Sunday, December 13, 2009

Where to Get Milk?

As I've been researching meat and the sustainability and health issues surrounding the way most meats are "grown" currently, I've also been looking at milk. I read an article on webmd that was a study on children fed organic dairy products versus traditional dairy products, the study found that children who ONLY consumed organic dairy products had a much lower rate of asthma and allergies than children who at any amount of traditional dairy products in their diet. I'm not quite ready to switch to organic dairy entirely (and I think in the article, it wasn't just the organic label that was important, it was that the dairy cows were pastured, therefore healthier, and didn't need antibiotics- antibiotics being my biggest concern).

I've been doing some reading on milk and where it comes from. Costco organic milk is a "great deal" at nearly $3 per half gallon. Unfortunately, today I read this: wholesalers and major "organic" brands are continuing to sell milk and dairy products labeled as "USDA Organic, even though most or all of their milk is coming from factory farm feedlots where the animals have been brought in from conventional farms and are kept in intensive confinement, with little or no access to pasture.
The Organic Consumers Association is expanding its boycott of Horizon and Aurora organic dairy products to include five national "private label" organic milk brands supplied by Aurora, as well as two leading organic soy products, Silk and White Wave, owned by Horizon's parent company, Dean Foods...Aurora Organic supplies milk for several private label organic milk brands, including Costco's "Kirkland Signature," Safeway's "O" organics brand, High Meadows, Giant's "Natures Promise," and Wild Oats organic milk. Aurora Organic received a failing grade from the Cornucopia Institute's survey of organic dairies for its practice of intensive confinement of dairy cows. For pictures of Aurora Organic's operations, follow this link. The Cornucopia Institute recently blew the whistle on Aurora Organic's greenwashing and its bogus certification of animal welfare.
Additionally, its been revealed that much of the soy for Dean Food's White Wave tofu and Silk soymilk products are sourced abroad, primarily from Brazil and China. Environmental standards and workers' rights are routinely violated in these two countries.

Anyone know of sources for milk that comes from cows not treated with routine antibiotics? Costco was going to be my source for milk. I don't care about the organic label, I just haven't found any non-organic milk that meets my requirements.

It's making me tired.

UPDATE: I think we're going to go with Rosehill dairy. It's a local, small scale dairy, and I feel fairly comfortable with the way the cows are raised and fed, and with the quality of the milk.


Mark Kastel --- The Cornucopia Institute said...

If you want milk produced without antibiotics .... or genetically modified feed, growth promoting hormones, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, petroleum-based fertilized .... you need choose certified organic dairy products.

A listing of the nation's 110 organic brands, ranking them according to their milk production practices (separating out the few factory farms producing organic milk brands, like COSTCO) can be found on the Cornucopia Institute Website.

Mark A. Kastel
Senior Farm Policy Analyst
The Cornucopia Instutite
Cornucopia, WI

Erstwild said...

Try Trader Joe's.

Alice said...

I don't think we have Trader Joe's in Utah.