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Ask the Readers: Is organic milk worth the extra price tag?

I have a question that maybe your readers could answer: Is organic milk worth the price?

There is such a huge difference in price between conventional and organic milk and I wonder if there is any difference in quality. I recently read somewhere that there is no difference and that standard milk does not contain any hormones.

Buying organic milk takes up the biggest part of our grocery budget and it would be wonderful if it turns out that conventional milk is the same! -Sheri

Please note: I thought this would make for an interesting discussion, so have at it. However, as always, keep your comments cordial. If you can disagree in a friendly manner, go for it. But if you leave a comment screaming at someone that if they don’t purchase raw grass-fed milk from a goat in their backyard they are going to fall over dead tomorrow, you’re likely going to have your comment deleted. 🙂

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353 Comments

  • Jen says:

    I feel like buying Organic milk is worth it. Trader Joe’s brand organic milk is not much more expensive, if that option is available to you. Also, major organic companies like Organic Valley and Stonyfield Farms frequently offer coupons on their sites through promotions. Also I found that if you email a company asking for coupons they will usually send some.

  • Gerri says:

    If it has health benefits that either prolong life or keep an array of illnesses at bay then it is worth the price. I mean, who doesn’t want to live a nice long and healthy life? And, if you are keeping an array of illnesses at bay, you end up saving a lot of money in the long run by not having massive medical bills. It all depends on whether or not it will give those kinds of benefits. That’s my 2 cents!

  • Chelsea says:

    I’m so glad to see this question posted, since I often wonder about this myself. Buying organic milk is our next “step” towards healthy eating, so I’m interested to see what other people have to say.

  • Lisette says:

    I think it’s great when you can fit it in the budget. However, it seems like it may be a wash unless you go organic on all dairy, which most people don’t do due to cost. As an alternative, I’ve researched which of our local dairy brands are hormone free and typically stick to those. Hormone free is a pretty close second, in my opinion.

    • Amber says:

      @Lisette, Good points, I think most people forget about organic meat and dairy and usually just think about fruits and veggies when buying organic. I’ve heard many parents of girls who only drink organic milk comment on how their girls don’t start there monthly cycle at such and early age as girls who were raised on conventional milk – same thing with breast development. I’ve heard that meat and milk (things with fat in them) hold more pesticides than veggies and fruits.

  • sherri says:

    My pediatrician understands the financial plight of parents wanting to go organic; he recommends if money is tight, go organic with milk and meat. My daughter is the only 3rd grader in her class who doesn’t need a training bra, and she’s been drinking organic milk for 5 years now. I’m not going to draw any absolute correlations on this, but we’re sticking with organic milk. *tip* Check to see if there is a Mennonite community close to where you live. I pay $3/gallon for our organic milk from a sweet Mennonite family nearby.

    • jennifer says:

      @sherri, We also have a family(not mennonite) that sells organic milk. You are allowed in missouri to buy from the farm. They also sell goats milk, if you really want to start something!! haha!

    • Kelly says:

      @sherri, I have heard other moms comment on the earlier development of their girls potentially due to hormones on milk, dairy, meat… I think their is something to it.I have heard that if you are going to go organic, dairy and fruits and vegetables are the way to go.

    • Sherri says:

      @sherri, Well, my DD, who drinks regular milk, didn’t start developing until 6th grade and started cycles at 12. Not having kids in school, I don’t have too many girls to compare her to, but the girls at church that I know drink regular milk are all in about the same age range as mine. I’d have to see a scientific study to believe this one.

    • Kate says:

      @sherri, Milk is my favorite beverage. I grew up drinking regular milk (1%), but still didn’t get my period until 8th grade, at the age of 12. Also, until I started gaining weight in college, I was a A cup, and those didn’t even develop until at least 13, when I was a freshman in high school. Even after gaining weight, I am still a barely B. Especially prior to college, I hardly ever wore a bra; I still don’t really need one. Maybe I am an exception to the rule, but I would also need to see some facts to believe that correlation.

      • Mindy says:

        With the inception of factory farms came the need for antibiotics to reduce the sickness that promulgated in these tightly enclosed areas with 1000s of cows bunched together as well as the use of growth hormones to keep the cows in production. This has led (allegedly) to antiobiotic resistance in our population as well as earlier development of our children.
        @Kate, depending on your age, it is possible that you were not affected by “regular” milk because the addition of growth hormones to animals to stimulate greater production is rather “new.” I grew up on a farm and drank milk straight from the bulk tank my entire childhood until I went to college. I did not develop earlier than others either. But looking at my nieces, I can definitely say that they are developing much more quickly than in the past. Is it due to GH in animals? who knows, but I think it may be a contributing factor.

        • Amanda says:

          @Mindy, Personally, I think that there are several factors that contribute to the early development and some health issues that children are facing…but I think that what goes into the animals *does* have *something* to do with it – it’s not just the hormones, its also the antibiotics and type of food they are given. There are so many artificial ingredients and additives in things that we (and animals) eat – things that did not used to be there. I think ignorance has a lot to do with it. I know it did for me. I had no idea what I was consuming or giving my family until I did some research and started reading labels! I wish we could do all organic dairy items, but we do what we can afford and milk is one that I consistently buy. I also buy as much meat from local farmers as I can.

        • Amanda says:

          @Mindy, sorry – that was supposed to be for everyone – not just in response to Mindy. I do agree with what she had to say 🙂

  • Gosia says:

    I personally think every type of milk tastes awful in the US, and I can’t have any of it, and most icecreams too. When I lived in Europe I had cereal for breakfast everyday and it was fine but here I just cannot stomache it. From my knowledge the organic milk is better just like organic meats because it is free from hormones and antibiotics.

    • Katie says:

      My husband was also born and raised in a foreign country, and cannot tolerate American milk. We switched to organic milk for that reason alone. After 5 years of this, I notice a big difference in taste between conventional and organic.

      • Gosia says:

        @Katie,
        Aw! yeah I’m convinced it’s because the cows are fed healthier things and treated in a more humane way the milk just tastes so much more natural and light. Even the eggs I used to buy at the super market were brown and sometimes still had lil bits of feathers in them LOL.

      • Mindy says:

        @Katie, I think it also has something to do with the pasteurization process. Milk straight from a farm tastes so much better than store-bought milk!!!

    • @Gosia,
      Just for everyone’s information, ALL milk, conventional and organic is antibiotic free. It is illegal for milk to have antibiotics. Every truck load of milk is tested for this and if a truck is tainted with milk that contains antibiotics, it is then traced back to the dairy farmer responsible, who must pay for the entire truck load of milk…..no dairy farmer wants this to happen. If we treat a cow with antibiotics, that cow is NOT milked into the tank until all antibiotics are out of her system.

