With Australian Certified Organic recording incredible growth within the organic meat industry sector, it might be more common to hear terms like ‘free range meat’ and ‘naturally farmed animals’.
Though such terms do sound positive, many people want to understand what really constitutes raising livestock naturally.
Here’s what organic meat producers really mean when they say their animals are farmed ‘the natural way’:
They graze on open pastures
Cattle and sheep are herd animals, who thrive off company and require almost constant access to grass. Usually, sheep graze for 9 to 11 hours per day, while cows graze for 4 to 9 hours. Grazing animals on open pastures rather than using feedlots or confinement best emulates the way they would live naturally.
They are grass-fed
A sheep or cow’s diet naturally consists mainly of grass, with some animals requiring supplement of grains or minerals when pasture quality is low. Grass-fed animals provide tender, lean organic meat that has been linked to health benefits such as reduced heart disease risk. In addition, it provides animals with their natural and therefore optimum source of food. Arcadian beef graze on lush Tasmanian grass produced by abundant rainfall and fertile soil.
No hormones, antibiotics or genetically modified material
Animals farmed naturally are not given any hormones, antibiotics or steroids that may be present in animals farmed via other practices. They are also free of genetically modified materials – we believe our animals are just as healthy (and tasty) without additives that could be harmful to human and animal health.
They are treated with respect
Organic meat producers want to raise their animals right. Causing minimal interruption to livestock’s natural environment and behaviours results in animals that have been treated humanely and fairly. The result is peace of mind and meat that tastes better than your usual supermarket cut.