Organic meat – very trendy!

Organic meat – very trendy!

With the outbreak of the BSE crisis in 2000, the trend towards organic animal husbandry, especially cattle farming, increased significantly. Getting good  meat  is no longer a problem today, because the almost 21,000 (as of 2009) German organic farms are almost all organized in one of the recognized organic associations. In addition, many slaughterhouses and supermarkets offer quality meat with seals of approval. Meat from species-appropriate animal husbandry or ecological rearing is more expensive, but the  taste  makes up for the loss in the wallet.

What does species-appropriate actually mean?

  • The calves must  be fed milk for at least 3 months  .
  • The animals are fed according to their needs and their level of development. The roughage content of the feed (mainly grass and hay) must be at least 60% for cattle, as they are ruminants.
  • With species-appropriate animal husbandry, the animals gain weight more slowly and have to be fattened for longer. This is good for the taste, because the species-appropriate feeding and the muscular activity of the animals increase the proportion of intramuscular fat, which makes the meat tender and juicy.
  • The animals are kept in light, airy stables, they have enough exercise and exercise.
  • The feed comes from our own farm or from the region.
  • Antibiotics , fattening aids, performance enhancers, animal carcass or bone meal or genetically modified imported feed are prohibited.
  • Short transport routes to the slaughterhouse save the animals  from stress so that the stress hormone  adrenaline  cannot get into the meat. The limitation of transport times laid down in the Animal Welfare Transport Ordinance (on road, water and rail within the EU: 8 hours) is even stricter in organic animal husbandry (max. distance: 200 km, transport time: 4 hours; only in exceptional cases more) .

Incidentally,  organic farmers mainly keep animal breeds that provide particularly tasty meat and are well suited to organic farming. These animals are also less susceptible to disease.

The processing

When processing sausages, organic butchers get by with just a few additives. Butchers and processors who are affiliated with one of the organic farming associations must work according to their regulations. That means:

  • Lactic acid is approved by some associations for the processing of natural casings and citric acid as a cutter aid in fine comminution (cuttering).
  • Phosphate, used for binding in conventional sausage processing, is generally not used.
  • Although nitrite curing salt is permitted by some farming associations as a color and preservative with restrictions, it is rarely used in practice. Organic sausages or Kasseler therefore often look a bit grayer than cured meat. For preservation, organic butchers use germ-inhibiting spices such as savory and pepper, ham is salted, sausages are smoked.

By the way:  Organic sausages only contain ingredients of organic quality. Spices, herbs,  onions  or  vegetables  must also be organic.

Where to take?

Who would have thought: all common meat and sausage products are also available as organic products, even specialties such as Munich white sausages or Nuremberg bratwurst. The selection is limited only to lamb, goose and duck and highly processed products.

Directly from farmers:  The meat is still best and cheapest if you buy it directly from organic farmers. Here, however, larger quantities have to be purchased, which is why this purchase is suitable for stockpiling – or you can team up with like-minded people.

Organic butcher:  The entire selection of meat and sausages is available at the organic butcher. As a rule, the meat comes from the region, many organic butchers butcher it themselves.

Organic shops and supermarkets:  Organic meat counters are rare here. The meat is usually offered chilled and packaged. The range is not as large as in the organic butchers, but includes the most important meat and sausage products. Ground beef can be found in the freezer. Organic meat own brands of the food retail trade are for example:

  • Rewe Organic (Rewe Market)
  • Organic value food (Edeka, new purchase, market purchase)
  • real,- organic (real market, metro)
  • tegut…bio (Tegut markets)
  • Child of nature (Tengelmann, Kaiser’s)
  • Alnatura (Alnatura health food stores, DM drugstore)

By the way:  vacuum-packed pieces of meat keep longer than fresh meat. There may be an intense smell of meat when the pack is opened, but this is not a sign of poor quality, it is a sign that the “locked up” and compressed smell is unfolding again. The meat should be patted dry before cooking, but not washed. The fat in organic beef is slightly yellowish. This comes from the carotene and shows that the animal has been out on the pasture for the last few months.

Organic beef is considered safe

It has been proven that organic beef offers good protection against BSE, since organic farms only buy small amounts of feed and no animal meal is used as feed. Nevertheless, cattle from organic farms have also contracted BSE in some EU countries. In response to this, the German organic farming associations Bioland, Demeter and Naturland have tightened their guidelines even further.

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