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Friday, April 2, 2010

Why Organic Milk is So Important

As most of you know, I am making a slow (i.e. realistic for my budget) switch to "greener" foods and products.
When money IS something that has to be considered, there are certain items that you should buy organic first. I have explained previously that one of the first things you can do is buy the "Dirty Dozen" (fruits and veggies) organic when available. The cost difference is minimal and the taste and health differences are astounding.
The next switch I suggest making is in organic/"green" dairy products. There are two reasons for this switch and both are very compelling.
1. Health reasons: Organic milk is, according to most research, "healthier" because it has more Omega 3, more vitamins, antioxidants, and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid - which helps the body reduce body fast and increase lean muscle mass). Some also consider organic milk healthier because the cows have not been exposed to antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides. Some studies suggest that the levels of antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides in milk are so low (or non-existant) that they do not and cannot cause a health problem. But, when given a choice, would you want water that has been polluted and THEN cleaned, or water that was kept clean the entire time? Which sounds tastier?

2. Humane reason: one reason many people go "green" for their white (or chocolate) milk has everything to do with how the cows who produced the milk are treated. National Organic Standards state that dairy cows must be given the ability to move, proper shelter/housing, food, medical care/treatment, the opportunity to go outdoors, etc.

Still not convinced? The Organic Consumers Association wrote an excellent article on the 7 Reasons Why Kds Should Drink Organic Milk.
Once you have decided to purchase organic milk, there are several brand option to choose from.
Organic Valley sells a wide range of products. You can use their website to locate a store nearby that sells their products. (A local Wal-mart sells it near me!)
Horizon Dairy can be found at most grocery stores in our area(Southern states)and also produces milk and other dairy products, such as yogurt.
Many grocery stores, including Kroger, have their own organic dairy line.
I personally love Borden's Organic Milk line (it comes from Texas and who doesn't love Elsie the cow?)

Organic milk can/will usually cost more.But you can find great deals. Horizon and Borden both offer coupons. And recently Albertsons had a promotion on their cereal, whch included 3 coupons for free milk (up to 4.19). I have used those free milk coupons to get Horizon milk and still be able to get it either very cheap (less than 1.00) or free after using a Horizon coupon as well.

I love this cost comparsion made by a fellow blogger, Thankfully Thrifty.
So, what is your favorite brand of milk? Do you still drink milk or just use it in cooking?

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