How can meat be Organic?

‘Organic’ has become a popular term over the past 10 years. Most people have a rudimentary understanding of what organic fruit and veg is but sometimes get a little confused by the idea of organic meat. So the animals aren’t sprayed with pesticides? Great!  Of course this isn’t really what organic meat means.

In today’s blog we’ll discuss what it means to run an organic, meat producing farm, how organic food can benefit the customer and the truth behind the prices.

How are organic farms different?

Regulations on organic food differ slightly from country to country. To be a certified organic farm in the UK the producer must be registered with a DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) approved controlling body. Peelham Farm is registered with the Scottish Organic Producers Association (SOPA). Our certificates of conformity are available to view.

Standards for achieving certified organic status consist of 70 different rules and restrictions. They’re a little long to include in a blog so we’ve taken SOPA’s general overview of what organic means:

  • No Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
  • No pesticides
  • No artificial fertilisers
  • No cloned or artificial genetic breeding
  • Animals must be allowed the Five Freedoms:
    • Freedom from malnutrition
    • Freedom from thermal and physical discomfort
    • Freedom from injury and disease
    • Freedom from fear and distress
    • Freedom from unnecessary restrictions of behaviour (i.e. free range)
  • Fewer antibiotics are used (than on regular farms)
  • Animals are predominantly grass-fed
  • The land is managed is a holistic way

Compliance with all of these requirements and more allow us to supply the UK with impeccable, organic, hand-reared meat.

Can you actually tell if meat is organic?

Organic meat is more ethically viable, contains fewer chemical traces and is sustainable model for food production, but does it taste different?

We certainly think you can but we also understand that you want proof.

In general the flavour of organic food is truer to the natural taste of the fruit, vegetable, grain or animal. The difference in taste may be subtle for some people especially if you’re used to eating non-organic. However as your taste buds adjust to organic meat you’ll find that you can taste the chemicals in non-organic foods a lot more strongly.

The other difference we’ve seen that’s of real benefit to the consumer is that organic food tends to have a longer shelf life. This may be surprising given the lack of preservatives. In fact it is exactly that lack that helps some produce last longer. Certain preservatives are very sensitive to improper storage and in fact begin to break down food, spoiling it more quickly.

Is organic food worth the price you pay?

Organic food is often associated with a higher price tag. At a basic level this is true. Is it worth the extra expense? Only you can decide that.

With that said here’re a few reasons why we think it’s worth it:

  • More accurate shelf life (saving you the cost of wastage)
  • Taste
  • Environmental benefits
  • Benefits to animal welfare
  • The farming is labour intensive

If you’re still not convinced then bear in mind that the price of organic food is falling all the time. As demand grows organic farms can produce food on a greater scale, bringing down the prices. Low cost options are also available, like our Economy Pack which contains enough meat for 2 people to make 3 meals with.