      • Betsy says:

        @The Wife of a Dairyman, Our family has run a dairy farm for over 60 years and you are correct. Any animal treated is not put into the bulk tank. And as far as BST or rBGH is concerned, that is a naturally occurring hormone in lactating cows and there is no way to differentiate between natural and supplemented milk. ALL milk contains BST.

        • Lindsay says:

          @Betsy, I wanted to comment this also, being raised on a dairy farm owned and operated by our family for 60 years. Betsy and Wife of a Dairyman are both 100% correct.

        • Elizabeth says:

          @Betsy, I also come from a farm family, but I have to point out that just because the hormone occurs naturally in the cow does not mean that supplementing the cow with extra hormone has no consequences. Furthermore, just because the FDA says that there is no detectible difference between cows that have and have not been treated with hormones does not mean that there ARE no differences. The dairy lobby has enormous influence at FDA and CDC (I know, I used to work there) and, as a Farm Girl, lifelong 4-Her, AND a PhD in Public Health, you better believe that my family drinks organic milk.

        • Gosia says:

          @Betsy,

          Ooh, thanks for that info! I’m not a pro on the statistics of milk as with meat, but taste wise conventional milk tastes like doo doo.

      • Jen says:

        @The Wife of a Dairyman,
        I’m finding plenty of information to the contrary. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1370/is_n6_v24/ai_9261157/

        “A two-month FDA study of antibiotic drug residues in milk reveals very little misuse of animal drugs, thus showing the milk supply to be essentially safe and pure” *essentially* does not mean FREE
        “The study provides further analysis of 70 milk samples collected from 14 cities and first analyzed last January. FDA reported on Feb. 5 that no antibiotics could be confirmed at or above a level of public health concern” Again, *at or above a level of public health concern* does not mean FREE of antibiotics.
        http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/foodsci/ext/pubs/antibioticresidues.html
        “Nothing the processor or the regulatory agency can do will prevent antibiotic residues from occurring in bulk tank milk”
        Googling the words antibiotics milk shows many other articles that all cite references to the fact that the testing only covers some of the possible antibiotics given, and that despite regulations, trace amounts continue to show up. Also, many other articles mention that testing is RANDOM, not EVERY tank of milk. Could you elaborate?

        • @Jen,
          Testing is not random. It is illegal for milk to contain antibiotics. Every tanker truck load is tested for antibiotics. Not one farmer wants to taint a truck load of milk. Are the articles you are reading coming from reliable sources? It doesn’t sound like it to me because as a dairy farmer, I can tell you, not one cow on our farm that is treated with antibiotics is EVER milked into our milk tank.

        • Mindy says:

          @Jen, Testing is not random. However, looking the other way may be random. Coming from a farm, I know that all the independent farmers were very cognizant of their animals’ situations and I can recall times that we had to dump the entire bulk tank because a cow being treated was accidentally milked into the tank. My parents voluntarily dumped the tank. But then, why risk your contract? Today, factory farms are so large that I find it hard to believe the milk is uncontaminated 100% of the time.

      • Chelsea says:

        @The Wife of a Dairyman,
        I believe a reliable source for some of this information being discussed can be found here from the National Dairy Council:http://www.nationaldairycouncil.org/SiteCollectionDocuments/footer/FAQ/dairy_nutrition/OrganicMilkFAQ.pdf
        I am the wife of a dairy veterinarian whose experience has seen that there are more bulk tank violations of shipped milk from organic farms than from traditional. Not all organic farmers are doing it because it is healthier or because it is better for the animals, some are doing it because they can make more $.
        As I have seen from others’ postings, I would disagree that organic animals are treated more humanely. My husband feels like it is ill-treatment of animals to not give them antibiotics or pain relief when they have a raging infection or are in a great deal of pain; in most instances they die. Organic cows are not as “happy” as you might think.

        • Melanie says:

          @Chelsea, Everyone seriously interested in this topic would probably be also interested in this article:

          http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_42/b4005001.htm

          There were a lot of comments on Crystal’s blog post here that referred to Food, Inc. It’s interesting that if you go read the comments on the PBS website about Food, Inc., there is a guy saying that the movie is pushing the organic/vegan movement to shut down the family farms and move our food production overseas.

          The article above supports that notion and provides some very interesting information.

      • Mrs. J says:

        @The Wife of a Dairyman, Thank you for providing the conventional farmer’s perspective; I was going to do so myself, but it’s already been done quite well!

        For those concerned about added growth hormones, I would just like to add that they were definitely a fad in the dairy world. Some people might still use them, but when we tried them back in the late 90’s, my dad didn’t find them to be cost effective for the few cows he tried them in, so we scrapped them. We’re surrounded by small-time dairy farms–and some large ones–and I don’t know a single person who uses growth hormones anymore.

        Oh, and about “happy” cows…I can’t speak for organic cows, but ours sure are; they all have names and major personalities! I had one cow who would run up to the barn, then feign injury to a front foot so you’d take her by the neck chain and lead her to her stall–talk about a princess!

      • Kerry says:

        @The Wife of a Dairyman, Good to hear your perspective. I had mastitis with my first child and like you said with the cows, I would have considered it inhumane if they DIDN’T give me antibiotics. I’ve heard what you’re saying from a farmer I know but you word it very well

    • Doreen says:

      @Gosia, Interesting! My husband to be is coming here from Romania. I just recently found a source for organic raw milk because I’m sure he will enjoy it much more. 🙂

  • Elizabeth says:

    I actually think that organic milk tastes better, particularly the lower fat ones (like 1% and skim). It seems thicker to me. I only buy organic milk for mostly that reason, and the health benefits. However, I’m a single girl in my 20’s, so a half gallon of milk lasts me at least a week, and usually longer (unless I decide that cereal for every meal is a good thing that week, then it’s less time haha). I will likely re-think this when the time comes for me to be buying way more milk to feed to more people, because it’s wicked expensive.

    • Amber says:

      @Elizabeth, I think organic milk is creamier, especially the skim and 1%. YUM!

    • Nicole says:

      @Elizabeth, I am in the same boat. I switched to organic milk about a year ago after reading something about puss in conventional milk. I immediately noticed it tastes better and lasts longer, which is important for me because, since I don’t have any kids, a half gallon of milk will last my fiancé and I several weeks (unless we go on a cereal binge, haha). So, the extra cost is negated for me because I no longer have to throw away bad milk.

