mass farms. Only problem: more expensive. My solution is to eat meat more rarely and become more creative with other sources of protein like eggs, beans and legumes. I hadn’t thought at all about what you said about organic; it never occurred to me that they would source it from so far away! Thanks for the info. Good luck in your searching. 🙂

    • Ashley Bybee Stepp

      Xan and I had already talked about going seasonally vegetarian. Okay. Let me rephrase that. I’ve decided to go seasonally vegetarian and as the cook, I get to choose. Xan hasn’t complained. 🙂 Basically, I go heavier on the meats in the winter when there is less fresh, ripe produce available and then go lighter in the summer. This is year one and with today being June 21st, I’m going to try to only buy 1-3 meats for dinners a week. We’ll see how that goes.

  2. Kristin

    My mom is the same kind of middle of the road that you are. She wants to know where her beef has been and what it has been eating, but she also doesn’t want to pay a huge amount for it. Her solution was to find someone in rural utah that would sell her half a beef. She gets all the cuts of beef for the price of hamburger and she can get it cut lean. The cows eat grass until it is time to fatten up and then they feed them corn. Half a beef is hard to fit in a normal freezer and it is a big expense all at once. I have heard of several people going in on one together. You might try looking for a butcher shop in your area and find out who brings beef in. Last time we were in South Jordan someone had a sign on 27th for buying half a beef.

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