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Can organic, sustainable meat producers compete?

10/9/2011 6:41:47 PM

Tags: organic meat, food subsidies, correct size of meat serving, Cole Ward

Americans have been spoiled by cheap food, due mainly to government farm subsidies. Now I’m not advocating for or against this – we just need to understand their effect on the food chain. 

Most meat consumers are not educated about the way our commercial food chain has been poisoning us for years.  Naturally, when they do learn and try to buy local organic, antibiotic- free or hormone-free meat, they get major sticker shock.

They don't realize that these prices reflect the true cost of raising the meat and allow the farmer to make a reasonable profit. I'm not sure organic sustainable farmers can ever compete, unless they can be subsidized to level the playing field.

One of the things I try to educate my customers about is that the old rule of thumb about meat serving size of a half pound for boneless meat and a pound for bone-in meat does not apply to local or organic meat. I usually suggest a quarter to a third of a pound if boneless and a half to three quarters of a pound if bone-in. 

I let them know that there are more nutrients  in the unadulterated local or organic smaller serving than in the commercial feed lot meat’s larger serving. Eating a bit less does cut the cost … and it’s much better for your health. If one can afford sustainably raised organic meat, the health benefits are immeasureable.

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