"Fresh" doesn't mean what you might assume: while often employed by marketers "farm fresh" is not an attribute relevant to meat quality. True quality is determined by a good life, a good death, and good butchering.
Not all meat is created equal: parallel studies conducted using the same cut of meat from different farms can yield very different results depending on the life of the animal and how it was fed and raised. One, utilizing "conventional production," will likely show the meat is full of carcinogens. The second, conducted on an animal from a different farm, will likely register a nutrient-dense meat rich in CLA's, Omega-3's and other fatty acids. The higher score of our farmers' meat means a meat of a higher quality. Papers on this topic will be posted as the site and blog are further developed.
WHAT A HIGH SCORE MEANS FOR US
THE HIGHER THE SCORE, THE BETTER THE MEAT
INCREASED NUTRIENT DENSITY
MORE HUMANE TREATMENT OF ANIMALS IN LIFE AND DEATH
REDUCED CARCINOGEN LEVELS
RICHNESS OF FLAVOR
2 - Meat obtains carcinogens in the greatest concentrations as a result of poor diet and stress of the animal and associated chemicals used in the raising and processing of the animal.
1 - Carcinogens cause cancer and can be found in poor quality meat.
3- We can reduce carcinogens & and increase the beneficial nutrient density by honoring the animal through all 5 stages of raising meat: genetics, lifestyle, feed, death and post processing.
The current USDA Meat Standard identifies the uniformity and quality of fat content in an animal carcass. This is a great method for identifying flavor and texture if one desires more fat in their meat.
This would work if all animals ate what they have evolved to eat in the wild. However, because the USDA standard only measures the end product, it encourages producers to compromise integrity along the way.
Concentrated animal feeding operations and the heavy use of chemicals, antibiotics and stimulants produce a cheaper meat with a greater fat content to achieve a high USDA grade.
The Ecological Meat Standard provides incentives to farmers to produce meat that is good for the land, the animal, and public health, while equipping consumers with transparent information about their food and it's origin.
EMS is a tool that empowers the community to identify meat with fewer carcinogens and greater nutrient density from happy, healthy animals
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The new Ecological Meat Standard continues to be developed by industry leaders, scientists, researchers and activists focused on bringing clarity and integrity to the meat industry, rather than simply regulating it. This gives farmers, butchers, distributors and engineers a tangible goal when designing methods to raise and process meat while equipping consumers with a transparent view of the meat production process.
The collective organization focuses on the 5 areas determining factors to ensure an end product that is good for the animal, good for the environment, and good for us.
The name ECOLOGICAL MEAT STANDARD was carefully chosen by the Institute for Ecological Meat to emphasize the standard's purpose. ECOLOGICAL signifies we are not just concerned about the animal, but also about the people and environment it impacts throughout it's life and death. MEAT STANDARD because the industry needs a clear and concise standard that can be trusted by producers, distributors, and consumers alike. A better understanding will allow for a clear direction of the industry ensuring that we may all enjoy the best tasting, healthiest, and most ecologically responsible meat.
What is the Ecological Meat Standard?
Farmers across the country are now registering meat under this new standard. The Ecological Meat Standard (or EMS Grade) is a 1-10 scale that determines meat quality based on the 5 key component stages associated with raising meat: genetics, lifestyle, feed, death, and post processing. Identifying these five critical areas allows farmers, distributers, and consumers to easily identify the entire process associated in raising a particular cut of meat. The higher the score the better the life, death, and processing of the animal, resulting in greater nutrient density and lower carcinogen levels in the meat. Essentially it is a transparent grading system to support farmers and consumers. The goal is to improve and increase awareness of the meat industry from land management, to animal welfare, to public health. Start requesting EMS verified meat at your grocery store and butcher to eat better and help change your local meat industry.
Why this standard is important to our health.
How does EMS differ from the USDA Meat Standard?
To promote regenerative agriculture that positively impacts the environment.
To increase the flavor and biosecurity in our food system by protecting and promoting genetic diversity.
To perfect humane slaughter methods to ensure 100% stress- free death.
To empower consumers with the transparent information they need to vote with their dollar about what matters most.
To honor animals from start to finish by respecting their ecological design.
To improve the industry standard and produce meat with fewer carcinogens and greater nutrient density.
To equip retailers, distributors, and butchers with reliable information to inform their purchases.
To provide farmers with a cheap and efficient solution to communicate quality and ensure accountability while getting a greater return from the consumer.
To ensure the use of carcinogen-free cleaning and processing agents to create responsible food safety.
10 Reasons Why the Standard was Created
To enable consumers to track their meat from start to finish and know where it came from and who raised it.