  • amy says:

    I recently found out through frugallivingnw.com that all milk sold and/or produced in Oregon is now required to be hormone-free. Helps me in purchasing the least expensive milk, knowing it is hormone-free

  • Brooke says:

    It’s worth it to me!

  • Rebecca says:

    Personally, I just think it has a better taste to it. My husband (who could care less about healthy food) even said that the better taste was worth the increased cost (first and only time!) I haven’t heard that conventional is the same though. Perhaps it is worth a try to get your general milk consumption reduced, then it won’t hurt your budget as much?

  • Amber says:

    If you look at most milk cartons weather they are organic or not, they usually say “milk comes from cows not treated with rBGH”. The BGH stands for Bovine Growth Hormone which used to be a standard hormone given to cows to increase size and milk production. There had been studies showing that it isn’t good for humans so most large companies stopped giving it to their cows, organic and regular alike. So yes, you read correctly that most regular milk doesn’t contain hormones just like organic milk. The benefit you get from organic milk is that the food fed to the cows is free of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Just like the organic produce you buy is also free from chemical fertilizers and pesticides. There have been various studies about chemical fertilizers and pesticides but not conclusive enough for the FDA to ban using them–so it comes down to your personal preference. But that is why cow milk is labeled “organic” because, the cow’s food is free of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, not because the milk is free from hormones.

  • Nicole says:

    There are many brands of non-organic yet steriod free milk. One major differnce to me is how the farmers are paid as well as the quality of life for the cows. I know it may sound petty but it is worth the extra $2.00 a week to me!

  • Kristin says:

    We do not drink much milk overall, so before switching to organic, our milk was either constantly going bad or I had to buy it in such small quantities that it wasn’t cost-effective. Because organic milk has a longer expiration date, I’ve found that buying organic milk ultimately saves us money and helps us waste less.

    • Lindsey says:

      @Kristin, This is a great point and might actually make me change to organic that I had never thought about. It would actually SAVE me money to buy organic and not have to throw half of it away each time. I just don’t drink or use much milk at all.

    • Coby says:

      @Kristin, This is why we drink only organic. We are not cereal eaters and just don’t go through that much, so it just makes sense for us instead of throwing away milk that has gone bad. I also think it tastes better, but that might just be me:)

    • ksenia says:

      @Kristin, Organic milk does not necessarily have a longer shelf life. I buy local, organic milk that has a pretty short shelf life (two weeks or so). How long it stays good depends on whether the milk is pasteurized or ultra pasteurized. It is illegal to sell milk that is not pasteurized, but the more pasteurized the milk is, the longer the shelf life (yet the pasteurization process deteriorates some beneficial proteins in milk).

      • Marla says:

        @ksenia,

        The selling of non-pasturized milk is only illegal in a hand full of states. Most states allow you to purchase raw milk from the farm or an animal share.

        Just wanted to clear that up.

    • Celia says:

      @Kristin,
      Agreed. The date usually lasts longer. You can also request coupons for Organic Valley or Horizon Organics. Organic Valley (here in the Northwest) sells a type that says, “Northwest Pastures” on the top of the carton… since it is local, it lasts MUCH longer! Sometimes I buy it when it is discounted at the store and freeze it. 🙂

    • tricia says:

      @Kristin, I has the same though too, until I talked with one of the food science professors at the university I work at. Actually all milk should be disgarded 10 days after opening regardless of the date on the carton. Once the milk is exposed to the air, the bacteria/microbes are introduced whether the milk is organic or not. So even though organic milk has a longer date on it, once you open the carten it spoils just like conventional milk. Additionally, the only difference between ultra-pasturized and pasturized is the temperature to which the milk is heated. The primariy difference is in shelf life — ultra pasturized has a longer shelf life, but then again, once you open it, it becomes equal to the conventional milk.

  • Michelle says:

    Well….we shouldn’t have dairy at all…but that is another discussion entirely!!!! However, I believe, there is a HUGE difference. There is a book called, Milk, the deadly poison, talking about all that is in our milk. The hormones, antibiotics, etc they give these cows do harm us. You know if you have breast cancer one of the first things they tell you do is STOP drinking milk!!! We personally have switched to almond, rice, oat, etc.. milks, but if you still need real dairy milk, I believe organic is a must. Do some research on it online, there’s LOTS of info out there.

    • Christy says:

      @Michelle, And just out of curiosity, what do the almond, rice, etc. milks cost?

      • Melodie says:

        @Christy, I’ve seen almond milk go on sale for about $1.99/half gallon. Coupons come out for them regularly too making them cheaper than regular milk sometimes. But I don’t know if they are organic. I’m afraid I’m too hooked on dairy and too budget tight to care much about the “organics” of it all.

        • Kris says:

          @Melodie, I hear ya. We are saving up for a soy milk maker (~$120) so we can make our own soy, rice, oat, almond milk. I’ve just started doing research and I’m seeing that for homemade organic soy milk it will cost us about $1/gallon, with the leftover soybeans also being able to be made into tofu. If we make two gallons a week, we should recover our cost to buy the machine in 6 months (as opposed to buying soy milk at the store). The only drawback, to me, is that homemade soy milk isn’t fortified.

      • robyn says:

        @Christy, you can easily make your own almond, cashew or rice milk and control the flavor and sugar! you basically soak and blend; add vanilla if you want!

      • peever says:

        @Christy,

        I pay about $1.69/quart for rice milk.

    • Megan says:

      @Michelle,
      The China Study is also a great book on this subject.

    • @Michelle,
      ALL milk is antibiotic FREE. See my response above to Gosia #6.
      It’s definitely a personal preference on what you believe about drinking milk. I know I will always drink milk and continue to give my kids milk. My grandparents and my husbands grandparents have always drank milk their entire lives (and all have lived into their 90’s so far) and without any broken bones as well 🙂

    • jennifer says:

      @Michelle, There is also a book by a man named Ted Broer. He talks about a lot of the biblical (clean) things that fight off disease.

    • Kat says:

      @Michelle,

      Why not talk to real dairy farmers, not someone who wants to paint the industry as bad and make a couple bucks while they’re at it? Most dairy farmers are up before the sun starts to shine and are still working hard past dark to ensure their animals are healthy and that the products they produce are healthy (and nothing like the book promotes).

  • Melissa says:

    It is so worth it to me. It tastes way better, and it takes a lot longer to go bad. It isn’t a huge expense for us, as we only consume about 1/2 gallon of milk a week on average. Some weeks, we’ll use almost a gallon, and sometimes it takes us a week and a half to use a 1/2 gallon. If I buy regular milk, it almost always goes bad before we can use it, so that doesn’t feel like I’m really saving money.

