Choosing Ethical Beef
Australia’s meat standards is one of the best in the world, having incredibly high standards for the health and welfare for beef cattles. Furthermore, Australia has a national tracking system (NLIS) that every single animal’s movement is tracked through the whole of its life.
In the process of choosing ethical beef, we must first begin to understand how cattles are fed. Cattles in Australia are either labelled as grain fed, grass fed, or organic. We will now break down of what these terms mean.
Grain Fed Beef
Cattle in Australia must be fed grain for more than 60 days before they can be classified as grain fed.
Grass fed beef comes from beef cattle raised in pastures rather than on feed lots. In Australia, 97% of sheep and cattle are grass fed at any one time. However, grass fed cattle can still be fed grain when the pasture is poor or if their feed needs supplementing.
Buying beef from cattle that are bred in Australia is in itself an ethical decision as Australian grain fed cattle spend 85-90% of their lives in pastures and no cattle in Australia spend their whole lives in a feedlot.
Grass Fed Cattle
The Pasturefed Cattle Assurance System (PCAS) is the regulatory body that can certify a cattle as grass fed. These cattles must be grass fed their whole lives.
If you want to buy grass fed beef be sure to look for the PCAS certification. You can now buy grass fed beef in major supermarkets and Coles, Woolworths and Aldi have recognised that customers are willing to pay a premium for grass fed beef.
Organic beef is grown and produced without synthetic fertilisers, pesticides, growth hormones or antibiotics. The farming standards while raising these cattle include soil protection, maintaining air and water quality, and also working towards preserving the cattle’s natural habitats.
Most importantly, organically farmed cattle are treated ethically, ensuring that they live in a natural social environment to the point where they are transported to abattoirs.
When purchasing organic beef, be sure to look out for certified organic producers such as the Australian Certified Organic Standard (ACO).
Share with us your thoughts! Do you go out of your way to purchase grass fed or organic beef?