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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Ann Arbor, MI!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

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4 Reasons to Always Choose Organic Dairy

milk

When it comes to buying organic, there are many different ways to prioritize. The Dirty Dozen is a great guide to produce, but there’s more to buying organic than just produce! When it comes to milk and dairy, organic milk is my milk of choice. The reason I choose milk (instead of milk alternatives) is because I don’t have any digestive issues when it comes to milk or lactose, and I like the fact that milk just has one ingredient and the only sugar in it is natural (compared to some of the alternatives out there).

But the most important thing I emphasize when I get questions about milk is the importance of choosing organic dairy/milk whenever you can!

If there’s a place to spend your money and buy organic, dairy is it (along with the dirty dozen, soy, corn and sugar). So why is organic dairy so important? And what does organic mean anyway?

To start: milk can only be USDA certified organic if:

  • There are no synthetic fertilizers used on the farm
  • Farmers avoid most synthetic pesticides
  • Farmers do not use growth hormones or antibiotics
  • Farmers never use genetically modified (GMO) crops or feed for their cows

Farm

Here are my top 4 reasons for why organic milk is totally worth the money:

1. No artificial growth hormones. On some dairy farms, cows are given artificial hormones to help them to produce more milk. Organic milk is from cows free from growth hormones and antibiotics.

2. No synthetic pesticides. Most synthetic pesticides and herbicides (such as Roundup) are prohibited on the 100% organic feed that cows graze on that produce organic milk. I prefer buying milk where I know that the supply chain only uses organic-approved substances.

3. No GMOs. Cows that produce organic milk only eat 100% organic food, which prohibits GMOs (in the feed/on the farm).

4. Helps support small family farms. 97% of all dairy farms in America, including organic farms, are family-owned. Buying organic helps to show support for a system that keeps family-owned organic farms in business.

So to answer the question: is organic milk worth the money? And should you always buy organic milk? My answer is: Yes!

This post was sponsored by MilkLife.com

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13 responses to “4 Reasons to Always Choose Organic Dairy”

  1. Hi Anjali! Interesting post on what seems to be a hot topic these days. I actually grew up on a dairy farm in Allegan, Michigan (so only about 2 hours from Ann Arbor)! Small world! Anyways, I’d love to invite you to visit the farm if you find yourself in West Michigan. It’s not organic, but we only use the hormones sparingly (not like some farms that provide hormones and antibiotics for the heck of it, it seems) and it is a small farm with only about 50 milking cows. So, the animals are very well taken care of…my dad even knows each of them by name without even having to see the numbers that we have tagged in their ears just to make sure their safe if they were to somehow escape or one of the employees was looking for them when my dad is gone (which is very rarely these days). Definitely give me a shout via Twitter or email and I’d love to give you their address and a tour. We have a sweet corn stand in the summer so if you visit then, the first dozen is on me 🙂 Cheers! Julie, @julieverhage julie.verhage328(at)gmail.com

    • Hi Julie!! It’s so great to “meet” you. So cool that you grew up on a dairy farm pretty close to where we live! 🙂 It’s wonderful to hear how well the cows are treated on your family’s farm – sounds like they are part of your family vs. just “animals. which is lovely. I’d be curious to learn more about the rationale behind using hormones when you do (in which cases, etc.) And I’d love to visit the farm in the summer sometime! I’m following you on Twitter now so let’s definitely stay in touch and we can coordinate a visit maybe in June or July? Thanks for reaching out!!

  2. hi – I would love to be able to buy organic dairy products including cheese and yogurt but haven’t been able to find any in my area. Do you have any suggestions for locating organic dairy? thanks.

    jacquie

    • Hi Jacquie! If you don’t mind me asking, where do you live? Most large grocery stores will have organic dairy in their dairy section, and Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Sprouts, and all other natural foods stores will carry organic dairy. Even Costco has some organic dairy options! So my suggestion would be to go to a few local supermarkets in your area and ask them where the organic dairy is in their store – I’d be surprised if they didn’t have any. If you’d like to tell me what city you’re in I can also help you locate the best stores for organic dairy. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

        • Thanks for the information. Unfortunately, I don’t have easy access to a Trader Joe’s and also have found them a bit to pricey for my budget. However, I have to admit I do occasionally “splurge” both in time and money in order to pick up their organic yogurt and I agree it is excellent!

  3. As soon as I read this post on organic milk, it made me wonder of all the other food products that can also be bought organically. I think it’s interesting to note that people seem to be picky on what organic products they decide to consume. I think it’s also important that you noted that “there’s more to buying organic than just produce.” It seems like people go into grocery stores, see the fruits and vegetables and note that there is always an organic section. Whether you like it or not, organic produce seems to be a popular option for people as they fill up their grocery carts for the week. I personally do not purchase organic produce, but I think it’s important for people to recognize that milk and other dairy products can also be bought organically as well. Sometimes, its a more healthy and fulfilling option over choosing skim or 2%. Kind of like what you went over with digestive issues, people’s bodies respond differently to all kinds of food options. It’s important to try everything at least once and see how your body responds. And hey, you might find a new product that you never thought you’d actually like!

    • I completely agree Sierra!! Very well said! It’s important to think of organic foods as a whole – not just limited to produce. And while most people can’t afford to buy every ingredient organic, the dirty dozen, dairy, soy, corn and sugar should be on the priority list for sure 🙂

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