Organic sausages can be made from a variety of meat or meatless mixtures, such as chicken, pork, and soy. Typically, the meat or soy mixture is stuffed inside a natural casing, though some brands promote casing-free organic sausages. It is important to read and understand the label when purchasing organic sausages, as products do not necessarily need to be 100-percent organic to receive an organic label.
There are many different types of organic sausages, and they typically vary depending on the types of meat and spices. For example, many traditional sausages are made from pork, but some versions also are made from chicken. The sausages can be sweet, containing ingredients, such as maple syrup and apples, or they can be spicy, containing a mixture of peppers and other spices, such as fennel, garlic, and paprika. Vegetarian sausages also are available, using a soy base that mimics the taste of pork or chicken.
For meat products to be considered organic, several strict regulations must be followed. For example, the animal may not be given antibiotics, and hormones are prohibited. Cloned animals also may not be used in organic products. Typically, the animals are raised in a more humane setting, with more room to roam, compared to animals raised for use as conventional meat products. Any vegetables that are used in organic sausages are free from pesticides; additionally, fertilizers used can not be synthetic, and the vegetables may not be genetically modified.
If a label says that a package of organic sausages is "100-percent organic," only then will every ingredient in the sausages actually be organic. Many times, particularly with sausage, the label will only indicate that the casing is organic. In that case, five percent of the ingredients may be non-organic. Only a few dozen items, by regulation, may fall within the five-percent non-organic category. These include items such as celery powder, certain oils, and the sausage casings.
Some organic sausages may have even fewer organic ingredients. In those cases, the labeling still could indicate that the sausages are made from organic products. It is up to the consumer to read the ingredient label and check exactly which ingredients are actually organic.
In most cases, organic casings are extremely hard to find since most organic processing centers do not produce casings as part of their operations. Many companies avoid using non-organic casings altogether and produce organic sausage that does not contain any casing at all. As a result, the label may accurately indicate the product is 100-percent organic.