Organic beef producer stands firm

An organic beef producer has said that the recent Food Standards Agency (FSA) report on organic food will have little impact on consumer confidence in buying organic beef.

Organic beef farmer and Soil Association commercial director James Twine has said that the study into organic food, led by a team of researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, failed to cover much of the evidence which shows the positive effects of organic food, and pointed out some of the benefits of eating organic.

He said: “There are limited studies on the health benefits of organic versus non-organic food, which was also acknowledged by the FSA. Having said that, meat from grass-fed animals is higher in essential fatty acids. Research suggests that a diet high in forage (grass, hay, silage) rather than grain reduces the saturated fatty acid concentrations and enhances the content of Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in beef. Organic standards require that cattle be fed on predominantly forage-based diets.”

Twine added that most consumers buy organic meat because it delivers on a wide range of benefits, not just including health, such as animal welfare and climate change mitigation, and that the report ignored the damage to health pesticides caused in non-organic farming.

“It is also worth noting that the report actually did say organic food contained more nutrients, which the FSA press release conveyed as ‘no important differences in the nutrition content’,” Twine said.

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