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Free range/ organic meat?

Gibbons
February 29th, 2008, 05:16 PM
I'm thinking of starting to eat only free range, locally grown, or organic meats and eggs. I do know it's more expensive, but I'm basically only eating/cooking for myself at this point so cost isn't THAT big of a factor.

So I've been researching it a bit, because my one room mate is like "well, it's not like they regulate free range or organic- they can slap that label on anything!" and I can't find anything saying that they have regulated it. They've got the "certified organic" thing, but organic doesn't necessarily mean free-range or treated humanely... does it? It seems retarded to buy meat at double the price if I'm not making a difference.

Any ideas?

want4rain
February 29th, 2008, 06:19 PM
here is a nice article to read.

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/4/T043900.asp

i will see if i cant dig up somethign more scientific. :)

-ash

want4rain
February 29th, 2008, 06:23 PM
also to say-

we aim to buy local from farmers we actually know, can explore their farm and discuss their different farming methods. Mapleview (a local beef/dairy farm) is only a few miles down the road from us, they have a shop where they sell their icecream, they ship their milk to the local grocery stores, produce butter, cream, beef cuts and a few other things (they escape me right now). they are NOT labeled organic or free range or whatnot but you can GO TO the farm and SEE they are organic, free of antibiotics, they recycle the cow poop for fertilizer, grow their own grain and process their own dairy products. they even LOVE giving tours!! hire different teenagers from the local high schools AG department. :) AND they are just as cheap (or close enough to it) as other store prices.

-ashley

glitterless
March 1st, 2008, 03:44 AM
I agree with Ashley. Find a local farmer to buy from.

As far as I know, organic foods are not regulated. I believe that any farmland that has not been worked in something like 5 years (probably off on this number) can be classified as organic. So, providing only natural fertilizers are used, the crops would be considered organic. So technically, Roundup could have been used on the field 6 years ago (again...this number is probably off) and who knows for sure if that is going to affect us.

As for meat, do some research before you decide what you don't want to eat. I don't even want to think about what is in store-bought meats. On the other hand, I know what animals can get sick with and I know exactly what it takes to maintain a herd of healthy animals. I believe in vaccination and the use of antibiotics to treat bacterial infections (not as preventatives) and I will eat meat from animals who have been given such drugs. What I don't want to eat are growth hormones, birds packed full of antibiotics, and whatever else makes its way into the food chain.

Then there's the humane treatment issue as well. Will you eat eggs/poultry from chickens with trimmed beaks? Do you want to buy from a farmer who lets his birds run loose (eating insects, weeds, frogs, etc.), from a factory farm who keeps their birds in battery cages, or from a "free run" factory farm that lets those birds out of the cage, only to be crammed in tight with tens of thousands of other birds?

What about beef? Grass-fed beef is leaner and therefore probably healthier. But it will have a different flavour. Is this okay with you? Would you prefer grain fed? What kind of feed do these animals get? Is it organic feed? Or are they fed GMO corn?

The terms "free range" and "organic" are two totally different things. "Free range" insinuates that the animals are not kept in cages, while "organic" means (or should mean) that chemical fertilizers and pesticides were not used.

If possible, grow some of your own veggies! At least part of your diet will be from a known source!

Gibbons
March 1st, 2008, 10:03 AM
I'm renting right now (grr) and our rentals tend to only last a year or so - by the time I got stuff planted, we'd move again. I love gardening, and steal veggies from my parents regularly when I go home to visit, but it's just not realistic here.

I don't really care about organic, I have to say. I'm okay with cows given antibiotics and stuff. What I care about is sustainable farming methods and the humane treatment of animals. Mostly the humane part- which is why I'm interested in free range.

I can't seem to find any information on free range without having "organic" thrown in with it. Most people seem to classify them as the same, even though they state in the articles that they aren't the same :confused:

If the only way to get free range animals humanely treated and cared for (with antibiotics or whatever else) is to find a local farmer... then I guess I'm looking for a local farmer. I'm just downtown Ottawa- so I have no idea how to go about that. I guess I'll ask around.

want4rain
March 1st, 2008, 10:25 AM
i havent actually gone through any of these sites other than to give it a cursory glance.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/oa/background/organic.htm
the last lines on that site say a great deal.

http://www.ccof.org/
the california based organic certification and their standards.

some more information-
http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/Q&A.html

this is the biggest certification in our area-
http://www.tilth.org/

also, chicken is (in the USA) not allowed to be treated with antibiotics or growth hormones in ANY situation. meaning even non-organic chicken is raised without hormones and antibiotics. that says nothing for how humanely they are treated.

here is the Wiki on 'free range'-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_range

here is a page on Whole Food Markets site concerning their standards-
http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/products/meat-poultry/index.html



i hope some of those sites give you a starting point in your happy food hunt. :)

-ashley

want4rain
March 1st, 2008, 10:58 AM
I don't really care about organic, I have to say. I'm okay with cows given antibiotics and stuff.

i wish more people would be. the effects of using hormones (Estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone (three natural hormones), and zeranol and trenbolone acetate (two synthetic hormones) ) are not allowed in over the counter use for humans for the disastrous effects on our bodies and yet they are allowed in routine cow use?? it has the same disastrous effects on cows. they make them meatier, produce more milk than they naturally would... and if you ever breast fed and engorged!!! that stuff HURTS! to be like that every day of your lactating life (of which is extended long past what it should be in many cases).

antibiotics are needed to keep the cattle healthy in situations where they are not fed properly, exercised properly and are fed hormones of which damage their immune system.

check our ISawEarthlings (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1282796533661048967) (warning VERY VERY GRAPHIC!!)

i will fully admit im a coward, i covered my eyes through a great deal of that.

-ashley

glitterless
March 1st, 2008, 11:04 PM
antibiotics are needed to keep the cattle healthy in situations where they are not fed properly, exercised properly and are fed hormones of which damage their immune system.



Agreed, but even the most well cared for animals will come down with a bacterial infection from time to time. The presence of disease doesn't necessarily mean that the animals aren't being cared for properly.