Organic products to the test: Is organic meat really better?
We hear now on our conscience and prefer to buy organic meat. But it is as good as its reputation? We will tell you what kind of meat you can buy with a clear conscience
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In Bauer Ramckes Hof in Schleswig-Holstein District Pinneberg lively pigs rummage with jiggling curly tails in the straw. A sheep peeking around the corner, trots bleating of it. Ducks waddling through the grass. Typical organic farm? In this case, no. Thorsten Ramcke performs a conventional operation. Nevertheless, extreme mass livestock no trace. Anyone who sees this, ask: Then why organic? Ramckes animals have more space than the law dictates. In each of the pigs boxes 10 fattening pigs should be, but there are only six in it. In the Chicken Coop romp instead of the permitted 9 chickens per square meter only 7 gratifying it looks also at the food and in the administration of medications. The pig feed consists of 70 percent of old bread bakeries, only 30 percent are conventional concentrates. they only get antibiotics if a dangerous infection. "My pigs can sometimes flu from without tipping the same," says Ramcke.
Must always good meat "bio" be? No!
Even conventional meat can compete with the quality of organic meat © Jag_cz / Shutterstock.com
The good meat not always at the same time "bio" must be time the example Bauer Ramcke, as it combines advantages of conventional livestock with the organic world: low prices on the one hand, good animal husbandry on the other. To strengthen the intestinal flora and the immune system Ramckes cows receive now and then a natural mixture of apple cider vinegar and herbs. Excellent prerequisites to convert his farm one day organic, you might say. But because farmers Ramcke has no interest. "I will submit to any association, to pay contributions," he says. "Even as I sell every week a pig." The eggs of 2,000 laying hens, he is also going well because of the prices: With him the customer for 10 eggs the size L 2 euros paid - no more than for mass-produced goods in the supermarket, often even 2.50 euros costs. Similarly moderate fall in its prices for fresh meat and homemade sausage. His pork is more marbled, which intensifies the flavor.
Tastes organic meat better?
No, to say the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection. So far, a clear evidence of quality differences is not present. It is also no evidence that Bioware tastes better. In a sensory test compared experts commissioned by the Stiftung Warentest loin steaks of organically and conventionally reared animals. You rated raw and cooked meat on the criteria appearance, consistency and smell. Result of the test: smell and taste Biosteaks on average no better and do not look appetizing.
Significant differences between organic and conventional, there is defiance of test results even in quality and sensor technology. And for a simple reason. "The biggest factor is still the breed of animal"Explains Dr. Klaus Fischer, agricultural biologist at the Max Rubner Institute in Kulmbach. Organic farmers breed usually other animal species than conventional farms. Breeds such as the Swabian-Hall country pig are not optimized for maximum meat yield - let them taste great in the first place. Its fat content is often higher than that of conventional animals. At first this sounds daunting, but the taste benefited. "The fat content of a lean piece of meat should be between 5 to 10 percent"So butcher Andreas Dreymann from Ahrensburg near Hamburg, offering in his butcher shop, among other meat from Galloway cattle. Does the fat content is also true flavor - with a lower fat content, the meat tastes neutral and dry. In addition, a Swiss study found that organic meat contains more omega-3 fatty acids. Protect vessels against atherosclerosis, prevent heart disease.
By the way: Also Bauer Ramcke adheres only selected pig breeds, which are also found in organic farms: German Landrace, Duroc, anglers Saddle pig and Schwäbisch-Hall pig.
Direct marketing instead supermarket
Ramckes secret to success is direct marketing. Together with his wife Katrin, his parents and his sister operates Bauer Ramcke a farm shop and a catering service, he stands on two markets, supplying regular customers at their doorstep. Since family Ramcke sold almost everything directly to customers, and the middlemen in the supermarket, the increased prices for the consumer is not necessary. At the same time, the farmer earns more, because the supermarket pays the farmers instead of 20 cents per egg just 6 cents.
"In the supermarket chains and intermediaries earned the most money usually," says Ramcke. So deserves a conventional pig farmers, which his meat over Edeka, Rewe & Co. marketed per animal 20 to 25 euros. Thorsten Ramcke however, accounts for around 50 euros profit and can afford the same time, to allow his animals better living conditions. Instead of five months in the intensive fattening the pigs live 6 to 8 months on a farm Ramcke. The broilers reach even twice Age: 70 instead of 35 days. Their meat quality improved during this period. "The flesh shrinks in the pan, not so much and hardly bulges upward," said the farmer.
Bio-mast systems: Black sheep are also on organic farms
Factory farming, there's also organic farmers in © Dusan Petkovic / Shutterstock.com
Pigs huddle in tiny boxes without litter on the bare floor. Thousands of chickens who are crammed into a narrow hall, hardly have feathers on the body and miserable to languish. Bad images. There are images from the TV report "How cheap bio can be?". A television team of the ARD was traveling on German organic farms and has documented the conditions there. Since the question must be permitted: Is organic meat better - for the health and for the conscience? For two reasons the Ökowelt is not automatically a haven for wildlife.
First: "You can not imagine nostalgic on green meadows, the Biotierhaltung" warns Armin Valet, food expert at the center for Hamburg. "In many companies it is not about idealism, but to make money." Even in organic farms. So be allowed to live in a large hall at about the bio-mast up to 20 000 animals. Bio Although animal-friendly than conventional housing, factory farming is still allowed.
Secondly: there are also black sheep among organic farmers. "There are companies that take it not as accurate with the regulations," says Valet. So it may be about to happen that animals have less space than prescribed, get less access to open air, have less litter in the stables or do not get the food they need to get by law. Valet: "While it takes a two-pronged control of organic farms by authorities and Ökokontrollstellen place." However, it happens that Mäster ignore the regulations in part, without getting caught the same. The breaches of the Regulation it is of course money.
