Organic means so many different things, and to keep it simple, we won’t go into most of them here. In Denmark, breeding, feeding, housing, length of time with mother, amount of space, transport, and slaughter conditions are all strictly regulated to meet with agreed upon organic animal health and welfare stipulations.
But regular Danish factory farming is pretty intensive high production stuff, whereas in Ireland I’m told that life is more or less free range for most of the farm animals. Our butcher friend, Eoin O’Mahony won’t go organic because of all the administrative headaches involved, and because conditions on the smaller scale farms are good. On the other hand, he stays away from places like Silver Hill, with their large vertically integrated duck and goose factory farm.
And how is it for our participants who have pledged to keep themselves to organic meat? Can organic ever be the easy way out?
Jake is a young scientist who likes to go with the flow:
First day, I still had a bit of non-organic liver paste left, which I chose to eat anyway, as throwing it out would not make sense. On Sunday I bought organic minced meat in order to make a large pot of pasta sauce that I could warm up during the next few evenings, so I’d have a quick-and-easy dinner.
Anne has had no qualms about embarking on a strict organic regime, and finds it natural to her:
It’s pretty easy for me to keep to my pledge in terms of my appetite. I haven’t lacked anything. My partner eats a lot of vegetables and as little meat as I usually do, so it’s also easy on the home front.
Linda seems to be sitting with another kettle of fish!
I often have lunch at the university cafeteria when I’m in town. Sometimes they have organic meat as part of the lunch special, but not today. I settled for a mixed salat and some warm potatoes, staying away from the non-organic pork slices and steamy gravy, whose meaty fragrance wafted up to my hungry nose. This pledge is easier in some situations than in others!
Our other participants have also begun their pledge period. Next time, we’ll see how their colleagues and friends react to their new diets!