The article is discussing, of course, the changes required in feed from conventionally grown grain to organic grain for industrial-farmed cattle in order to meet the standards for "organic" and "natural" beef.
There is nothing, nothing, "natural" about ruminants eating grain instead of grass. There is nothing "natural" about thousands of cattle closely confined in muddy pens.
There isn't a label you can stick on that meat that would accurately convey, "Okay, the feed might be kinda natural, which beats all the bizarre additives, except that it's grain, and cows don't eat grain, and other than that, it's totally not natural how the cows are fed or raised in the feedlot."
Now, there's truth in labeling.
What floors me is that the feedlot and grain are accepted as "normal" by a veterinarian and doctoral student in diagnostic medicine and pathobiology who damn well ought to know that ruminants are designed by nature to eat grass. I mean, I learned that on Sesame Street in 1969.
"The reason we're looking at this is because before anyone decides to go all-natural or all-organic, they need to be aware of what it's going to cost them and cost consumers," Wileman said. "We want producers to be knowledgeable about what to expect in terms of performance and economics."
It is true, I admit, that to go to what really constitutes "natural" for cows would mean the end of a billion dollar industrial farming industry. So much for the economics. It might cripple fast food as a "cheap" meal and lose yet more billions in fast food business. We consumers would have to eat a whole lot less beef. A whole lot. I'm good with that.
Maybe, big ag is not good with it, but the least that a researcher, an academic professional, could do is admit that there is a huge lie going on with how cattle are raised, that "conventional" practices are anything but conventional, and that the only remotely "natural" thing here would be the origin of part of the cattle feed. Let's just quit ignoring the man behind the curtain.
Wow, Dorothy, we've sure come a long way from Kansas. Now, where's those friggin' shoes so we can get back?