  • Jen B says:

    I think it’s totally worth drinking organic milk. Most of the milk around here is hormone free, but that doesn’t help if the cows are eating GMO grain instead grass. I don’t want GMOs in my family’s bodies, so we have made the switch to organic dairy, meats, and produce. I figure if we eat less boxed foods, we can afford the more expensive organic foods. After seeing Food Inc. my hubby won’t let me buy anything but organic. 🙂 No complaints. I want the best for my family. Good luck with your desision.

    • AJ says:

      Food Inc was instrumental in many of the switches we have made as well. We eat grass fed meat and buy organic milk, but we also drink less milk because we are also eating less processed foods (including cereal). It’s a great film.

  • Angela says:

    The problem with some organic milk is that it is ultra-pasteurized so it can be transported long distances. From what I’ve read, ultra-pasteurization kills everything in the milk, including the good stuff, so I have generally opted out of buying organic.

    We drink raw milk and buy rBST-free milk when we run out of our weekly raw gallon. I also use the rBST-free milk to make yogurt and in cooking.

    And Amy is correct, all milk produced in Oregon and Washington state is required to be hormone free (rBST-free), even if the label does not state so. Note that this does not mean all milk SOLD in these two states is hormone free. If the tracking # starts with a 41 (Oregon) or 53 (Washington), you’re getting rBST-free milk.

    • @Angela, This is what I’ve read too re: ultra-pasteurization. When it comes to taste, I think that raw milk, and then perhaps milk that is flash-pasteurized at a low temperature, taste the best. But at $16 a gallon, there is no way we can afford raw milk right now! The ultra-pasteurization issue is one reason I stick with regular, hormone-free milk v. organic. But it would be interesting to hear from others if there are some versions of organic that aren’t ultra-pasteurized.

      • @Jenni @ Life from the Roof, Look for the plastic gallons, they are usually just pasteurized, where as the half gallon containers are ultra-pasteurized.

      • Megan says:

        @Jenni @ Life from the Roof, Not all brands are ultra-pasteurized. Some are, but some aren’t – and those retain the nutrition and goodness!

        • @Megan, Typically the ones with longer expiration dates (like a month or more out) are the ones that are ultra high temp pasteurized. We buy only organic milk (and cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, fruits and veggies, etc) and it is definitely worth it to me. I don’t have kids yet, but my husband drinks tons of milk, and it makes me feel better that he isn’t getting the garbage found in regular milk. Also, recently new laws were passed that require a certain amount of grass grazing time for dairy cows that are producing organic milk. Although this isn’t the same as a totally grass fed cow, grass feeding brings tons of benefits such as more vitamin D, more CLA (a cancer fighting fat), and a better omega 6/omega 3 ratio.

          All that for only a few dollars more per gallon? Even if the price is double conventional milk, it still only equals $2-3 a week for a gallon of milk per week. Very well worth it to me!

      • Angela says:

        @Jenni @ Life from the Roof,

        $16 would be a deal breaker for me as well. We are able to get our raw milk for $9-$10 a gallon, depending on the farmer.

      • Jen says:

        @Jenni @ Life from the Roof,
        This line of thinking is what I have heard too – I would get “regular” milk that isn’t ULTRA-pasteurized then organic that is. For me it also depends on where I am shopping and what prices are running. I often get organic when it gets close to the sell by date and is 50% off. Otherwise I get other options that are just pasteurized and not “ultra” – my favorite is a somewhat local dairy that supplies at Whole Foods and has a “cream-top” option in their whole milk.

      • @Jenni @ Life from the Roof,
        From what I have found, any milk in a plastic jug is just pasteurized (and has an earlier expiration date). Any milk in a carton is ultra-pasteurized (and has a later expiration date).

        We drink organic, because I believe it’s better for the family, but I’ve recently been looking in to raw milk from a local farmer.

        Laura

      • Amanda says:

        @Jenni @ Life from the Roof, I know that Horizon Organic and Organic Valley milk are both ultra pasteurized. I did a bit of research into the Publix Greenwise Organic milk, and feel pretty confident that it is only normal pasteurization, not ultra. Hope that helps.

        • chris says:

          Organic valley gallons are not.@Amanda,

        • Amanda says:

          @Amanda, I didn’t even know they sell them in gallon containers, I have only seen them in the half gallon cardboard ones. Thanks for clarifying, I guess my stores just don’t carry those – I wish they did, because there seem to be fairly regular coupons for OV milk!

    • @Angela, I agree with you… that organic is great, if you can find it without being ultra-pasteurized. All of the organic milks sold near me are U-P. I came across a detailed blog post on another site several months ago that explains what milk choices are best: http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2008/02/healthy-milk.html

      We did raw for awhile, too, but the farmer near us uses holsteins and I wasn’t very comfortable with that, so I’m holding off on special milk purchases right now… I’d love to get fresh jersey milk. Wouldn’t that be great! 🙂

    • AJ says:

      HyVee brand organic is vat past. and cream top. About as close to raw as you can get and still buy in the store. It’s 5.99/gallon.

  • I used to buy all organic milk with coupons/deals and it wasn’t too terribly expensive, but then we discovered our local milk delivery service and I am telling you, fresh milk is the BEST tasting milk! It is not organic, its pasturized but its local and very fresh and hormone free. I never drank much milk before but we have had to upgrade our delivery each week because our whole family, not just the 2 year old, is drinking milk now!

    I think it is mostly the hormones that people are concerned about as am I. For example, I didn’t know that the opaque gallon containers (the ones you can see the milk through) actually contain a chemical that mimics the growth hormone as well! So they recommend you buy in the cardboard 1/2 gallon containers or gallons that you cannot see through!

  • Julie Zilkie says:

    I have done a ton of research on this subject, and the truth of the matter is, whether you are drinking organic or regular, nearly all of the good nutritional enzymes have been killed by the pasteurization process. In fact, organic milk is heated to an even higher temperature as another reader stated above. Raw milk is defintely superior when it comes to dairy. If you can find it, use it! We are a family of 7, and although my budget is really tight, this is something that is not negotiable for us. This is a GREAT video on the subject: After watching it, I would be surprised if anyone would want to drink regular milk again. http://vimeo.com/13418268

    • Quinn says:

      @Julie Zilkie, My husband and I just watched that video last night! It was so educational- great introduction to the topic as it covered everything you should know about the issue. I thought it was a very engaging interview as well. It’s a quick hour.

