Once seen as a passing trend, those looking to buy organic beef often had to look outside the United States to get the best product. In the late 1990's and early 2000's, many were looking to South America for their organic beef needs, but soon found that some South American farmers were decimating rain forests in order to make way for organic farming. That, in combination with the cost and environmental consequences (fossil fuel use and pollution to ship the meat thousands of miles) turned many American consumers off to South American organic beef.
Rules and Guidelines
Soon, beef farmers came to the realization that organic beef was not just a trend, but a fast growing market. U.S. regulator soon followed and in 2002, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) enacted a set of rules and guidelines for organic beef farmers that include:
- Prohibition of the use of:
- Growth hormones
- Chemical preservatives
- Chemical fertilizers
- Chemical pesticides
- Chemical herbicides
- Packaging must be at a certified organic plant
- Organic beef farmers cannot feed the cattle animal by-products
- Cattle must be grain or grass fed
Best Organic Beef Company
There are plenty of good organic beef companies, but the best organic beef company goes beyond federally mandated guidelines to be sure the consumer receives the highest quality organic beef products.
Alderspring Ranch is a small organic beef farm that has been raising grass fed beef for over a decade. A ranch hand processes all of their cuts of beef to ensure they sell only the best cuts to their consumers. Aldersprings goes to great lengths to make sure that only the best organic meat is sold under their name. A great example of this is the way they handle the need for antibiotics. If they find it necessary to treat any of their cattle with antibiotics they do not let the cow be processed for organic labeling instead of waiting the mandatory "withdrawal" period as determined by the USDA.
Weigh the Benefits
Though it is a bit more expensive to buy organic beef as opposed to traditionally raised and processed beef, the benefits far outweigh the costs. Organic beef farmers are more likely to treat their animals humanely from start to finish and most farm using environmentally friendly, sustainable farming practices.