The U.S. Department of Agriculture has put in place a set of national standards that food labeled “organic” must meet, whether it is grown in the United States or imported from other countries. Organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals that are not given antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using pesticides and chemical fertilizers made from synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge, or bioengineering or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled “organic,” a government-approved certifier inspects the farm each year where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards.
Is All Natural the same as Certified Organic?
Because producers of Natural beef are not regulated the way a certified organic producer is, there can be a lot of variance in how their beef is raised. A producer that raises beef naturally could use antibiotics. For example, some natural beef programs only restrict antibiotic and implant use during the last 100 to 120 days prior to harvest. Beef that is raised naturally may also eat pasture and grain that was raised with chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Natural Beef programs vary widely and some are better than others regarding their restrictions.