What Does USDA Organic Mean?
As stated by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), "The primary goal of organic agriculture is to optimize the
health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals, and people". Organic production is based on health and not speed. It is a more beneficial way of farming --for both society and the environment.
When you buy meat labeled "USDA Organic", you can be assured that it was produced using the strictest organic production
and handling standards in the world. Livestock can never be treated with antibiotics or hormones. Synthetic pesticides, herbicides and GMOs are prohibited for organic livestock feed. Livestock must have access to the outdoors --fresh air and water, sunshine, grass and 100% grassfed.
Before a product can be labeled "organic", a government approved certifier must inspect the farm and facility where the
food is produced and processed, to make sure that all necessary regulations are followed to meet the USDA organic standards. Livestock that are raised organically offer many benefits to humans and the environment. Practices used by organic farmers are kinder to both the environment and animals.
Pesticide Use and the Environment
Organic farmers have a dedicated obligation to their land to keep it healthy and clean, and create sustainability. Organic
feed and pasture grass are grown without the use of most synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and artificial fertilizers, so these
elements are never released into the environment. Crop rotation, compost and cover crops, among other practices, take
the place of conventionally used pesticides and change the field ecology, disrupting the habitat of weeds, pests, and disease. Through good plant nutrition and management, organic farmers can control these otherwise destructive environmental factors.
Humane Treatment of Animals and Free-Range Living
Animal welfare is a large part of organic farming. There are strict standards in place to ensure that livestock are treated
humanely and allowed to live a natural life. Livestock must have access to the outdoors, fresh air and water, and 100%
organic grass. With organic farming techniques, animals are not confined to small, overcrowded pen areas where sickness and disease are commonly spread. Because of this, organic animals live a less stressful life; thus, a healthier animal is bred.
No Antibiotics and Hormones
To promote growth, non-organic livestock are often injected with hormones and treated with
preventative antibiotics. Organic standards prohibit the use of these treatments. With USDA
Certified Organic meat, you can be assured that you and your family are never over-exposed to unnecessary antibiotics and hormones.
No GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)
Organisms are often genetically modified to create some sort of benefit --pest resistance, increased growth speed and yield, a desired crop characteristic. In doing so, there can be undesired residual effects. GMOs are permanently altered from their natural state.
Organic farming practices strictly prohibit GMOs.
To improve texture, taste, color, and shelf life, many processors use additives such as sulfites and synthetic coloring that may be harmful to humans and the environment. Organic food can never contain additives.