Grass fed organic beef farm - how to spot fake organic meat

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There are some who claim to be organic or even biodynamic but are not certified. Although some are genuine, the majority of these non-certified pretenders are not. The fakes are usually not certified because NO CERTIFYING BODY WILL CERTIFY THEM. Some of them can be extremely charming and persuasive in passing off their farm and produce as organic or biodynamic when they are not. Some buy animals that are not certified organic and sell their meat as their own.

Questionable practices

Some buy hay or grain that is not certified organic, feed it to their stock then sell the produce as organic. Some follow some organic practices and not others that don’t suit them. Some claim to follow organic or biodynamic “principles”, or “farm biologically”. Many spruik “no chemicals hormones/antibiotics/pesticides” etc (exactly which ones and for how long?), or “GM” free (don’t they know they’re in the vaccines?). BEWARE THE FAKES. If they are not prepared to be certified, and follow (and be audited against) a standard, THEY ARE NOT ORGANIC.

  • Can be harmful to your health

  • May not be as fresh or flavorful as organic meat

  • Some fake organic meats may contain hormones and antibiotics

  • May not be as sustainable as organic farming practices

  • Falsifying organic certification can be illegal

  • Can damage the reputation of certified organic farmers

Seven Questions to Help You Spot a Fake

Here’s some questions to ask anyone who suggests that their meat is organic or biodynamic. Answers should be strong and definite. Any mealy-mouthing or splitting hairs scores a big fat cross.


1.Is your farm currently certified organic/biodynamic? If certified, by whom?

2. If biodynamic, what percentage of the farm (i.e. total area cattle are grazed) has been treated with BD 500? At least 5 times? Perhaps 10 times?

3. When were the following last used on pastures grazed by your cattle?

  • super phosphate (or other synthetic fertilizer)
  • water soluble fertilizers
  • herbicides or pesticides

4. Have ever you treated any of your animals with:

  • vaccines
  • internal/ external parasite treatments (eg for worms, fluke or lice)
  • hormones
  • any other synthetic substance? (Standards allow limited and controlled use on sick animals in certain circumstances)


5. Do you ever feed any of your animals grainhayurea or other material? If so is this feedstuff certified organic/biodynamic?

6. Does the person try to justify not being certified organic by criticising the certification process? This is an interesting one. After all, as well as being auditable by people in the industry, certification is a commitment to a carefully written and transparent Standard.

7. And finally, perhaps the most important question of all – do you ever sell meat that is not from animals born and continuously raised on your farm? If not, repeat all questions for all the farm(s) on which animals have lived.

Spotting Fake Organic Meat FAQs

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