Research shows that organic meat is better for people and the planet
When you eat meat, choosing organic is especially important, because meat production can have cascading effects on human health, animal welfare, and the environment. There is a long chain of resources that support the animals used for meat production. Choosing organic at the grocery store has an added value when it comes to supporting sustainable production, because you are not only ensuring that the animals are raised without synthetic chemicals and have high welfare standards, but also that all the food that animals eat comes from organic sources that support soil health and biodiversity.
This project gathers together scientific literature that shows the differences in the way organic meat is produced, and why those differences are important for the health of the animals, the health and safety of consumers, the health of the soil and the impacts on climate change. We cover the different standards for organic meat production and how that may improve the nutritional value of organic meat, while simultaneously reducing exposure to antibiotics, growth hormones, and pesticides. We also share evidence that organic meat production has fewer negative effects on the off-farm environment and can help reduce impacts on climate change by storing more carbon in pasture, which offsets greenhouse gas emissions.
The report finds the organic standards followed by organic meat producers result in:
- Greater nutritional benefits in organic meat -- more good omega-3 fatty acids, less cholesterol, and more antioxidants;
- A lower risk of exposure to antibiotics, growth hormones and pesticides
- Fewer negative effects on the environment and less of a contributor to climate change.