While the conventional meat industry has experienced supply disruptions since the onset of the pandemic, including the shutdowns of meat packing plants, the organic meat sector, which “is experiencing a sharp increase in demand…has not seen significant plant shutdowns,” according to The Organic Center (TOC).
The research and education nonprofit, which operates under the administrative auspices of the Washington, D.C.-based Organic Trade Association, has released a new report examining the health and environmental benefits of consuming organic meat compared to conventional meat.
“Consumers have enough to worry about these days, and we want them to know that when they eat meat, choosing organic is especially important,” said TOC’s Director of Science Programs, Jessica Shade. “In this time of uncertainty, consumers can count on organic.”
The report, which TOC said was completed before the Covid-19 outbreak, was funded by natural and organic meat brand Applegate, which was acquired by Hormel Corp. in 2015 for $775 million.
The new report details the different standards for organic meat production and how that may improve the nutritional value of organic meat, while also reducing exposure to antibiotics, growth hormones, and pesticides.
The report also shows how organic meat production has fewer negative effects on the off-farm environment and can help reduce impacts on climate change by storing more carbon in pasture, which offsets greenhouse gas emissions.
The report, which TOC said was a review of “scientific literature” concluded that eating organic meat provides:
- greater nutritional benefits such as “more good omega-3 fatty acids, less cholesterol, and more antioxidants”
- “a lower risk of exposure to antibiotics, growth hormones and pesticides”
- “fewer negative effects on the environment and less of a contributor to climate change