Organic vs Non Organic Dairy!
Is buying Organic dairy really that important?
Yes! Personally I would have to say buying meat and dairy organic is the absolute most important thing to buy organic.
Most of the dairy you buy at the grocery store comes from cows that are being kept at a factory farm. A factory farm is exactly what it sounds like. A factory of animals. As much as you would like to think that your meat, dairy and poultry comes from the little red barn featured in Charlotte's web. I am sorry to say, it sadly does not! At the factory farm they treat animals like they are product, not like living breathing creatures.
Non Organic Dairy Cows:
Cows are like humans when it comes to producing milk. When they give birth to a calf they produce milk to feed their baby. When the calf is old enough to eat on it's own, the mama cow stops producing milk.
If cows can only produce milk when the calf is nursing, how is it that we have an endless supply of dairy products at any grocery store? Hormones! The dairy cows, are constantly being inseminated, so they can give birth. Then they are pumped with hormones so they can produce more milk. After the cow gives birth, the calf is taking away. To either become a dairy cow as young as two years old. Or the newborn calf is locked up, immobilized. To ensure it becomes tender veal.
A nursing cow will naturally produce 16 pounds of milk per day. But with hormones, the cow can produce 50 pounds of milk per day. Legally any milk company does not have to label if their cows were treated with hormones. The Hormones are not good for you. And there terrible for the cows. The hormones allow the cows to produce much more milk. Which then leads to more profit for the dairy industry.
The diary cows are not being treated like the "happy cows" in the commercials. They are not roaming in fields of grass. The cows are not named Betsy. They are not sweetly being milked with a pail by the farmer's daughter. They are locked up in stalls day in and day out. They are hooked up to milking machines for most of the day. These machines are not gentle on the cows. They cause blisters, sores, bleeding, pus. Which than can lead to infections. For the infection they are given antibiotics. With out any days off of the milking machine. So all the blood, pus, and antibiotics are pumped into the milk. So, the next time you grab a glass of milk, know what is in it.
If you would like to know more about organic food. Please check out my post on Organic Produce.
- Organic Vs. Non Organic Produce
Do you wonder if organic food is really worth the price. What is the difference between Organic and Non Organic.
So what is the alternative?
You can skip dairy all together, and switch to almond milk, rice milk or soy milk. This day and age you can find any type of dairy product that really doesn't have dairy in it. From vegan yogurt, to ice cream, to even butter. Technically, we are supposed to be lactose intolerant anyway. When someone is lactose intolerant, they are the normal. Over the years we became immune and developed a genic mutation, that allows us to drink cows milk without getting sick. But really if you think of it, you wouldn't drink any other mammals milk. Would you like a glass of monkey milk with your cookies? (probably not) So why do people drink cow and goat milk?
Another alternative is organic dairy. I would have to say, out of everything that you buy organic. Dairy can be the most expensive. A pound of butter can cost $6-$8 dollars. A half gallon of milk is around $4-5 dollars. The reason it is so expensive, is because when the cows are treated well, and not pumped with hormones, they don't produce as much milk. So there isn't an endless supply of it.
Before completely switching to organic dairy, do your research. Try to buy milk local. You can contact the farmer, ask them questions. Even visit the farm, see how the cows are being treated. We are blessed to have access to an amazing farm that produces, milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream. They treat their animals so great, The cows are on an grass fed diet, they get to roam like cows should, they aren't treated with hormones or antibiotics, they are not made to be constantly giving birth and they are not being hooked up to milking machines all day. An extra plus, they even deliver the milk to us in glass bottles once a week, like the olden days.
The reason it is important to do your research, is just because the milk is USDA organic. Does not mean the cows are treated well. The cows could still be in an over crowded farm, sitting in a tiny stall all day waiting to be milked. Some organic farms have the same living conditions as factory farms. The only difference is the cows were fed organic food and not giving hormones or antibiotics.
It sad that it so hard to trust to people who are producing your food. Like the old saying goes, "if you want it done right, you have to do it yourself". The only way to be 100% sure your milk comes from cows that are treated amazing, is to have your own hobby farm.
So I shouldn't buy dairy from the grocery store?
My only issue with this, is you don't know where the diary is coming from and you don't know how the cows were treated to get it there. Even organic cows aren't always treated humanely.
The two brands I do purchase at the grocery store are, Organic Valley and Stonyfield Farms. I have never been to either of there farms. You can contact either of these companies and they get back to you fairly quickly. Stonyfield has Farm Cameras, so you can take a peek inside their farm world. Organic Valley has the name and address of every farmer. You can type in your zip code and it will pull up the farms that delivers to your grocery stores. You can go and visit these farms and see the conditions. Both of these companies seem like that strongly believe in the welfare of their cows. And an extra plus, they both offer coupons on their websites.
- Organic Valley - Organic Milk, Cheese, Butter, Eggs & More. Farmer-Owned since 1988
Founded in 1988, Organic Valley produces award-winning organic milk, cheese, butter, soy milk, produce, healthy snacks, and more.
- Stonyfield | Organic Yogurt, Greek Yogurt, Recipes, and Organic Living
Taste the difference in our organic yogurt, organic milk, Greek yogurt and other healthy food.
The brands I personally don't trust are organic brands that are linked with another non organic brand. For example Walmart brand, Great Value, make organic and non organic dairy. Kemps, makes organic and non organic dairy. Dean's milk is non organic but it is also the maker of the organic milk Horizon.
The nice thing about bigger brands, is it's easy to access and it's sold at most grocery stores. Bigger brands product tends to be cheaper. Plus they usually offer coupons. But the bigger the brand, the harder it is to trust them. They may have started out for all the right reasons. But through greed and popular demand. They may have somewhere lost their way. Some Non organic brands, like Walmart's Great Value are seeing that organic sells. They are not getting into it, to make sure cows are being well cared for. Or that they believe that organic is better for you. They are getting into it for the financial aspect. I believe when anything comes out of greed, nothing good will come out of it.
I am not saying to boycott these brands. What I am saying is, it's your money, your health, your life. If you obviously care enough to switch to organic. Do you research to ensure that is what your getting!
All of my pictures: All of the pictures I have placed on my post are pictures of cows being treated well. Roaming fields. If you would like to see how they are treated at factory farms. You can Google factory farms. They have videos and pictures of how they are being treated and their living conditions. Let me warn you though, it is very disturbing, and heartbreaking. You can never un see it and those images will never be erased from you mind.
I know starting an organic lifestyle can be confusing and overwhelming at times. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org Until then, stay amazing!