Look around next time you enter a grocery store and take a look at the labels that try to entice you to buy their product – labels from organic to natural. In the past few years, many questions have been raised about meat not being healthy for us or for the environment. But is meat the problem or is the true problem the modern methods of production?

As a result of the questions that have popped up, a new breed of producer has appeared. They are providing meats, poultry, and dairy products that are not only healthier for our bodies because these products are produced without antibiotics or hormones, but they are tastier too.

So, if you do choose to eat meat, know that there are labels that can help you identify better choices.

No Label

If there is no label saying the meat is produced in any other manner, you can be sure that it is factory-raised meat. Many years ago, most meat came from small family farms. Today however, this is NOT the case. Large confinement facilities produce most of our meat which results in high-volume, low-quality food along with environmental pollution as well as human health issues.


Generally, natural meats and poultry do not contain antibiotics or hormones and are minimally processed. This doesn’t mean that the animal was raised in their natural environment or that it was given feed that contained no additives.


This label means that animals are allowed to roam on pasture and eat what they are naturally inclined to eat. These products generally have not been given antibiotics or hormones. These animals are allowed to grow at their normal pace and do not live in a stressful environment.


Organic means that the meat was raised without antibiotics, hormones, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and that the feeds are organically-grown (without the use of pesticides or artificial fertilizers).

This label is the only one that requires certification. Any product with an organic claim must comply with the requirements of the Organic Products Regulations. Only products with organic content of 95% may carry this label. Certified organic products must also bear the name of the certification body.

So the next time you go into a grocery store, take a look around. Avoid factory farmed meat and choose natural , organic, or grass-fed. These choices are better for the health of your body, your community, and your environment. The only way you can be sure you are buying healthier products is to know where your meat comes from.

To find locally-grown, natural, grass-fed, or organic meat in your area, visit the Eat Well Guide or go to our Building Alternatives section. You can also visit Greener Choices Eco Label Centre.