Organic Beef Farming

Organic farming is not new to Ontario. To a limited degree, it has been practiced for a number of years on small private farms that catered to the needs of a very select group of consumers, who it seems, knew something that the majority did not. Today, people are clearly apprehensive about the quality and the safety of the food they buy, and consumers have the right to be concerned. Every week there is a new report that focuses on some problem in the food industry. Stories of genetically altered food, e-coli outbreaks, and the use of growth hormones have caused many Canadians to re-evaluate the food that they feed their families.

In addition, recent media attention focusing on the health of our environment gives consumers another reason to consider purchasing eco-friendly organic food products. Canadians that are worried about their family's health, and the health of the planet, are turning to organically produced food products such as organic beef. Certified Ontario organic beef farms offer consumers a healthy and delicious, chemical free product that has been humanly raised and with no harm to the environment. The following paragraphs will outline the benefits of organic beef farms, and how this industry is taking hold in Ontario.

Organic meat is healthier than non-organic beef because it comes from animals that have been raised without antibiotics or growth hormones and have been fed a diet free from chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides. Conventional farming methods tend to focus on producing more meat per area. Due to this, the health and sanitation of the animals to be slaughtered for food is often compromised. On the other hand, organic beef farmers focus on the quality of the cow, because this is directly related to its ability to sell the cow for meat. In the event that a cow raised on an organic beef farm becomes ill, it must be treated with antibiotics, and cannot be sold as "organic" or the farm and farmer risk losing their license of being a certified organic beef farm.

Certified organic beef is also superior to traditionally raised non-organic beef because animals are known as accumulators; in other words, they become whatever they are fed. For this reason, every successful organic beef farm begins with quality soil, because healthy soil produces healthy livestock, which in turn promotes healthy people. By purchasing certified organic beef, consumers are guaranteed meat that has met the strictest standard of quality and safety.

So what quality and safety guidelines does organic beef undergo?

* Ensuring there are no pesticides, antibiotics, or hormones.
* Making certain there are no nitrates, nitrites, or preservatives.
* Guaranteeing the seed or feed used as food for the animal is not genetically modified, nor was it raised with herbicides, pesticides or chemical fertilizers-the cattle can only be fed 100% certified organic feed and pasture.
* Making sure animals are never fed animal by-products.
* Assuring animals have full access to the outdoors, freedom of movement, and humane treatment as defined by the Humane Society of the United States.
* Ascertaining that the farm is enforcing the strict standards required to be considered "certified organic". This involves the farm and farm records being inspected every year by a third party to ensure the standards are being enforced.

Many firmly believe, organically raised beef tastes better as well. Perhaps this is because the cattle are raised to produce the finest, chemical-free beef product on the market, using the most environmental and humane methods possible.

Today more people than ever before are buying organic, and Canada's food industry is adapting to capture this rapidly growing segment of the market. To meet the overwhelming customer demand, large grocery store chains are continuously expanding their selection of organic foods. Despite the expense and time consuming transition, each year, more and more farmers are switching from traditional farming methods in favour of organic farming, as they become aware of the expanding market for organic food and more knowledgeable about its benefits. No longer considered a niche market, organic food is emerging as the next big trend. Ontario's organic beef farms will continue to prosper as consumer demand for safe, premium quality beef is unlikely to diminish. Purchasing foods that have been produced by a certified organic farm is the only way to feel 100% confident in the food we consume.

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About The Author, Thomas Ahrens
Betolianni Farms is certified by OCPP – Canada's foremost national certifier of organic food products. They produce organic beef from free-range Black Angus cattle using 100% organic farming practices. As well as retail and wholesale custom beef orders, they service fine restaurants and institutional suppliers. For more information or to purchase organically fed Angus beef, please visit Betolianni Farms or call Thomas Ahrens at 705-745-6051.