Meat is a nutrient dense part of our diet, and so even when it is a small part of our diet it has a big health impact based on the essential minerals and fatty acids we take from it when we eat and digest.
So the first question is 'why bother with being healthy?' Well, consider the UK where people have been exposed to coronavirus, and there is now a massive debate on how to change the underlying health of the population because obesity and diabetes are statistically linked to more severe outcomes. Of course, this debate existed before with less urgency because the same conditions are statistically linked to other health conditions.
After adjusting for different age structures over time, the prevalence of overweight and obesity among Australians aged 18 and over increased from 57% in 1995 to 67% in 2017-18. Over this time period, the prevalence of obesity increased substantially, from 1 in 5 (19%) in 1995 to 1 in 3 (31%) in 2017-18. (Source: aihw.gov.au)
We understand that there is no consensus on solutions, and indeed every individual has different lifestyles and solutions. However, the industrialised food system has delivered more processed food over time, with less nutrients in that food, and meat is part of that trend. As livestock is reared more intensively there is financial incentive to fatten on grains, and to fatten with hormones and antibiotics (yes, antibiotics fatten - it's not not just about disease control). The new Koojan Downs feedlot in WA is designed for 100 day grain feeding for 40,000 head of cattle. 'Grain fed' is even marketed as a good thing to pay more for!
Meat is a nutrient dense part of our diet and so it is important to maximise the benefits. Organic farms produce meat without the grain, antibiotics and hormones. The grass fed livestock is eating grass and other plants growing free of pesticides and so chemical residue is not in the meat you eat. Our farms are Certified Organic so they can prove they are following these standards.
The UK Soil Association summarises the nutritional case for organic meat as follows - The hard work organic farmers put into caring for their crops and animals pays off in the quality of the food they produce. Research has found significant nutritional differences between organic and non-organic farming:
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2014 showed that organic milk and meat contain around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than non-organic. These nutritional differences also apply to organic dairy like butter, cream, cheese and yoghurt.
The difference in Omega 3 is because organic animals eat a more natural, grass-based diet, containing high levels of clover, which is used to fix nitrogen on organic farms, replacing chemical fertiliser.
Organic meat had slightly lower concentrations of two saturated fats, and organic milk and dairy were found to contain slightly higher concentrations of iron, Vitamin E and some carotenoids.
What's more, organically produced crops (cereals, fruit and vegetables) were found with up to 68% more antioxidants than non-organic, whilst organic fruit and veg contained lower concentrations of pesticides and the toxic heavy metal cadmium.