Purchase Organic or Locally Raised Meat

What Is It?

Organic meat comes from animals that were raised without antibiotics or added hormones, thus it has less environmental and human health impact than non-organic alternatives. Organic meat must also come from animals that themselves ate only organic food and were slaughtered in a certified organic slaughterhouse. Animals raised for organic meat are often farmed under more humane conditions than their non-organic counterparts: they are usually less confined and have adequate litter and bedding. In the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture creates the organic food certification criteria, but government-recognized third party organizations actually certify products from farms and facilities.

In addition to purchasing organic meats, purchasing meats from small, local farms is another way to help protect the environment and your customers’ health. Though small farms may lack some organic criteria, their animals often live in more humane conditions and are exposed to fewer chemicals than animals from large corporate farms. Additionally, purchasing products from farms that are within 100 miles of your location helps reduce the distance meat is transported, which conserves a great deal of energy.


Purchasing organic meats or meats from animals raised on small farms is a good way to reduce the environmental impacts from agriculture and help protect the health of your customers. Some studies suggest that the hormones in non-organic meats may contribute to cancer, while meat laced with antibiotics has been linked with the development of antibiotic-resistance in bacteria. Organic farming avoids these human health impacts, and often reduces the environmental impacts of farming by raising animals at lower population densities. Meats from local farms also help reduce environmental impacts because they are transported smaller distances, causing fewer greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution.

Challenge Participants Currently Adopting This Practice

  • Boston Properties, Inc.
  • Community Servings
  • Massachusetts Convention Center Authority
  • New England Aquarium
  • West On Center
  • WilmerHale
  • Zoo New England

Financing Options, Incentives, And Rebates

Additional Resources

Examples of Boston Area Restaurants Serving Organic or Local Meat

Examples of Boston-area Organic Food Suppliers and Small Farms


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