More and more breeders decide to go for organic farming. The main reason for this decision is that it is good for the environment and for the cattle. Another important factor is the growing consumer demand for high quality foods. The text below discusses the most important aspect of organic live stock farming and beef production in the European Union.
Commission Regulation (EC) No 889/2008 of 5 September 2008 laying down detailed rules forthe implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products with regard to organic production, labelling and control describes the process of applying for the status of an organic farmin great detail. It establishes, for example, the principles of controlling organic farms and labelling of organic products.[i]
What are organic farms and why are they becoming popular? You will find the answers to this questions below. Do not hesitate to read the text!
One of the most important requirements for an organic farm is that the physiological, psychological and behavioural needs of animals are provided for. Animals are not raised in cages, instead they have ample space to move freely. Breeders are obliged to ensure permanent access to open areas for grazing (weather conditions permitting). The buildings where livestock is housed should be stocked with drinking water, feed and natural litter. Exercise areas should be ensured near the buildings. Access to light and ventilation as well as the right temperature and protection from the sun and wind are equally important.[ii]
It is very important that cattle may graze in the open. Seasonal green feed plays a vital role in cattle feeding. Cattle also eats fodder Made from plants grown in any organic farm, but at least 50% of the fodder should come from the own holding. Feed should be fresh and must not be contaminated with mould or natural fertilisers. Roughage should constitute more than half of feed ration.
In winter, animals feed on hey and silage from meadow sward. Mineral mixes and licks usually supplement cattle diet. Yong mammals should drink their mother’s milk. Animal feed is natural and GMO-free. The use of antibiotics or growth-promoting substances is forbidden. It is worth knowledge that feed obtained using natural methods does not have a negative impact on the soil.
Healthcare is based on disease prevention. Conventional treatment is allowed only in exceptional circumstances, like: life-threatening situations, reducing suffering or lack of alternative treatment. Breeders keep full medical records of their livestock. No medications are administered to healthy animals. Vaccines are administered only when required by the law or in the event of adangerous disease.
Organic breeding has a great impact on the taste of food products. The meat of animals that have permanent access to natural feed, ample exercise area and fresh airis more aromatic. Once you try organic meat, you will know that it has a fuller taste than that from factory farms. Organic meat has rich taste and aroma, and does not require any flavour enhancers. It is free of any artificial, chemical preservatives that are bad for your organism.
Results of research conducted by Karolina Wójciak from the University of Life Sciences in Lublin published in the paper “The quality of organically produced meat and meat products” confirm the thesis that organic meat tastes better than the meat of animals from factory farms.[iii]
The quality of organic meat is controlled by the Inspectorate for the Commercial Quality of Food and Agricultural Products (IJHARS). The Inspectorate monitors organic production as well as control authorities. This means that farms certified as organic are audited on a yearly basis. Farm owners receive a written notice of the scheduled date of audit, but some audits may be unannounced. This way, you can be sure that the meat you eat was indeed produced in a natural manner.
Some of the other duties of the IJHARS are to: collect and process data on organic farm owners, authorise the marketing of organic products from third countries and control the same or review requests for permission to make some changes to typical organic production.
Meat produced in natural conditions is of better quality than meat tha tcomes from factory farms. According to research comparing the convent of vitamins and acid composition in organic veal vs conventional veal conducted by the University of Copenhagen and Aarhaus University, vitamin content is higher in organic veal. Irene Fisker, the Project Leader at the Netherlands Society for Nature and Environment, believes that the reason for higher quality of organic meat is the grass that livestock feeds on. She thinks that natural feed has a major impact on the quality of meat and milk. Another important difference is the fat structure – organic meat has a higher content of omega-3acids. The difference is caused by the feeding method. The meat of animals raised on organic farms is more dense that that of animals from conventional farms. Breeding methods are equally important. On organic farms, animals have permanent access to exercise and ample freedom of movement. The fact that is life is less stressful results in higher quality of their meat. Shorter expiry dates are due to the fact that organic meat contains no preservatives. It is also antibiotic-free, GMO-free and free of substances promoting growth or other artificial additives. The owners of organic farms use natural methods to make the meat stay fresh for longer, such as lactic acid bacteria or probiotics. Eating organic meat is beneficial for your organism, as it contains no harmful substances.[iv]
We hope that this text gave you sufficient information about organic meat. Our goal is to communicate important information about natural animal breeding. To sum up, we believe that eating organic meat is beneficial for the human organism.
[ii] "Środowiskowe uwarunkowania ekologicznego chowu bydła mlecznego” (Environmental conditions of organic dairy cattle breeding) – Jacek Walczak, Agata Szewczyk
[iii] Wójciak, Karolina M.. "Jakość mięsa i wyrobów mięsnych produkowanych metodami ekologicznym” (The quality of organically produced meat and meat products) Nauka Przyr. Technol. 6.1 (2012)
[iv] Research unit of the Organic Monitor
The text also uses the following sources: