Organic Meat or Regular Meat?

Author: Safetech Environmental Ltd | | Categories: Sustainability , Toronto

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We often hear that organic food is better for the human body and the environment. Indeed, organic food provides more nutrients and has a lesser pesticide residue. Although there are also numerous cons to organic food, such as its price and inability to stay in the fridge for too long, organic food is generally encouraged to be consumed. 

One would think that this would be applicable to consuming organic meat too; note, organic meat is when animals are not fed with food that is produced using fertilizers. However, a recent study published in the Natural Communications journal from the Technical University of Munich, suggests that organic meat production produces approximately the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as conventional meat production methods. 

The paper then went into more detail. 

It found that when producing beef or lamb, carbon emissions were essentially the same for organic and conventional methods. However, when producing chicken, the organic method actually produced more emissions than the conventional method. This was vice versa for pork production.

To say the least, these results were shocking! How is it possible that producing organic meat actually hurts the climate just as much?  

Well, let us break down what the study found in simpler terms. The data revealed that initial emission reductions from growing organic food is offset by more methane being produced as a result of the animals growing at a slower rate. And did you know that animals that are fed organically also produce less meat? It’s true. Therefore, to offset this, more animals have to be raised which produces even more methane emissions when compared to conventional methods. 

The real question comes down to which meat should we purchase then? To that, it would be best to choose neither option because it is clearly evident from a greenhouse gas emissions standpoint, that being vegan or vegetarian will without a doubt help out the environment the most! 

However, we understand that diet is personal and requires a lot of commitment. Instead, we encourage you to take steps to reduce your overall meat consumption. A perfect example is adopting meatless Mondays! 

Whatever you decide to do, whether big or small, we thank you for taking the initiative to help out the environment. And we would love to hear your story, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us on any social media!