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Thursday
Feb172011

What's In a Name?

ETA:

It appears that we should add an update at the beginning of this post as some comments we receive ask about corn, soy & GMOs in our animal's diets. As stated in other areas of our website we currently do not feed them corn or soy and their feed is GMO free. This post was written in 2011 and since 2013 we have been able to find alternatives to use, including our sprouting greenhouses.

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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!

Reader Comments (8)

It baffles me to how complacent people have become in regards to "quality of life" standards. About a year, I was a passenger pulling up to fast food window and saw a sticker on the drive through window that stated something to the effect of: Food purchaced from this facility may contain chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer. I myself do not eat fast food and could not believe that people would read that and eat it anyways... My point is you are exactly right.... Actions speak loud and your natural humane efforts and farm standards; are why people choose to support you.

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTammie Rain

Do you make sure the food you feed your animals is GMO-free? I don't care so much about the "organic" label, but I do care about GMOs.

Thanks!

October 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Jennifer,

We wish it was easy to keep GMOs out of our animal feed. Currently the grains we feed contain some corn & soy, both of which are a GMO. We have found a farmer to raise GMO-free corn for us, but soy is a problem. Even if we find a farmer to raise it, there is nowhere in Utah to process it. Purchasing certified organic feed is also difficult because we have to get it from other states and the shipping costs are outrageous. We are working with a nutritionist to try and find a replacement for those two grains but have yet to find a suitable substitution.

In the meantime, we continue to make sure all of our animals are treated properly and with respect, and have access to fresh, green grasses because it is so beneficial to both the animal's health and our health.

October 5, 2012 | Registered CommenterKristen

Just curious where your feed is at on the Gmo front...are your birds
Now getting Gmo free corn and have you been able to reformulate
On the soy front...thanks kindly for you reply! And another question I
Am Curious about: do you use "azomite" in feed or for example in greenhouse
Greens to help remineralization soil and for supplemental trace minerals for poultry,
Etc? As it is perhaps mined not to far from you? Thanks again for transparency!

August 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMiles

More and more I've been bothered by the idea that the food I consume contributes to misery and torment in another life so I'm very happy to find you're farm in my own backyard!

I appreciate your balanced perspective on organic and GMO foods. There's a great book called True To Our Roots about the Fetzer Winery's use of a triple bottom line - business decisions must be good for business, the employees, and the planet. It sounds like you're following similar policies. I encourage you to keep looking for local organic and GMO-free feeds - as farmers see there's a market they'll move to fill it. Just as you've done. Thank you!

September 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterL'aura

We were attracted to your company because of the way you treat your animals and because they were grass-fed. We definitely understand the reasons you haven't chosen to pay enormous fees to state that you are organic and hope that your don't spray any of your fields with harmful pesticides and herbicides. As we were trying to decide whether to get the Angus or Coriente beef, I just read on your website above that you feed your animals GMO soy and corn.....a big concern to me as we are trying very hard to stay away from those foods because of the research I've read. It's great that you have found a source for non-GMO corn.....can't you just eliminate soy altogether from their diet? I certainly eliminate it from mine as such a high percentage of soy grown in the US is GMO? I realize that you are a professional farmer and my knowledge about agriculture is limited, except that I really don't want to buy any product containing GMO products and I would like to be enlightened as to your choice to use it. We really want to purchase our meat from you, but need to feel peace about what is fed to your animals. We're also looking forward to buying raw milk from you when it becomes available.

September 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Simmons

Soy is fine fermented and eaten in very small quantities (as they do in Asia), but over 170 scientific studies have shown that eating soy on a regular basis is bad for you. Soy has not been traditionally been part of an animal's diet, either. I'll be glad to buy your products when it's GMO free and soy free.

February 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterS

Please see the update to our post at the top of the page. As of 2013 we no longer use corn or soy and our animals' diets are GMO free. More information can be found throughout our website or feel free to email us with questions.

March 9, 2015 | Registered CommenterKristen

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