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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

Since the cost of organic is so high Im wondering if I can feed regular feed for a certain amount of time then switch to organic to finish. The pork is for myself and friends so its not about being certified or marketing. Its about spending less money and still getting basically most of the properties of organic.

Ive heard people talk about changing out the taste with 3 months of feeding, but im wondering if there's a formula to figure out when I should start feeding organic. I'd also like to know this for cattle and poultry as well.

I did a search for organic finishing, but it turned up nothing. I can understand why farms that sell the meat can't do this, but is anyone doing this for their own freezer?
TIA
 

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I have researched organic and GMO considerably. This is basically a question of chemicals or no chemicals. Genetically modified, or not genetically modified. The purpose of feeding organic is to raise pigs who do not have chemicals or GMO's in their system, therefore you would be consuming pork that had not been exposed to either (in theory)

In practice, I am not sure all Organic growers are 100% honest about their practices, but that is another debate all together. The taste difference between organic corn and regular corn in a finished meat product would probably be indistinguishable. So if you are doing it for better taste, you are probably wasting your money. Now if you are wanting to get chemical free and gmo free pork, and you plan to only feed organic the last few months, you are probably also wasting your money doing that.

Here is how I would see it, if a person believes organic is chemical free and gmo free and wants to finish on organic feed, but feed them the rest of the time on normal feed. Lets say you want to drink pure spring water, but to save money you are going to fill your glass 3/4 full with tap water, then 1/4 full with spring water??? Honestly that is how I would view what you are proposing.

Now, you may be proposing that the finishing will purge their bodies of the chemicals and unknown affects of gmo feed?? Well, if all the negative affects of chemicals and gmo's can be purged from the body in 3 months, are they really anything to worry about anyway???

I am not for or against organic feed. I am just trying to figure a logical benefit to what you are proposing to do?? I do not think you will see much benefit in it? But, I have been wrong before?? maybe someone else will think differently?
 

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You aren't going to see any difference finishing w/ organic feed vs non GMO vs GMO feed. Its all about marketing a product. Organic feed isn't any more nutritious (disputed studies abound) than other feeds. If I raise alfalfa on 2 farms, one certified organic, one not. Fertilize both with manure, etc etc, what really is the difference?
 

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idigbeets, For me organic isn't about organic being more nutritious, it is about organic not having the herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and other things like that in it. I choose to grow my food organically because I don't want to poison myself or my children. I also don't want to support Monstersanto and other GMO companies who's nasty policies I disagree with. There are a lot more facets to organic.

Back to the original poster's question, yes, you can finish organically if you want. The deeper the period of organic feeding the more benefit of organic feeding. Choose the mix that works for you. The simplest is pasturing if you have organic pastures which is pretty common.

-Walter
 

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I don't wanna turn this into organic vs non organic. I'll say that there are a wide variety of practices (organics use pesticides, fungicides too, that are equally dangerous, herbicides to a lesser extent) in agriculture. I know plenty of farmers who aren't organic, who don't raise GMO, who don't spray pesticides and fungicides, but aren't organic.

However, as far as feed goes, GMO soybeans and corn are the only thing to worry about, there is no gmo alfalfa (or any other legume), wheat (in widespread production,not talking about Oregon trials), and other small grains.

IMO its not worth the cost to "finish" with organics. If you are going to go organic and want to sell/market as that, go all in. Otherwise it's just a waste of money on a product you can't actually call "organic".
 

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Without more input from the OP it is hard to know exactly what his end goal is. He does mention wanting the "Properties" of organic. Since he is talking about the high cost of "Organic" I understand that he does not have pasture, but is comparing normal store bought grain to organic store bought grain. If this is the case, I guess I do not see the point much. Lets say you are going to feed out a 8 month butcher pig. Can someone honestly tell me what would be gained by going to your local feed store and buying regular grain feed for say 5 or 6 months, then for the last 2 or 3 months buying much higher priced organic grain feed? I could be wrong, but that is what I think the OP is proposing? Is there a belief that you can purge the bad stuff believed to be in regular grain out by doing this?
 

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Hi,

Since the cost of organic is so high Im wondering if I can feed regular feed for a certain amount of time then switch to organic to finish. The pork is for myself and friends so its not about being certified or marketing. Its about spending less money and still getting basically most of the properties of organic.

Ive heard people talk about changing out the taste with 3 months of feeding, but im wondering if there's a formula to figure out when I should start feeding organic. I'd also like to know this for cattle and poultry as well.

I did a search for organic finishing, but it turned up nothing. I can understand why farms that sell the meat can't do this, but is anyone doing this for their own freezer?
TIA
My Sows get pasture and natural raised grain. Wheat,Corn, Barley , etc. The Sows piglets get milk from the Sow that is about as free of bad chemicals as can be. All my pigs get natural feed raised here on my farm. Changing over to organic finishing after a few months of being on comm feed is not going to flush out the bad chemicals in the pig that it got from comm feed or from the milk from a Sow that has been on comm feed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for everyone's comments. It is certainly an ongoing process of learning with livestock and I really value what everyone brings to the discussion. I live in northern CA where we have steep forested areas and NO grass due to the drought. I wanted to do pasture-raised, but people around me that market pasture-raised pork say they let their pastures rest an entire year. Since i have other livestock (and lots of predators) at this point its not possible. Im in the process of learning what all the labels (and the loopholes) mean, but for me, and mostly my young kids, I want to try to stay as close to natural/organic as possible. I was actually asking its its possible to purge out the bad stuff. My pork is for my family and friends so Im upfront about what goes in and my 'pig partners' are ok.

Thanks again
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Done. I dont see my zone listed, just the state, but I put in zone (hardiness zone 8b and Sunset 15) in my profile.
 
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