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A 'hundred thousand welcomes' to friends of all things Irish, organic, and environmentally friendly. I hope you enjoy my anecdotes and little vignettes. I appreciate comments. If you like it, why not become a follower? Click on Archive and then scroll down to the very bottom for the beginning of our story. Or see: http://Ioncehadafarminireland.blogspot.com/

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Conventional vs Organic Meats

Our cattle, lambs, pigs and chickens were grass-fed. They lived a happy life in a natural, healthy environment until they went the way of all flesh. Before we produced our own on the farm, we had practically given up on meats unless it was organic−often hard to get hold of and more expensive.
In contrast to intensive farming, organically raised animals are not confined to tiny cages where they can’t move. They don’t have to live and grow in overcrowded, often filthy and inhumane conditions where they are treated as production units, i.e. they have to put on weight at top speed at lowest costs. They are treated as living creatures instead.
Conventional agriculture pumps animals full of hormones and drugs, feeds them unnatural diets, douses vegetables with chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and introduces genetically modified seeds into the environment. How can the food on your family’s dinner table not be harmful to your health?
Besides the health benefits of organic farming, there is also the environmental result of significantly less fuel consumption, less erosion, less air and water pollution and greater soil fertility.
I can’t eat chicken dishes anymore when eating out unless the menu states specifically grass-fed or free range. If you can’t get organic produce all the time, there is now the “all natural, no-antibiotic, no growth-hormones” raised chicken, pork and beef in some supermarkets here. I have my doubts about this concept, however. Out of my own experience in Ireland, I know that the organic farming status and organic label are hard to achieve and guarantee what they promise.

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