With the outbreak of the BSE crisis in 2000, the trend towards organic livestock farming, especially cattle farming, has increased significantly. Getting good meat is no longer a problem today, because almost 21, 000 (as of 2009) German organic farms are almost all organized in one of the recognized organic associations. In addition, many butchers and supermarkets offer quality meat with quality labels. Meat from animal welfare or organic farming is more expensive, but the taste makes up for the loss in the purse.
What does it actually mean?
- The calves must be fed milk for at least 3 months.
- The animals are fed according to their needs and according to their level of development. The roughage content of the feed (predominantly grass and hay) must be at least 60% in cattle as it is ruminant.
- In the case of animal welfare, the animals increase more slowly and have to be fattened longer. This benefits the taste, as the species-appropriate feeding and muscle activity of the animals increase the proportion of intramuscular fat, which makes the meat tender and juicy.
- The animals are kept in bright airy stables, they have enough exercise and exercise.
- The food comes from your own farm or from the region.
- Antibiotics, mastics, performance enhancers, carcasses or bone meal or genetically modified imported food are prohibited.
- Short transport routes to the abattoir save the animals stress, so that the stress hormone adrenaline can not pass into the flesh. The limitation of transport times (by road, water and rail within the EU: 8 hours) laid down in the Animal Welfare Regulation is even more stringent in organic animal husbandry (maximum distance: 200 km, duration of transport: 4 hours, only in exceptional cases more),
By the way: organic farmers mainly keep animal breeds, which provide a particularly tasty meat and are well suited for the ecological attitude. These animals are also less susceptible to diseases.
When processed into sausage, organic butchers come out with few excipients. Butchers and processors who are affiliated to one of the organic farming associations must work according to their specifications. That means:
- Lactic acid is approved for the processing of natural casings and citric acid as a cutting aid in the fine crushing (cutting) of some associations.
- Phosphate, used in conventional sausage processing for binding, is generally not used.
- Although nitrite pickling salt is permitted by some associations as a color and preservative with restrictions, it is hardly used in practice. Therefore, organic sausages or kaiser often look a bit grayer than salted meat. Therefore, organic preservatives use germ-inhibiting spices such as savory and pepper, ham is salted and sausages are smoked.
By the way: organic sausages only contain organic ingredients. Spices, herbs, onions or vegetables must also be organic.
Where to take it from?
Who would have thought: All common meat and sausage products are also available as organic products, even specialties such as Munich white sausages or Nuremberg sausages. The selection is limited only to lamb, geese and ducks and highly processed products.
Directly with farmers: The best and cheapest meat is still if you buy it directly from the organic farmers. Here, however, larger quantities have to be removed, which is why this purchase is suitable for stockpiling - or you meet with like-minded people together.
Biometzger: The entire selection of meat and sausage is available at the organic butcher. Usually the meat comes from the region, many organic butcher themselves.
Organic shops and supermarkets: Organic meat counters are rare here. Mostly the meat is offered chilled and packaged. The range is not as big as in the organic butchers, but includes the most important meat and sausage products. Minced meat can be found in the freezer. Organic meat brands of the grocery retailer are for example:
- Rewe Bio (Rewe Markt)
- Organic value food (Edeka, new purchase, market purchase)
- real, - Bio (Real Market, Metro)
- tegut ... bio (Tegut markets)
- Natural Child (Tengelmann, Kaiser's)
- Alnatura (Alnatura health food stores, DM drugstore)
Incidentally, vacuum-packed meat pieces last longer than fresh meat. When you open the pack, you may get an intense smell of meat, which is not a sign of poor quality, but a sign that the "caged" and compressed smell is unfolding again. The meat should be blotted dry before preparation, but not washed off. The fat in organic beef is slightly yellowish. This comes from the carotene and shows that the animal has been in pasture for the last few months.
Organic beef is considered safe
It has been proven that organic beef provides good protection against BSE, as only small amounts of feed are purchased in organic farms and no meat-and-bone meal is fed. However, in some EU countries, cattle from organic farms also suffer from BSE. In response to this, the German associations of organic farming Bioland, Demeter and Naturland have tightened their guidelines.