To me, Most of the words are easy to understand by looking up the dictionary, but some words are difficult to understand even though i search dictionary, due to the context it comes with. Here is one example.

Processed Meat: These products are usually from conventionally raised cows [sic], then go through various processing methods. Examples include sausages and bacon.

  • Beef (meat from cattle) is from cows, calves, steer, and bulls -- not just cows. Bacon is made from pigs, not cattle. These mistakes are the fault of the author of the quote. The original poster quoted the text accurately. – Jasper Nov 8 '14 at 0:09

The source of the original poster's quotation contrasts "conventionally raised" animals versus "Grass-Fed, Organic Meat: This meat comes from animals that have been naturally fed, raised organically and not been pumped full of drugs and hormones. They also don’t have any artificial chemicals added to them."

In this context, "conventionally" means "by normal methods". Contemporary cattle-raising practices in the United States can include (but do not necessarily include):

  • Routine administration of antibiotics

  • Routine administration of ribosomal Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH)

  • Feeding with grass, corn stalks, alfalfa, grain, and/or soy

In general:

  • Organically produced food meets or exceeds the standards for conventionally produced food. This means that if an organic farmer has too much produce to sell as organic food, he (or she) can sell the excess as conventional food. This means that (for a given variety, size, quality, type, and location), organic food is at least as expensive as conventional food.

  • Conventional food can be produced using whatever techniques are legal and cost-effective. Some non-organic techniques let the farmer save time, labor, space, and/or capital. This means that conventional food is usually less expensive than organic food.

  • Organic farmers that sell their produce to both organic markets and conventional markets usually send their highest quality produce to the organic markets, because the organic markets are willing to pay more.

  • There are extra requirements to sell food as organic. For many crops, there is a three-year transition period during which the farmer has to use only organic techniques, but cannot sell the crop as organic.

  • In the United States, organic food usually costs 20 - 100 percent more than conventional food. Most Americans are not willing to pay this much extra for organic food, so most food is conventional.

  • @CarSmack -- Ironically, the "organic" methods are traditional. By "contemporary" and "normal", I meant the most commonly used methods today in the United States -- which are neither "organic" nor "traditional". – Jasper Nov 8 '14 at 1:17

This is kind of an awkward usage of conventionally, at least without seeing more context of the article. My assumption is they are talking about cattle raised in grassy fields (as opposed to industrial complexes), as a grassy field is a more conventional (or traditional) home for cattle.

  • Can't be sure. It's "conventional" in the US to give cows growth hormone and antiobiotics. "Natural" is "unconventional". I agree, more context is needed. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 8 '14 at 0:03

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