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What is recycled meat? Every letter you know

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If you’re a meat-eater, interested in your food’s origins, chances are you’re standing in the grocery store with a bundle of beef in one hand and your phone in the other, Google has a lot of tricks. Different terminology you see different packaging, such as “herbivorous”, “humane certified”, etc. Such a term, “recycled meat”, is becoming more popular with brands. , include Epic, National Archer Regulations, and Snax predator. Label certainly has a positive meaning, but what does regeneration mean when it comes to meat and why should you care about it, as a consumer?

In general, recycled meat describes meat products that are sourced from farmers in practice agricultural regeneration, which aims to reverse the impacts of climate change by regenerating soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity. But beyond that broad definition, the term recycled meat is largely confusing. This is because there is no regulatory body or organization tasked with defining it; The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently have no guidance around this term. So different grocery stores, farmers, food manufacturers, and nonprofits in the food sustainability space can all determine what constitutes recycled meat differently.

To further clarify the confusion as to why recycled meat is important, consider this as your base of everything you need to know about it. Increase Your ethical shopping knowledge is below.

What is recycled meat?

Across the board, it was agreed that recycled meat must be organic and herbivorous, to speak Elizabeth Whitlow, executive director of the non-profit organization Regenerative Organic Alliance (ROA). Organic means the animal was born and raised on certified organic grassland, So there are no chemicals on the grass or in the area where animals are kept, and no feed is sprayed with synthetic pesticides. Herbivorous means that the animals eat grass instead of forage. However, organic and grass-fed meat only does not automatically cause the meat to regenerate. “I know a lot of great organic activity and herbivorous. But the re-creation goes even further, ”Whitlow said.

“I know a lot of great organic activity and herbivorous. But the re-creation goes even further ”. —Elizabeth Whitlow, executive director of the nonprofit Regenerative Organic Alliance (ROA)

In addition to being grass-fed and organically fed, the requirements for what is required for certified meat to be regenerated vary between groups and organizations that focus on sustainability – such as ROA, Kiss the Ground, ReganAG, Regeneration International, the Rodale Institute, and Savory network, to name a few. Whitlow said that for a meat product – or any other product, for that matter – to be considered regenerated by ROA’s standards, for example, it must meet specific criteria related to the three pillars. : environment and soil health, animal welfare and social equity (treating workers in an ethical and fair manner).

To get ROA certified, Whitlow said applicable meat suppliers must meet the requirements to be connected to each post. For example, in soil health, the farmer must practice rotational grazing (the practice of storing and moving animals across the pasture to improve soil, crops, and animal health), avoiding the use of chemicals. (including pesticides) and do not use genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to control weeds. (Some common farmers use GMO-resistant crops instead of plowing the soil.) For the welfare of the animals, the farmer must ensure the animals are not afraid, upset, and suffering by providing conditions in which the animal is able to exhibit the normal behavior of the animal (ie, the free range). And for social justice, the supplier must ensure all farm workers are paid a living wage and have good working conditions linked to social equity, like the ability to form long-term commitments to the farm. , if you want. These are just a few of their requirements connected to each pillar.

For Farm CEO Hickory Nut Gap and Farmer Jamie AgerHowever, the meaning of regenerated meat does not satisfy those specific points, but reflects the word “regeneration” itself. “Come regeneration It means replacing what was lost, so creating land is really the key to this kind of agriculture, ”he said. His ranch in Fairview, North Carolina, practice grazing alternately and use tree cover (to slow erosion, improve soil health, increase water availability, prevent weeds and help control pests) to build healthy soils.

The benefits of recycled meat

Farmers, animals, consumers, and the environment all benefit in many ways from the practice of regenerative farming practices. However, implementing such activities certainly requires work and a sense of responsibility. Along with brands including Epic, Country Archer Provisions and Carnivore Snax, Ager has teamed up with the leader of renewable agriculture. Savory Institute to put best practices – like the use of the aforementioned cover crops and rotational grazing, along with animal welfare and social justice – into action. “[Part of regenerative meat] being intentional about your relationships with farmers so it’s a fair deal, ”he said. “The ripple effect of that is that it builds healthier communities.”

Similarly, letting animals eat herbivores instead of feeding them traditional food also leads to positive benefits from drip. Besides being closer to how animals live in the wild (and therefore more humane) and richer in nutrients for animals, research shows that Meat has more nutritional value when the animals eat grass instead of conventional food.

And then, of course, there’s the environment. Contrary to what some might think, meat farming can be done in a way that helps mitigate climate change. When animals are allowed to graze freely, they help improve soil structure. Studies show that livestock are regenerated help reduce carbon emissions by helping to absorb more carbon into the soil than the methane that animals generate. In other words, regenerated cattle help fight global warming.

The regenerated meat is nothing new

It is important to state that regenerative farming techniques (and many of the practices outlined in the three pillars of the ROA for defining it) are not new. In indigenous and aboriginal communities, regeneration activities have been the norm since pre-colonialism, even though it has no fancy terminology attached. This is a lesson of history Healing garden co-founders Abhi Arora and Rishi Kumar teach through HealingGardens Podcast and are regular sustainability educators. Both say that regenerative agricultural practices are the essence of the agricultural practices of indigenous farmers, which prioritize relationships with land, animals and people. And it is not responding to a checklist; that’s the natural way of life and the way it’s always been done.

“If you look at all the regenerative farming practices, these are things people have been doing around the world for millennia,” says Kumar, a small-scale farmer. He said that he does not believe that the Western agricultural movement has fully understood that regenerative farming techniques are more about living a valuable way of life than meeting the criteria for certification. “You see them focusing on specific activities, such as good or bad cover cutting. But when you really talk to the natives and look at what they practice, you know that every farming technique has a place. “

For many farmers in the US, especially indigenous farmers, rearing regenerated meat is simply the way they believe it should be done so they may not have to take the extra step of getting the label. certification. For this reason, Arora and Kumar say that finding reincarnated meat breeders in your area or brands to support may take a bit of detective work. They both recommend getting to know farmers or brands online and on social media to learn more about their merits.

Ager agrees. “If the values ​​of regenerative agriculture matter to someone, they will share it on social media or elsewhere, adding that most companies are available,” he said. is willing to talk to consumers about what they do, so there’s no reason to be afraid to reach out. But when it comes to big brands, he says it’s important to read with skeptic eyes, as some may be trying to capitalize on the good moral intentions of consumers. This is when the certification is like the real ROA do useful.

By reading this, it means you care about where your meat comes from and it’s been an extremely important step in making sustainable and ethical decisions about what you’re ordering. in your grocery cart (and finally on your plate). If you want to buy the most sustainable, ethically sourced meat possible, then the way to regenerate is the way to go. It’s a win for the farmer, the animals, the planet and yourself.

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