Many people wonder if the taste of organic beef is different than non-organic varieties.
Producing Organic Beef
In order to bear the certified organic label, organic beef manufacturers must adhere to a strict set of rules that include, but are not limited to:
- No use of antibiotics - Antibiotic use is strictly forbidden in organic beef manufacturing. If cow becomes ill and needs antibiotics, many times, the organic beef farmer will pull the cow from the organic lot.
- No growth hormones - Many traditional beef manufacturers utilize growth hormones in the hopes of producing a bigger cow and therefore selling more meat and in turn increasing profits. Organic manufacturers cannot use such hormones.
- Organic feed - Manufacturers of organic beef can use only organic grains and feed for their cattle.
- Free range - Cattle for organic beef must be free range and not kept in cramped pens. This basically means the cows are able to wander wherever they want on the ranch.
- Forbidden use of toxic pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and fungicides.
With all of these positive aspects, some people still wonder about the organic beef tastes. Well, it does taste different from traditional beef, but in a good way. Of course the matter of taste is purely subjective.
Very Few Taste Tests
Research about the taste of organically produced beef versus traditional feedlot produced beef is still a bit sketchy. Truthfully, there are hardly any independent taste test results, pitting the taste of organic beef versus the taste of traditional beef. Mark Schatzker a writer for Slate Magazine decided to tackle the issue of which type of beef truly tastes better. That's about it. There are a few reasons why there are not that many blind taste tests of organic beef versus traditional beef out there. Here are just a few of those reasons:
Find Organic Beef
Organic beef is bit more difficult to find than traditional beef. It's not impossible and most grocers carry one or two brands of organic beef on their shelves. The reason why it is difficult to find is because the cost of organic feed is astronomically higher than non organic feed. As a result, a significantly lower amount or organic beef versus traditional beef is produced annually.
The flavor of organic beef depends on many things:
- Farming conditions
- Type of grasses the cattle is fed
Due to these variances, organic beef can taste different from manufacturer to manufacturer or year to year.
Discovering the Taste of Organic Beef
The best way to learn about organic beef and how you feel about it is to conduct a taste test for yourself. While you are doing so, keep these organic beef facts in mind:
- Grass fed organic beef is leaner - When cows are grain finished, it is done specifically to fatten them up. They get fatter and more fat ends up on your cut of steak. Grass fed organic beef manufacturers who do not grain finish beef produce a leaner cut of meat.
- You aren't eating any preservatives or additives - Many studies have been conducted over the years regarding the long term effects preservatives have on the human body. Most studies conclude that while in the short run, additives and preservatives may not be harmful, in the long run, they are.
Even though the taste of organic beef is purely subjective, there are a few things that are certain about organic beef:
- The animals are treated humanely
- The risk of contracted diseases via organic beef such as Hand-Foot-Mouth and Mad Cow disease are virtually non-existent.
- You aren't eating trace amounts of toxic pesticides
So, go ahead, do your own blind taste test and decide, objectively, if you prefer the taste of beef that is organic or beef that is not. You may find that you like it.