What defines organic in beef?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Hears The Water, Dec 24, 2003.

  1. Hears The Water

    Hears The Water Well-Known Member Supporter

    Aug 2, 2002
    S.W. MO
    DH John and I where having a discussion about organic beef. And I admit he raised some interesting questions. My definition of organic is "no chemicals at all in the product". But John said that there are some diseases that are required to be vaccinated against. Hoof and mouth maybee...... Anyway, I am wondering if any of you raise organic or chemical free beef and what makes it so. I like the idea of raising beef that is as chemical free as possible, but realistically I know that it may not be possible. Thanks of any help you can give to me.
    God Bless you and yours
    Hears The Water
  2. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

    May 11, 2002
    I don't know if even USDA would give you an absolute answer to your question. Yes, IMHO, 100% organic would mean from birth an animal would not have been exposed to any pesticides or herbicides (directly or residue), animal protein, vaccines and medications. If diseases are indiginous to your area, you may not have to vaccinate. If you have stool tests done and they don't show a worm (internal parasite) load, you may not need to deworm (or you can perhaps use a substitute such as DE or Shaklee Basic-H).

    I rather doubt one can get 100%, however, it can be approached.

    One of my favorate sayings is 80% of the results come from the first 20% of the effort. That may apply here also. You might not have difficultly going up to perhaps 95% just by grazing on unsprayed pastures and using whole grains as a supplement (including if they are chopped). I would avoid cotton-seed and soybean meal just on the off chance they may have herbicide or pesticide residue. Buy isn't corn also sprayed. Yes, not only in late stages of development, such as cotton and soybean plants may be. In cotton, I'm told some spray something to help the bolts open up for more efficient harvesting. If soybeans have been taken over by grasses, some spray to kill down the grasses before harvesting. Don't buy in any hay unless you known where it come from and how it was grown. The producer may have sprayed for weed control in it.

    I differentiate between 'organic' and 'grown under organic conditions'.

    Ken S. in WC TN

  3. mysticokra

    mysticokra Well-Known Member

    Feb 5, 2003
    Estillfork, Alabama
    To see the USDA attempt to define what is organic visit http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/Q&A.html#General Topics

    The problem you will soon discover is that the large agribusiness interests keep working with the USDA to water down "organic" to fit their current methods of production. You can still do a feedlot, concentration camp cattle business using organic feed and fit the criteria. Therefore, the marketing use of the label has been compromised. It will take the public a while to catch on, but they will figure it out.

    It's to the advantage of the small farmer that this is happening. By taking the time to educate the consume on why your product is "Better than Organic" you will build client loyalty, improve their ability to discern quality product and ultimately raise the bar for everyone in the business.