Is your Harvest Organic?

As someone with a B.S. in Animal Science and raised on hobby farms, I have very strong feelings towards this. Don’t be fooled by the instastars when they say an animal is 100% organic. I have mad respect for a lot of them so please don’t confuse this as bashing but in order to fight the never-ending war on agriculture, this is necessary.

First off, what is the definition of organic? In order to be considered USDA organic, the contents must be 95% free of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, dyes, genetic engineering, industrial solvents… The list can go on. Also in order for the stamp of approval, there are many rigorous tests and paperwork that needs to be filed for it to be legitimate.

Now that you understand what organic pertaining to food truly means, is your harvest organic? To answer this, let’s take a gander at what the animal may be consuming. Is it raised near heavy farm lands such as the grain belt? If the answer is yes, your harvest is not organic. The grain belt (or also known as the corn belt) contains these states: Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, southern Michigan, western Ohio, Kansas, and parts of Minnesota and Missouri. That’s a good portion of the country! Sure there are organic farms sprinkled through the grain belt. Please realize that the number of those farms is peanuts in comparison to non-organic farms. A deer won’t eat from only one field throughout its life time. Even so, if a neighboring field uses pesticides and fertilizers sprays on a windy day, those chemicals may end up on an organic field. It takes roughly seven years to purify the ground from chemicals and be considered organic. I was raised on an all-natural farm and have a lot of experience with this. The reason I call it “all-natural” is because it wasn’t worth the time and money to become certified organic for our hobby farm. 

As with everything, there are exceptions to the rule. Example: if you were to go on a high fence hunt and had control over what the animal was consuming, they may be considered organic. Another example of an organic harvest pertaining to location would be thick woods not surrounded by farm land, severe drought areas, or anywhere that may be difficult for farm equipment to reach such as mountain tops, the Yukon, deep swamps that are not surrounded by farm land… Moral of the story is there are endless possibilities to harvest an “organic” animal. You just might need to work a little harder for it.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this and hope you gained some insight as to organic vs non-organic. I don’t think being organic is a major thing to be worried about. If you worked hard to earn your harvest in an ethical way and had fun while doing so, that’s all that counts. If you have any questions or comments on this topic I would love to hear them!

 My first buck I harvested opening day of the Wisconsin gun deer opener. He came through right before shooting time ended on my family farm. This deer is not organic but still delicious.

My first buck I harvested opening day of the Wisconsin gun deer opener. He came through right before shooting time ended on my family farm. This deer is not organic but still delicious.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Jess Wagner

ReelCamo Girl Brand Champion

Avid Huntress

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