About this Research Topic
With the growth of the organic animal production sector, advent of pasture flock poultry and mixed species all natural farms, there is an increasing need to publish the science related to issues that directly impact these industries. This research topic encourages the submission of Original Research papers, Review papers, and Methods papers on management, welfare, environment, nutrition, product quality, food safety and other topics related to alternative livestock production and processing systems. Considering growth and popularity of the locavore movement in the US and internationally, it is relevant to understand the unique impacts that these production systems can have in terms of food safety measures, as well as the environmental impact of resources devoted to these types of operations. This research topic is especially timely as the conventional US livestock industries begin to shift some of their operations towards these types of farming systems to meet consumer demands. An additional driver from a regulatory standpoint in Europe and a retail market demand in the US is the immense push to raise food animals without any exposure to antibiotics. Consequently, industries such as poultry companies in the US are moving away from antibiotics used in their grower operations and are now engaged in marketing “antibiotic free” and “no antibiotics ever” poultry product labels in the grocery store and fast food restaurants. This shift has enhanced growth of alternative livestock industries, namely organic and natural livestock production systems. It has also accelerated the development and marketing of alternative feed additives that would be acceptable substitutes for antibiotics, including botanicals, prebiotic, probiotics, bacteriophage etc. These would accomplish different functions including inhibiting establishment of foodborne pathogens, improving feed efficiency and conversion of the host food animal, and enhancing health and wellbeing. For such alternatives to be universally accepted from a market standpoint, they will require peer reviewed research and economical benefit. In this research topic, we anticipate a range of contributions that will establish the science behind alternative livestock production systems as well as future directions for research efforts.
Keywords: swine, cattle, organic, natural, poultry
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.