What have scientists determined in their research about the quality, nutritional characteristics and production practices used in organic agriculture? Below are summaries of peer-reviewed studies by international scientists and researchers consider organic meat production. Each link provides a summary of the study's background, methodology, findings and conclusions, and lists the full reference for further reading.

Some of the studies listed on this page have been subcategorized under Animal Health, Consumer Perspectives and Environmental Impacts, and some repetition may occur as a result. However, the subcategorization serves to highlight studies that take animal welfare, human health and ecological systems into account.

  • Animal Health & Welfare considers how growing conditions (diet, mobility, antibiotic use, etc.) impact fertility, disease resistance and meat quality.
  • Consumer Perspectives & Human Health considers consumer demand (for nutritious, flavorful, and healthy meat) and impact on health (from bioaccumulated nutrients or toxins).
  • Environmental Impacts & Perspectives considers how soil, water, nutrient-cycling or other ecological systems impact meat production quality.

On this web site, the term free-range implies a system of raising animals where the animals have the freedom to move in the environment and does not necessarily imply that they meet standards for "natural" (without growth hormones and additives) or "organic" (without growth hormones, antibiotics and feed without conventional fertilizers and pesticides). When in doubt, refer to the original research.

Many of the studies on this page also are Organic/Conventional Comparisons. Although they are not sublisted here, they may be found through the sidebar menu. Note that livestock feed varies among countries, and comparisons of organic and conventional systems in other countries may produce different results in the United States.

Note: Descriptions about the scientific findings and conclusions are those of the original author, and not this project. Typographic errors may be attributed to the original sources. Please contact this website to report broken or outdated source links.