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Encyclopedia > Organic beef

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At the end of World War II, food production in the United States took a turn away from natural growing methods and began to rely on chemicals to improve production yields. While this was initially viewed as a positive move, the long-term effects on the land began to take their toll. Among the most troublesome were topsoil depletion, groundwater contamination, and the end of many family farms. During the 1960s, people began to recognize the harmful effects from the nation’s industrialized agriculture policy, and decided to return to what they viewed to be a more healthy way of growing food. Now, after more than 30 years, the organic movement has grown from a fringe group often criticized for their zealousness to become a niche in the mainstream marketplace. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...


Organic Beef


According to the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) Standards rules passed on October 22, 2002, certified organic beef must come from a fully verifiable production system that collects information on the history of every animal in the program, including its breed history, veterinary care, and feed. Further, to be certified as organic, all cattle should meet the following criteria:

  • Born and raised on certified organic pasture
  • Never receive antibiotics
  • Never receive growth-promoting hormones
  • Are fed only certified organic grains and grasses
  • Must have unrestricted outdoor access
  • Must receive humane treatment

Organic vs. Natural


With the arrival of the Organic label, many people wrongly assumed that the terms “organic” and “natural” were interchangeable, failing to understand the strict regulations required to raise certified organic beef. The USDA defines “natural” beef as all meats raised for human consumption without additives and minimally processed. Natural Beef producers may choose not to use antibiotics or growth-promoting hormones, but there is no third-party verification system required by the USDA. Beef from huge factory feed lots can be labeled natural, according to the USDA’s definition. Organic may refer to: Look up organic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Certified organic beef is more than a promise not to use antibiotics or growth-promoting hormones. It is a well thought out and verifiable system for beef production much closer to the successful methods used by the early pioneers of the beef industry. The goal is to improve the land and the lives of the animals raised for food by rejecting man-made chemicals offering cost-saving shortcuts at the expense of the environment and the health of the people who enjoy eating beef. Confined living conditions, common among conventional growers, are forbidden.


Grass-fed or Grain finished?


As organic cattle approach market weight, there are two feeding methods that producers most commonly use to deliver beef products to their customers: Grass-Fed and Grain-Fed. In the grass-fed program, the cattle continue to eat certified organic grass right up to the time of harvesting. The USDA is currently developing guideline to define the term Grass-Fed, and it is expected to call for an all grass diet of at least 95%. Among the first certified organic grass-fed beef companies was Mesquite Organic Foods, which is based out of Colorado. Its founder, Dr. Steve Atchley is a cardiologist who realized his patients needed a source of leaner beef for their diets. Strictly grass-fed cattle tend to be leaner and to some, less flavorful than grain-fed. Official language(s) English Capital Denver Largest city Denver Area  Ranked 8th  - Total 104,185 sq mi (269,837 km²)  - Width 280 miles (451 km)  - Length 380 miles (612 km)  - % water 0. ...


Grain finishing is more common in the industry as it produces to many consumers a more flavorful cattle with a higher percentage of fat. All grains must be certified organic to ensure the integrity of the program. Dakota Beef 100% Organic is an industry-leading example of this type of operation. Headquartered in Howard, South Dakota, the company is the largest vertically integrated organic beef producer in the nation. By overseeing all steps of production, it can ensure that its cattle are in compliance with the National Organic Program (NOP) throughout their lives. It has developed a grain-based feeding formula to deliver a well-marbled product that most consumers prefer.


North America vs. Global Supply


Some American beef producers are expanding into the organic beef niche by importing boxed beef from South America. While technically this is in accordance with the rules of the National Organic Program (NOP), it does not follow the spirit of the American organic movement. To make way for more pasture to raise cattle, great swaths of South American rainforest have been clear-cut. Additionally, the ecological advantage of raising cattle on clean land without added chemical inputs in their feed is greatly diluted when the beef is shipped anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 miles to reach American markets. South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ...


 
 

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