When we hear the term organic, we typically think of it as applying to produce or grains. But there is such a thing as organic meat as well. What is required for beef to earn the organic label?The USDA passed rules in 2002 that set guidelines for beef to be considered certified organic meat. They include the following criteria:
- The cattle are born and raised on certified organic pasture
- They never receive antibiotics
- They never receive growth-promoting hormones
- They are fed only certified organic grain and/or grasses (Verde Farms’ organic line of beef is grass-fed and grass-finished in pastures that only contain organic grass)
- They have unrestricted outdoor access
Furthermore, the farm the cattle come from must be part of a fully verifiable production system that collects information on the history of every animal in the organic program, including their breed history, veterinary care, and feed, and are audited by third party agencies to confirm that they’re adhering to the organic guidelines.
It’s important to note that some meat you may see in the supermarket may be labelled as “natural” and that this is not the same as organic. The USDA defines “natural” beef as meats raised for human consumption that do not contain additives and are minimally processed. Producers of natural beef may choose not to use antibiotics or growth-promoting hormones, but there is no third-party verification system for this practice required by the USDA. And beef from cattle raised in feedlots can still be labeled natural.
Verde Farms’ certified organic line of beef products come from pasture-raised cattle that were raised without the use of antibiotics, hormones, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or GMOs, and carry the USDA seal. They are never confined to feedlots. They’re from grass-fed and grass-finished cattle — and we’re proud to have earned the certified organic title!