      To answer the question: We decided long ago that it wasn’t worth it. Unless you care about how the cows are raised for the sake of the cow, the numerous nutritional benefits from grass fed cattle are killed by the UHT pasteurizing. Until we can get raw milk, we’ve chosen to drink hormone free non-organic milk. Organic milk is $8/galloon here, the hormone free we buy is $2/ gallon. At 4 gallons a week, that saves us over $1200!!! Well worth it since there isn’t any extra health benefit from the organic!

    • Christy says:

      @Julie Zilkie, So is fresh milk safe to drink since it is not paseurized?—esp. for pregnant women?

      • Kyallee says:

        @Christy,
        No way I’d ever give my family raw milk; too darn risky. Saw this in the news a couple weeks ago:
        http://www.dailycamera.com/ci_15469283?source=most_viewed

        There’s a reason we pasteurize beverages; it keeps us safe from bacterial illness!

        • gina says:

          @Kyallee, thanks for sharing this. how devastating for those with the illness.

        • Marla says:

          @Kyallee,

          Actually, more people get sick from pasturized milk than from raw milk. Pasturized milk contains twice as much bacteria because the pasturization process destroys all of the good bacteria that keep the bad bacteria in check. The majority of the Ecoli outbreaks from milk have come from pasturized, store bought milk. You just don’t hear about them as much because it’s not something that people consider “different”. It reminds me of the homeschooling community, one bad parent disguises themselves as a homeschooler to abuse their kids and suddenly the whole homeschool population is whack jobs not teaching their kids. It’s the same with raw milk. One person gets sick and the the whole world knows, but thousands get sick every year from pasturized milk and no one says a thing.

          Check out the website realmilk.com. They have lots of good information.

          Personally, we drink raw milk. Since switching about 3 years ago, my daughters asthma has cleared up, and my children get horribly sick anytime they have store milk. Also, the raw milk tastes SO much better.

          Think about this, we are one of the few countries in the world that pasturize our milk, and we have only been doing it for about 50 years. What do you think the people in other countries drink? How about your ancestors, or your great grandparents? They all drank milk straight from the cow, and even kept it in refrigerators that were kept cool by a giant block of ice. They lived to tell about it, too.

          Americans are completely lost and uniformed when it comes to food because the “big businesses” fill our heads full of lies to promote their products and make a profit.

          Okay, I’m off my soapbox now, lol. 😉

      • Melodie says:

        @Christy, If by fresh, you mean raw, then according to the link above, yes! More healthy than pasteurized. I’m absolutely aghast after watching that video. I think about halfway through I realized my jaw was on the floor and I had to pull it back up. I need to do more research on this. Thanks for the link, Julie!

      • @Christy,

        We run a grass-fed cow share program for people wanting healthy, grass-fed, raw milk..so as another wife of a raw milk Guernsey cow dairyman…. I’m currently pregnant and drink a lot of raw milk every day, use raw butter, raw cream, raw butter milk…. My children also consume lots of raw milk.

        Grass-fed raw milk is a completely different food product than conventional, pasteurized milk.

        I wouldn’t drink raw milk out of a tanker truck…but raw milk from a trusted source with good milking practices is completely safe and healthy!

        It’s also good to note that depending on the type of cow you are getting milk from…the milk will taste different. Most American milk is from the Holstein (A1 milk) — We love the old fashion cows like the Guernsey (A2 milk) who give rich, sweet, creamy milk with high amounts of vitamins and minerals.

        just some thoughts…

      • Haila says:

        @Christy,

        Here in Minnesota, there has been recent (June ’10) news about an E Coli outbreak from consuming raw milk:
        http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/health/96169679.html?elr=KArksUUUoDEy3LGDiO7aiU

        At least 8 people were affected, many of them young children. Thankfully, none of them died.

        I won’t question the nutritional benefits associated with clean, hygenically produced raw milk – I’m sure it’s great. But as I don’t have them time/ability to carefully investigate these conditions at area dairy farms, I’m sticking with pasteurized milk.

        • Christy says:

          @Haila, Thanks ladies! I am currently pregnant and I know you cannot have unpasteurized cheeses so I was wondering about this. Beth, it sounds like you have access to fresh milk daily. At best, I would probably only be able to work out picking it up once a week and then it would have to keep in my fridge for a week; I’m assuming the more days it sits before being used, the more bacteria grows. If I ever do switch, I think I will conduct the experiment when not pregnant!

        • @Haila,

          here’s a link: http://www.realmilk.com
          It also has some information on media scare tactics in regards to raw milk.

          I do eat raw milk cheese if I can get around to making it….

          no…the more days raw milk sits doesn’t mean it gets bad for you. One of the beautiful designs of raw milk is that is naturally sours over time…where as pasteurized milk rots. A huge difference.

          I often make Kefir yogurt where I leave the raw milk out on the counter to “ferment” with my kefir grains over night and strain it off the next morning …producing Kefir –and great pro-biotic source.

          That’s how people use to make sour cream and cottage cheese …with raw milk— you can’t do that with pasteurized milk.

    • Amanda says:

      @Julie Zilkie,

      I agree that it is nutritious and the best type of milk, but it comes with a risk. We had a local dairy farmer selling raw milk and one woman became paralyzed from her neck down from drinking only one glass due to the combylacter (sp?) contaminant found in it. It comes with risks, so make sure you do your research to make sure it is best for your family.

    • Emily says:

      @Julie Zilkie, This question is actually for any of you who have commented about “raw” or “fresh” milk. What exactly constitutes “raw” milk? I’m not sure I understand what you’re all talking about. From what I’m imagining, does it only come in the whole milk variety then? Because I personally think whole milk tastes gross (I drink only skim, everything else tastes way too creamy to me). Also, if I’m not mistaken, it is held by the AAP that no one over the age of 2 should drink anything more than 1% milk (others just have too much fat). PLease correct me if I”m wrongly assuming this about raw milk; I’m simply unaware.

      • Julie Zilkie says:

        @Emily, Emily, Raw milk is milk that has NOT been pasteurized and homogonized. You can only get this type of milk directly from a small farm. And the fat in milk is GOOD fat, and you SHOULD Have it in your diet. Skim milk is really not good for you at all, it has synthetic vitamins added into it, as well as a lot of sugar. I read a wonderful book that really helped guide me as to our food choices for our family. Highly recommend it…Real Food by Nina Planck. I know drinking a richer milk takes getting used to, but it is much better for you as well as any children you may have. They DO need healthy fats, and milk is a good way for them to get those. What we don’t need more of is processed fats and sugars. Hope this helps!

