So you are expecting a baby….or you have children at home and you are wondering if that super high cost of a gallon of organic milk is really worth it. Well, the answer is, if you can find a way to afford it, it is! It comes down to a really simply philosophy of “you are what you eat”. And if you take that a step further, you are whatever you just ate…ate. So the way the cows are treated and the “food” they are given will have an impact on the milk. So let’s take a quick look at how traditional milk is made versus organic to see why it so important!
Traditional milk cows are generally fed a diet of genetically modified feed. This means that the DNA of the food has been altered, generally to inject a pesticide directly into the seed. To learn more about GMOs (genetically modified foods) click here. The feed is also prayed with chemicals and pesticides and these go directly into the cow. The cows are not allowed to roam in a natural environment, rather they are confined for their entire lives. Calves are weaned from their mothers, and instead of being fed milk which they need, they are fed blood because it is cheaper. Then they are switched to a diet of slaughterhouse waste and chicken manure. And in order to be able to keep the animals alive in these conditions, they are forced to inject them with hormones and antibiotics-some hormones are particularly concerning such as rBGH. This hormone is genetically engineered by Monsanto, causes cows to produce more milk, however, the cow develops infections as this is unnatural which leads to blood and pus in the milk. Also, these cows are treated heavily with antibiotics to treat the constant infections. For more side effects click here. This list certainly doesn’t even begin to talk about the effects on the animals themselves which is horrific.
So if you are what you eat, then this is what is going into your body when you are eating conventional dairy. What is even more frightening is that many of these practices are also in some “organic” milks and dairies who are trying to cut corners! Horizon was exposed as feeding their “organic” cows blood, chicken manure and leftover animal parts, chaining the animals to fences and other atrocities to make a quick buck in the name of organic. Anyone familiar with organic will tell you to steer clear of their products-not only because of their practices, but also because they are lobbying to have the standards for organic lowered to increase their profits.
In organic milk and dairy production, the cows are allowed access to the pasture every day for 120 days a year. Organic dairy cows are not fed hormones or antibiotics (conventionally farmed animals consume 80% of all antibiotics produced in the US!) They are not fed feed with GMOs. They are raised humanely in an environment where they can move around and are milked on a schedule that is more natural.
So if you are what you eat, then I would say I would want to be the person drinking the organic milk! This is even more important during pregnancy when the unborn child is so susceptible to chemicals and hormones and in childhood. Children also drink more pound for pound than adults. And for many children the majority of those liquids are milk! Yes, the cost is higher than conventional but there is a reason for that….it takes more space and better quality feed to produce safer and healthier cows. When things are done on the cheap, the end result is always a reflection of that I have found.