Although it’s not yet a widely held belief, studies have shown the way farmers treat their livestock can have a significant impact on the quality of the organic meat they provide us.
Farming animals is often thought of as a profitable operation that is carried out simply to get lots of meat on the shelves quickly, and with as little effort as possible.
But with growing understanding of the links between animal welfare and great tasting organic beef and lamb, it makes even more sense to farm animals as naturally as possible.
According to the meat science programme conducted by Australia’s Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), factors such as stress, confinement, poor or wrong nutrition and unknown environments or companions can all contribute to lower quality meat.
In the study, which focused on cattle, animals subjected to these conditions tended to produce tougher meat. The New South Wales (NSW) Department of Primary Industries suggests this is due to a high pH level in the muscle tissue, causing a cut of meat known as ‘dark cutting’ beef.
In addition to these conditions that may lead to poor meat quality, the NSW Department of Primary Industries also suggest potential factors as extreme weather conditions during transport, exposure to other unknown animals and incorrect or rough handling.
Although some of these can be unavoidable, farming animals organically and naturally aims to provide livestock with a happy and healthy life.
Organic family farms ensure livestock are well looked after, grazing them in open pastures with other animals and in a comfortable climate. On top of this, organic farming avoids using feedlots, instead raising grass-fed beef on nutrient rich pastures.
Aside from the satisfaction of raising content and healthy animals, studies such as this prove that doing so also benefits us with delicious and tender meat on the dinner table!