    • Jennifer says:

      @Julie Zilkie,
      Great video – thanks for the link. I just watched the whole thing, and passed it along to my entire local food buying club. Fantastic information – I wish I were able to remember all the talking points as well as he did; I always find myself tongue-tied when people challenge me on raw milk.

  • Jennifer says:

    Yes, yes, and YES it is worth the extra price! USDA organic milk has to conform to very specific standards and even then there are still factors we don’t necessarily know about (treatment of the cows, etc.). But it’s better than nothing! Organic certification ensures that the cows are not treated with rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone), antibiotics (often conventional farms are forced to give these to cows because their extreme maltreatment of them makes them sick) and that they are not fed anything sprayed with chemicals or pesticides. Not only do these chemicals and hormones have the potential to harm us and our children as we ingest them, but the chemical run-off into our land and water isn’t doing us any good, either.

    Even further, I would encourage you to purchase grass-fed milk if you can. Cows, being ruminants, are meant to eat GRASS, not corn! Eating corn can lead to the development of physiological difficulties like acidosis, a build up of acid in the stomach. Cows suffering from acidosis often need – you guessed it – antibiotics, or can be treated by having a hose shoved down their esophagus. This happens so much more often than we would like to think.

    We don’t make a bundle of money, either, I promise. But we make up those 3 or 4 dollars with the sacrifice of not going to that movie, buying that treat, purchasing that t-shirt. It can be done!

  • Lynn says:

    When I switched from regular milk to organic, I thought it did taste better, though we don’t really use milk as a beverage. Then I happened to run into a source for (free! well, bartered for labor) fresh raw milk, and I’ll never go back. We’ll just go without if we can’t get the raw for whatever reason. The flavor is incomparable. It lasts about ten days in the fridge, and if we don’t get through it I skim the cream and make butter, and then use the remaining milk for a tiny batch of cottage cheese.

    I am committed to having only organic meat and dairy, and buying locally makes it very affordable.

  • Stacey says:

    When store bought milk is pasteurized it kills the lactase which aids in the digestion of lactose, which is why some many people are “lactose intolerant”.. They just aren’t able to digest the lactose with out the lactase which has been killed, along with many other beneficial aspects of our milk..
    I have found a local source and purchasing raw milk costs about the same as organic milk.. plus you can sometimes get farm eggs, butter, cheese, etc. Doesn’t get much fresher/healthier than straight from a farmer.

    • Jennifer says:

      @Stacey,

      Just to clarify, no milk (besides Lactaid) contains Lactase. Lactase is an enzyme we make to digest milk. All milk contains Lactose and the pasteurization process does not impact the concentration of lactose, therefore the pasteurization process does not effect the prevelance of lactose intolerance in our society.

      • Alana says:

        @Jennifer, I am lactose intolerant, so is my father… we can both drink raw milk without any adverse affects. In contrast, drinking pasteurized milk will cause the usual lactose intolerant symptoms. I don’t know all the terms and what is or is not in milk, but I know I CAN drink raw milk and I can’t drink any other kind of milk (besides Lactaid but that has a funny taste plus it’s ultra-pasteurized).

      • Doreen says:

        @Jennifer, my 3 year old is completely lactose intollerant and she absolutely can’t have any milk except lactose free. Raw milk affects her just as badly as pasteurized. The option we have is purchasing lactase drops (from amazon) adding them to raw milk and letting it sit in the fridge for 24 hours. . . then the raw milk also becomes lactose free. Way cheaper than buying it from the store, but not nearly as convenient. I’ve done both.

  • Mary says:

    If our finances allowed it, I would preferred to purchase locally “grown” milk, regardless of organic certification. (Certification can be very expensive for small farms.). Buying local means I can talk to the producer, see the conditions the cows are kept in, etc. In fact, I would love to buy as much of my food locally as possible (I’m thinking I won’t find local bananas here in Illinois!). I think it’s important to think about WHY you want to buy organic, then find out how best to fulfill that desire.

    • Megan says:

      @Mary, I completely agree! Why you are going organic matters a lot. My family cares most about conditions for workers and health, so we buy organic sugar and bananas (since workers who use pesticides on those crops have high cancer rates and are treated especially poorly). But we buy conventional milk (for now).

      • Brooklyn says:

        @Megan,

        Unfortunately, being “certified organic” does not mean that laborers are treated well, though I’m sure the producers of organic products would like you to think that. It’s only certification that the products are grown/produced without certain chemicals. It means nothing about treatment/payment of workers. “Fair trade” organic bananas and sugar are your best bet if worker treatment is what you’re worried about.

        • Megan says:

          @Brooklyn, The reason work conditions are so terrible for conventional sugar and banana workers is because the chemicals they use are so toxic and they are often not provided with protective gear. These populations face increasingly high cancer rates (as well as other ailments). Buying organic doesn’t ensure that the workers are paid a fair wage or only work 40 hrs/week, but it does help to ensure that they’re not being exposed to neurotoxins every day. If more people choose organic more workers will have at least somewhat better conditions. Though you’re right that fair trade products would be ideal – unfortunately there’s still far too little demand from folks like us in the west…

      • Brooklyn says:

        @Megan,

        (It wouldn’t let me reply to your reply!)

        You’re absolutely right; I just get concerned if it seems like certified organic is conflated with fair/humane treatment of workers or animals. Though certainly, less exposure to chemicals is a method of fair(er) treatment to workers.

        It’s so difficult to stay (accurately) informed about regulations and often corporations stand to gain a lot from misconceptions about certification–my concern is that this happens at the expense of well-meaning consumers.

        • Megan says:

          @Brooklyn, Such good points! Corporations not only thrive on consumers’ mis-perceptions and gullibility, but they contribute to them with confusing advertising campaigns. Both good reasons that we should have more of these types of discussions on blogs and other public forums 🙂

  • Standard milk can contain hormones. Only if the package says “RBST free”, can you comfortably think that the milk doesn’t contain hormones.

    Conventional milk may also contain antibiotics, where as organic cannot contain antibiotics.

    Feed the organic cows eat can also not contain herbicides, fungicides, or pesticides. Conventional cows can eat feed grow with all of those.

    Any nursing or pumping Mom knows that there are certain medications that Dr.’s don’t recommend you take because it may end up in your milk, the same goes for cows. What the eat and the medications they take may end up in the milk.

