Fresh doesn't mean anything in the meat industry. Marketers will often use the term "farm fresh" an attribute not relevant to the actual quality of the meat as most meat improve with proper aging. Real meat quality comes from animals that have had a good life, a good death, and have been butchered well.
Not all meat is created equal. Studies on the healthfulness of meat are determined by the meat sample being tested. Parallel studies conducted using the same cut of meat from different farms can yield very different results. One, utilizing conventional production, can show the meat is full of carcinogens. The second, conducted on an animal from a different farm, can 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 better quality meat. Papers on this topic will be posted as site and blog are further developed.
WHAT A HIGH SCORE MEANS FOR US
THE HIGHER THE SCORE BETTER THE MEAT
INCREASED NUTRIENT DENSITY
MORE HUMANE TREATMENTS OF ANIMALS IN LIFE AND DEATH
RICHNESS OF FLAVOR
How Ecological Meat Standard works
The Ecological Meat Standard (or EMS Grade) is a 1-10 scale that determines meat quality based on the 5 key components associated with raising meat: genetics, lifestyle, feed, death, and post processing. Identifying these five critical areas allows farmers, distributors, 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 to eat better and help change your local meat industry.
9 Reasons Why the Standard was Created
So we can we can ensure responsible cleaning & processing agents that do not add carcinogens into our food in the name of food safety.
So farmers have a cheap and efficient solution for
communicating quality and accountability while getting a greater return from the consumer.
So retailers, distributers and butchers can make better decisions when purchasing meat from farmers.
So we improve our production standards to produce meat with less carcinogens and more nutrient density.
So our animal's can live a better life as we respect their ecological design and honor them from start to finish.
So consumers have the transparency to see what they are buying, making it easy for them to vote with their dollar for what concerns them most.
So we can encourage the improvement of humane slaughter methods to ensure 100% stress free and calm death.
So we can protect and promote genetic diversity in our food system to increase flavor and bio security.
So we can promote regenerative agriculture that has a positive impact on the environment.
Why this standard is important to our health.
1 - Carcinogens cause cancer and can be found in poor quality meat.
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.
3 - We can reduce carcinogens & increase the beneficial nutrient density by honoring the animal through all 5 stages of raising meat: genetics, lifestyle, feed, death and post processing.
How does this differ from USDA meat standard?
The current USDA meat standard identifies the uniformity and quality of fat content in an animal carcass. This is in fact a great method for identifying potential 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 but because the standard only measures the end product it allows for compromises of integrity in raising the animal through the use of concentrated animal feeding operations and subsequent use of chemicals, antibiotics and stimulants in order to produce a cheaper meat with a greater fat content at a higher grade.
By using the Ecological Meat Standard we give farmers incentive to raise meat that is good for the land, the animal, and public health while giving consumers clarity and transparency as to where their meat came from. In the end EMS is a tool allows the community to identify meat with less carcinogens and better nutrient density from happy healthy animals.