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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

Why Buy Organic Meat & Dairy?

Nov 02, 2008 02:52PM
  Eating fewer animal products is a good choice for us and for our environment. When we support farms that ethically take care of the animals they raise in a more humane way, we provide healthier choices for our families and support healthy and ecological neighborhoods. Look for farm products that meet these criteria: NO ANTIBIOTICS, HORMONES, GMO FEED OR OTHER DRUGS

Animals raised organically cannot be fed antibiotics, genetically modified foods, or the bovine human growth hormone (rbGH) or other drugs. The animals receive certified 100 percent organic feed and a wider range of nutrients than those raised in factory farms.

Organically raised animals have been shown to be significantly healthier than their factory-raised counterparts. The products from these animals carry a certified organic label.


The practice of feeding cattle the ground-up remains of other cows appears to cause mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, which destroys the central nervous system and brain, and can pass to humans who eat the cows. In humans, it has a long latency period, and causes Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.  This practice is outlawed in organic production.


Free-range and ranch-raised animals are not confined. They spend much of their time outdoors in the fresh air.

Factory farms treat animals like commodities, holding them in tightly confined pens. Often, they never move more than a few feet their whole lives.


Sustainable farms use their manure productively as organic fertilizer, recycling its nutrients. Industrial farms produce so much manure that it becomes a larger health risk, contaminating wells and waterways with E. coli and other pathogens.


Organic agriculture uses crop rotation and other techniques to improve soil fertility, instead of synthetic chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Organic livestock are not fed food containing these chemicals, which concentrate in animal fat, so our exposure to such toxins is reduced.

Farmers working on organic farms also are exposed to fewer chemicals. Organic farming safeguards groundwater, topsoil, habitats and neighborhood health.


Small, sustainable farms tend to raise a wider variety of livestock; industrial farms rely more upon monocultures. We support a healthy gene pool by purchasing diverse foods.


Organic farms use 70 percent less energy than factory farms through careful ecological management that leverages nature’s checks and balances to solve pest problems and preserve topsoil from erosion. When we buy from local farms, we also reduce the distance food travels from field to table.

In producing, transporting, processing and marketing food, typical factory farms operate on cheap, nonrenewable fossil fuels. Their heavy pesticide use both contaminates groundwater and soil and fosters erosion.


When we buy our meat and dairy products from an organic stand at a farmers’ market, we support that farm and the whole concept of healthy food, ensuring its continued availability. If we don’t, we are likely supporting the less wholesome practices of the multinational food industry.

Buying organic animal products, rather than conventional versions, is better for our family’s health, our community and our world.

Adapted from:, an article by Annie B. Bond.

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