    I pay the extra price and feel it is worth it. I also use coupons and sales to reduce the cost. Organic Valley, Horizon and Stonyfield provide coupons for milk on a regular basis. If you cannot afford organic, I would look for RBST free milk to at least avoid the bovine growth hormones.

    • @Susan (Organic Deals & Coupons),
      ALL milk, conventional and organic do not contain antibiotics…it is illegal for milk to contain antibiotics and every truck load is tested for it. See my comment above on #6

      • Farmer's Daughter says:

        @The Wife of a Dairyman is right. They test every. single. tanker. of milk when it gets to the milk plant before unloading for drug residue. If the load tests positive, the whole tanker gets dumped. Every tank of milk also gets sample tested at the farm (for a variety of things, including drug residue), and the tests run at the lab in the milk plant.

        Feels like you’re shouting to the wind, doesn’t it, Wifey? 🙂

        • chris says:

          @Farmer’s Daughter,
          Some of us have concerns about antibotics that extend beyond ingesting them.
          The use (and often misuse)of antibotics in both beef and dairy cattle builds up in the soil over time and increases the overall chance of some antibotic resistant super bug taking hold. It’s the same reason that I really dislike the antibactrial hand sanitizer junk too.

          Also I perfer to vote with my pocketbook on the issue of GMO’s. I’d rather my meat and milk not come from animals that ate massive amounts of GMO corn or beans. I haven’t had any sucess at getting my in laws to not plant the roundup ready ick (which nearly all of the corn and bean raised in the US is) but I don’t have to feed it to my kids.

      • Mindy says:

        @The Wife of a Dairyman, I hear what you are saying about the antibiotics in the milk. What I have a hard time understanding is how you can be so adamant that ALL MILK does not contain ANY antibiotics? There is, has been, and will always be times that things get by the “regulators.” When it comes to making money, companies are more than willing to look the other way to ensure that their profits remain. They just have the bean counters decide if it is more profitable to dump or recall the products or to just pay out on the potential lawsuits that could be brought against the company. Just look at the latest recalls – Toyota and McNeil to name just two. It has come to light that Toyota knew of the problems, yet failed to do anything about it. Also, look at the numerous companies that historically continued to dump chemicals despite EPA guidelines about proper disposal.

        While I have no doubt that YOU do not send contaminated milk, I think it is naive to believe that ALL milk is antibiotic-free.

        • @Mindy,
          It is not the ‘Big Companies’ that are out the money. If milk is tested positive for antibiotics, it is traced back to the farmer who tainted it and that farmer pays for all the milk in the tanker truck that has been tainted. Each time milk is picked up from a dairy, samples are taken from the dairy milk being picked up, then if an issue arrises, such as the tanker truck is tested positive for antibiotics, they test each of the samples taken from each of the dairies and the responsible dairy farmer then needs to pay for the entire tanker truck full of milk. The big companies don’t look the other way because they are not the ones that will be out the money. As a dairy farmer and as a consumer, I feel confident that my kids are not drinking or eating antibiotics in their food.

  • Jen says:

    I’ve never bought organic milk, so I can’t comment on the taste. From a frugal standpoint, the organic milk looks so much for expensive in the store and it’s not worth it to me to pay the extra price. I think regular old 1% milk is fine for me and my kids.

    • Tammy says:

      @Jen, We buy 1% milk also.My teenage son drinks lots of milk so i would be broke if I bought organic milk.

      • Jessica says:

        FINALLY! I thought I was the only one on here who likes regular milk!

        • LoveToShop says:

          @Jessica, Oh no you’re not alone at ALL. I buy regular milk all the time, my budget and my milk drinkers do NOT allow for anything else.

        • Wendy says:

          @Jessica, Nope – not alone; my family of 3 goes through about 3 gallons each week. I buy my milk at CVS because they have the best price in my area.

          I have purchased organic milk when there was a sale I could combine with coupons so it was less expensive. I liked it just fine; but I haven’t found any compelling reason to drastically cut our milk consumption since that would be the only way to afford organic. For every “factual, scienticifally-supported” article or documentary you find supporting one idea, you’ll find an equally “factual, scienticifally-supported” article or documentary for the opposition.

          I think it’s all personal choice; I’ll support your right to decide what’s best for your family even if I don’t feel it’s what best for mine.

  • Kelly says:

    We drink a TON of milk (well, my husband and kids do – about 2 gallons per week). I don’t buy organic because it is too expensive and for us, the benefits don’t outweigh the cost. Also, I tend to buy the hormone-free milk. It may be slightly more expensive than regular milk (although more brands of “regular” milk seem to be going hormone free which is good), but not as pricey as organic.

  • Judith says:

    I would suggest you watch the documentary Food Inc., and then draw your own conclusions, I think it is a Must Watch. I totally changed the way I see food now…and the answer to me on weather to buy Organic or not is knowing how are cows treated at the farm…I like to drink milk from cows that have space to roam around in the grass and not confined all day long next to others cows, without being able to move, and eating corn all day long…I can totally taste the difference on the milk produced from cows treated humanly…just my thought.

  • Chantal says:

    I had to do a report on this for my nutrition class a few years ago and it is pretty gross actually the hormones they put in the milk. They actually do cause the cows to get infections sometimes from the injection site and it creates puss around the utters which then comes out in the milk.. Plus there have been many circumstances where children who drink milk regularly as well as other dairy items like yogurt have begun to develop prematurely. So for my house we try to buy as much organic as possible because everything we put into our body becomes a part of us in some way and will undoubtedly affect us sometime.

  • Yizzel says:

    I only buy pasteurized organic milk (not ULTRApasteurized), but its really hard to find it in the supermarkets, I buy mine in Fairway here in Brooklyn.

  • MamaLaundry says:

    We buy organic milk and eggs faithfully. We aren’t able to buy anything else organic right now due to cost and budget. I want every dairy product that goes in my children to be hormone free, so the few dollars we have available for organic items goes to that.

    Have you tried Stoneyfield Farm milk? My husband and I seriously call it ‘crack milk’ because you just can’t stop drinking it it’s so good!!! And I am not a milk drinker.

    Once we were hooked on Stoneyfield Farm, there was no way we were going back to the taste of regular, non-organic milk! Bleh.

    -Lauren

  • Noelle says:

    My favorite part of organic milk is that it doesn’t expire very quickly. It’s just my husband and I, so we don’t go through milk quickly. I totally think it’s worth the effort and has incredible health benefits.

