This artile was a long time coming for me….
Day after day I listen to my friends and family say how they’ve been eating organic meat and now avoid the normal USDA choice cuts of meat.
This bothers me because there are products that start out organic, but some get treated with gasses to preserve thier shelf life.
Don’t be a organic sucker!
Some people prefer the organic/grassfed cuts of meat. It’s great for you, the animals are raised well, and it’s all natural… Or is it?
Most meats that are organically raised are prepackaged at a packing plant. Some packages are ( vacuum sealed ) and others use a process called ( gas packing ) .
Prepackaged meat that uses gasses to preserve them use a technique called (MAP) modified atmosphere packaging . It’s a process that removes the oxygen out of the package and then use a combination of gasses ( carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, oxygen, and nitrogen ) are used to kill the bacteria in the meat by filling the package with this mixture of gasses. The FDA doesn’t require that this process’s information is to be put onto a package.
If you ask me, this goes against the meaing of organic.
A process like this is used in a lot of ground meat packages to keep a long shelf life. This process will keep meat fresh for 20-30 days after it’s been cut. Meat that hasn’t been treated with (MAP) will start to go bad 3 days after it’s been cut. You’ll notice with meat that has been cut fresh, ( like a apple ) it will turn darker the longer it sits. Meat that has been treated with MAP will have a bright red color. This happens because the gasses used will kill the bacteria in the meat and leave it a bright red color.
Meat that has been freshly cut, then vacuum sealed will last 10 days after it’s cut. This process doesn’t affect the organic nature of the product and isn’t introduced to any cemicals that will preseve the meat.
Prepackaged meat that use a (MAP) process in thier packages will look like the one in the photo above. It will have A deep tray and when the package is opened it will have a gas like smell. Sometimes the wrapping on the package will expand due to the gasses that are trying to escape.
Do all prepackaged meats use this process?
No, not all. Some prepackaged products will have a air tight seal around the package. This helps by removing the air from the package naturally and keeps the organic integrity of the product.
Bell & Evans is my favorite brand of organic chicken. They are vacuum sealed beautifully and allow people to see the product they’re buying easily.
Verde farms offers organic beef that’s been vacuum sealed. They offer a lot of different cuts. They have all types of lean ground beef 93/7, 85/15, 80/20 and cuts of beef like strip steak, chuck roast, and sirlion cut into stir fry. I feel this product is fairly priced and is not for the super rich.
If you’re prefer buying organic meat directly from your butcher, you’re better off. The meat will be much fresher from a butcher and all meats are cut on premise. If you like grinding your own meat at home ( like me ), this is the way to go!
A few tips to remember before you buy your next piece of organic meat.
1. Always go with a vacuum sealed package or meat that has been cut on premise.
2. Avoid prepackaged meat that has a deep tray ( This is a sign that the meat might have used a MAP process to prolong the meats shelf life)
3. If there’s a sell by date with more then 3 weeks avoid it.
4. Prepackaged meat is everywhere! For the freshest, healthiest cuts or meat, ask your butcher!
I hope this was helpful. If it was, please like, comment, and share 🙂
Thank you, The Hamptons butcher