Organic vs. conventional: to Convert the price differences?
Often, the price pressure on food discounters such as Aldi and Lidl is made responsible for ensuring that the organic products are produced as cheaply as possible. So you have to be skeptical than consumers when Biowurst the supermarket is only 30 percent more expensive than conventional products? "Should we not," says Professor Troeger. "Organic beef is no longer much more expensive than conventionally produced." The situation is different in pigs. "Organic pork is considerably more expensive than conventional, because as expensive organic grains for animal consumption must," said Troeger. Does the sausage so organic pork are 30 percent extra charge too little - unless it is cheap imports. But you do not want to have it.
As for the health benefits for the consumer, there's no difference, apart from possible food scandals times. "Organic meat is not demonstrably healthier than conventional meat," says Professor Troeger. So you do in the first place the animals and the environment a favor.
How can the great demand are breastfed for meat?
The rich assortment of meat is gratefully accepted by the Germans © trillion Photos / Shutterstock.com
The Germans love meat. Therefore high demand. To meet these always occur larger feedlots. every German "consumed" in his life, on average, 1094 Animals: 4 cattle, sheep 4, 12 geese, ducks 37, 46 pigs, 46 turkeys and 945 chickens. This is the result of "Meat Atlas 2013", a collection of facts by Heinrich Boell Foundation, Le Monde Diplomatique and the Federation for Environment and Nature Conservation Germany comes (BUND). So 80 million German citizens need in life around 90 billion animals - or otherwise expected: more than 1 billion annually. Most of these animals actually grow up in Germany. To meet the great demand, always develop larger feedlots. Often there are up to 40,000 chickens and 2000 pigs under one roof and be brought within the shortest possible time to slaughter weight. The leader among the federal states of Lower Saxony with more than 20 million broilers and more than 1 million pigs. The largest poultry plant in the district of Vechta is home to around 630 000 chickens. The largest poultry slaughterhouse in Lower Saxony Wietze is the terminus for 27 000 chickens per hour, which is about 135 million animals per year.
As one becomes full, without sacrificing the animals?
Easy it would be to say: go vegetarian. It speaks nutritionally but also some for eating meat, about the high content of vitamin B, iron and protein. But it would be a start if all pay attention to only so much to buy, how they eat, because: About half of our food has been scrapped, the authors Stefan Kreutzberger and Valentin Thurn report ( "The Essenvernichter" Kiepenheuer & Petrovich, 17 euros).
The less meat you throw away, the less animals must be slaughtered © Mark Agnor / Shutterstock.com
Around 20 million tonnes of food thrown away each year in Germany. If you pepper less meat in the trash, you automatically ensure that fewer animals live a miserable life as pent-meat supplier. If you waive beyond the purchase of products from factory farms, help to curb the use of drugs. In larger feedlots spread infectious diseases rapidly, must then be treated. Readily and frequently antibiotics are also used when no disease is present. In the broiler often get all the animals that are housed together in a feedlot, drugs in drinking water, although few actually have disease symptoms.
The Federal Office of Consumer Protection concluded that in 2011 in Germany 1,734 tons of antibiotics have been administered to animals. It is estimated that about twice as much as in 2005 - a dramatic increase! these drugs indirectly endanger the health of consumers, because of the frequent use of ever more resistant bacteria remain which can not be treated with antibiotics. These germs can then cause fatal infections in humans. One more reason to switch to meat that has been produced according to ecological guidelines.
Bio or eco: The mean criteria in the food trade
What is biodynamic and organic-organic? You have no idea? We explain the most important criteria in the food trade
For meat check the label always accurate. However, the terms are sometimes difficult to interpret. © Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com
Biologically or ecologically: These terms ensure minimum standards in the sense of EU regulation. Thus, organic products must be produced naturally friendly way (without pesticides, chemical fertilizers, growth promoters) and without genetic engineering, artificial flavorings, colorings and flavor enhancers.
Biodynamic: The phrase goes back to agricultural principles which Rudolf Steiner formulated 1925th The founder of anthroposophy saw the farm an organism that is self-sufficient and uses all the power of the soil. Here higher requirements than in the EU Regulation.
Organically: This is about conservation to save healthy diet and getting the rural way of life in the industrialized world. Basis of incurred in the 1950 term were scientific approaches, which showed the potential of the microorganisms in the soil for cultivation. Requirement similar to biodynamic.
Integrated farming: Less stringent than bio and eco. This terminology is trying to strike a balance between environmental protection and economic efficiency by integrating production processes in natural fertilization and irrigation. (Unlike bio) is not legally protected. No legal minimum standards. Pesticides are allowed here.
Controlled quality: Sounds reassuring, but is vapor chat without value. This formulation is not regulated by law, usually serves only for marketing purposes. Finally, any vendor can control what he wants (or not). Often it is unclear what is being tested as often and by whom. Best of all, so read the fine print - or ask for.
Conclusion: Worth organic?
Despite bad apples in the organic sector, we must say: organic meat testifies generally always of animal welfare. Organic meat also contains fewer residues and is better for the environment. And your conscience can be a little easier if you access to organic meat instead of cheap discounters meat from the supermarket alternative: Who does not want to buy organic or can (price) should be best (s) seeking a trustworthy butcher who knows exactly where his meat comes. Meat should always only 2-3 a week come to the table, so to grab no reason to mass production. Buy and eat meat again conscious! Vegetarians must be no, but maybe Flexitarians? Who eat meat and fish - but rather part-time - and be aware of the origin. A good compromise.