We have received a few inquiries in recent weeks asking us if our meat is "organic". In Shayn's first post to this blog he gives our thoughts on the subject, as well as the vision we have for our farm. As always, we welcome your thoughts, opinions and comments!
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An opinion about "ORGANIC"
Let it be understood that this discussion is about organic as it pertains to meat and the treatment of those animals, not as it regards plants, other animals or vegetables. There have been concerned people who have asked us if the meat that we raise is "organic". The simple answer is, we are not. The reasons surrounding that decision are many. I will share two.
First, in our society we have come to believe a false pretense about the label "organic". Thus, it has become misleading in some ways. For example, the organic label on a chicken may specify what food that chicken ate while alive but does not attempt to regulate whether that chicken was debeaked or grown in a contained building with many other birds and hence exposed to some fecal contamination in the air they breathe. There are many examples of this as it relates to the raising of other animals as well.
Second, it is costly to have the organic label. The label "ORGANIC" was created by our government. If a farm would like to use that label it must pay very high fees to the regulatory government agency. Also, "certified organic" feed for the animals must be purchased elsewhere which as you can imagine is more expensive for the same reason. This becomes unreasonable when we are able to get feed for our animals that is just as good or better and is locally produced, and in the case of our cows we raise the feed ourselves. Participation in this would serve to raise our meat prices to you the consumer, rendering it too expensive for many families to have the option to eat healthy. And that in our opinion is unfair.
Perhaps another fact about "organic" is that it was created and remains under the control of the same government body, namely the USDA, that allows newly created food products to flood our market place without being sufficiently tested. Only after an ill-effect, and in some cases an individual suffers death, is there then a recall and subsequently an investigation as to whether the accused product is worthy of nationwide distribution and consumption.
In conclusion, we at Utah Natural Meat don't feel that a label from the government is warranted in order for us to be confident about the quality of our animals when in fact our animals far exceed the requirements stipulated by the USDA as being "organic". It has also been our experience that the customer who is concerned about clean, healthy food is sufficiently knowledgeable and proactive as to recognize the staggering difference among available choices in the marketplace. Our farm has always been under the philosophy of the importance of transparency. Being as we are local, all are welcome to browse the animals, approve of their living conditions, inspect the food they receive, and even learn of the humane harvesting practices in use. In contrast we invite you to visit an "organic" meat farm to derive your own conclusion. Certainly, no label could be considered better than seeing first hand that the animals at our farm meet your personal standards.
The vision we foster is to locally support our community through any necessary purchase of feed and other items from surrounding farms and to offer to that same community the clean, healthy and enjoyable meat that has been otherwise lost in the mass production of animals. If you share that vision we welcome your support!