Who Benefits from Organic Farming? A Summary on Organic Animal Products

Now that I’m done with the interview process (which went well, I think), I’m back to the normal blogging schedule. I’ve previously discussed organic dairy farming and organic eggs, so today I wrap up our discussion of organic animal products and the pros and cons. Of course, the pros and cons vary depending on whose perspective you look at it from, so I’m including that information in each pro and con.

Pro: (for farmers)–better price for their products, which makes small farms more financially viable.

Pro: (for animals)–guarantee of somewhat better living conditions (i.e., access to the outdoors).

Pro: (for everyone)–antibiotics not used, so in theory should eventually reduce the proliferation of superbugs. It’s important to note we’re not seeing this happen much yet. Resistance takes a while to disappear in bacterial populations.

Con: (for farmers)–a lot more paperwork to show they’re actually following the rules for sourcing organic feed, giving animals access to pasture for the required number of days per year, etc. This is a heavier burden for small farmers with few employees or family-run farms.

Con: (for animals)–inability to use antibiotics on organic animals could lead to farmers putting down animals which could be cured with antibiotics or trying home remedies which may not be as effective.

Con: (for consumer)–organic food costs a lot more, so it’s not accessible to lower-income urban populations and is a pain for everyone else.

Con: (for consumer)–there’s no evidence that organic animal products are actually  safer or more nutritious than those from conventionally-raised animals.

Con: Reduces willingness to support conventional farming practices which can reduce global hunger.

In the end, it’s your choice what you buy, and what factors are most important. Hopefully this series has made you a more informed consumer, so whether you choose to buy organic or conventional products, you have facts behind it.

Next week, we dive into conventional vs organic crops, and following that, the GMO controversy.


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