  • Rachel says:

    We would buy organic, but it doesn’t fit in our budget at all. We go through 2 gallons of milk a week, it’s crazy! I told my husband we just need a cow in the backyard (and some chickens). It’s illegal to purchase raw milk for human consumption here, although places sell it for “pet and agriculture” use. It’s $11 a gallon. We do get milk that is antibiotic/growth hormone free. I’ve tried to go organic, but just can’t find it in the budget to do so….we barely scrap by month to month as it is. Hopefully one day we’ll be out of this dreaded debt hole and things will be better…but until then……. *sigh* I do what I can!

  • Ln says:

    We go through 3 -4 gallons a week here in this house. At 2 bucks extra per gallon of organic, that would be 24-32 dollars extra a month. We just can’t do it.

  • tammy says:

    My opinion is that anything that may help your family have better health is worth the price….esp. when it comes to staying away from conventional milk. I’ve done plenty of research and seen differences first hand. Although, I also don’t believe that “organic” is always the best route either. We opt for milk from a local farm. It is unhomogenized and pasteurized at 

the lowest legal temperature. It’s illegal to sell raw milk where we live and this option seems to be the next best thing for us.

  • Cathleen says:

    To me, the biggest issue is the hormones. And standard milk *does* have hormones unless it says otherwise. I’m not sure if that is state-specific or not. I buy brands that say they are hormone-free. These are not organic brands, just brands that have made a point of not using hormones on their cows.

  • kristen says:

    We drink only organic milk (and use organic half and half, butter, sour cream, and cheeses (when we can find them)), mostly to avoid the hormones, antibiotics AND pesticides used in conventional dairy farming.

    Organic milk is a great item to start going organic with – most families with children always buy milk – it’s rare when I go to the store and don’t pick up a gallon! At first it’s a bit of a sticker shock, but we got used to it, and continued to add in other organic dairy products, trying the ones we like the best, for the best price (we much prefer Trader Joe’s organic dairy products – their sour cream is AMAZING!). We do try to buy most of our produce organic as well.

    If the pesticide use doesn’t bother you, I don’t see any reason why conventional milk would be “worse.” You can find conventional milk that is hormone and antibiotic-free.

    I’ve thought about raw milk. We used to get raw goat milk from my sister’s in-laws, but never made a switch for cow’s. A good friend of ours is a doctor and says, regarding raw milk, “TB is still TB.” As with anything unpasteurized, raw milk does have food-borne risks. It’s a matter of how comfortable you are taking those risks. For some, the risk isn’t bothersome, for others, it’s a deal breaker.

  • christal b. says:

    Hello fellow Money Saving Mom readers!
    Aldi sells milk with the “Farmer’s Pledge” that their cows are not treated with growth hormones. I also found that Sam’s club and Costco do the same thing. Hope this helps!!

    ~Christal

    • Ashlea says:

      @christal b., Thanks for that info! We’re not able to buy organic anything these days and I’ve felt guilty about the milk most of all because of worries about what hormones are doing to us. Yea!

  • bonnie says:

    Absolutely worth every penny!! Horizon Fat Free Organic is the best! No weird smell that regular milk has, the expiration date is about a month longer which in my opinion saves you money in the long run. No spoiled milk!! Definitely worth the price!!! 🙂

  • Megan says:

    I just want to mention almond milk as a healthy alternative to cow’s milk. It’s cheaper than regular or organic milk and since it’s made from almonds, obviously you don’t have to worry about hormones or pesticides or anything weird. And, health-wise, it’s actually pretty unnatural for humans to drink the milk of another species–I’ve read that this is why so many people are lactose-intolerant or just have digestive issues when drinking cow’s milk. My family drinks almond milk exclusively and we love it. It’s easy on our grocery budget and we’re healthy as can be. It also tastes really good! I hope this wasn’t too off-topic–I just love almond milk so much I had to bring it up!

    • Krystina says:

      @Megan, yes, humans are the odd balls in this world. We’re the only ones who cook our food, breastfeed our young for years, and drink other animal’s milk 🙂

    • Marie says:

      @Megan,

      I’m not sure, but don’t you have to worry about pesticides used in the almond-growing process? I’ve been thinking about switching to almond milk myself…is there organic almond milk?

      • Diane says:

        @Marie,
        I’m not sure, but I would think that the almonds shells would protect us from most of the pesticides. I don’t know how much get sucked up from the roots or anything, but I would think it’s safe. (BTW, I am a new lover of Almond Milk! Recently tried it, and the only regret is that I can’t get it more often.)

    • Stacia says:

      @Megan, We love almond milk! My doctor, who practices holistic health care as primary and mainstream medicine as secondary, encourages using almond milk exclusively.

  • Nicole says:

    We do not buy Organic products, from the things I have read/seen/researched I do not believe they are worth the extra cost, but that is only my opinion

  • meghan says:

    I’ve been lactose intolerant my whole life, but for some reason I can drink Organic Jersey Cow milk, like Promised Land or Fresh Market Milk, without any digestive problems. Though it works out to $10 a gallon, I feel its worth it just to drink milk and not worry.

  • charity says:

    We just recently switched from store bought milk to Raw milk and the raw milk taste SO much better it taste a lot fresher and creamier and it also has A LOT more health benefits than the store bought milk. They add a lot of unnecessary additives to the store bought and store bought is actually not as fresh as people think…. Just cause it don’t smell bad or look bad does not mean it is fresh…

    • Jennifer says:

      @charity,

      The pasteurization process does not actually destroy any of the nutritional properities of milk so nutritionally speaking, conventional milk and raw milk are equal.
      http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm079516.htm

      • Alana says:

        @Jennifer, The FDA has approved of many things they later decided were unsafe. Just saying… All that page did was state a bunch of “facts” but it gives no backup, no details of the studies done… Just listen to someone who drinks raw milk (from a dairy farm that practices good hygiene and cleanliness) you will hear personal stories of lives changed because of diseases cured and many, many other benefits. I trust personal stories over the FDA’s tests. There is such a thing as good bacteria in milk and the high heat of pasteurization which kills the bad bacteria must also kill the good bacteria. It’s also helpful to know that there is not bad bacteria in all milk, the way the cows are fed and pastured and how they are treated can be the difference between healthy raw milk with good bacteria and milk I wouldn’t want to drink even if it was ultra-pasteurized.

      • Julie Zilkie says:

        @Jennifer, the FDA has a HUGE reason for wanting us to believe that, and it’s called MONEY. Just use your common sense, if it it hot enough to kill BAD bacteria, than it is obviously hot enough to kill GOOD bacteria. That page is just an advertisement, with no real back up of any sort to their claims.

      • @Jennifer,

        Consider the source… the FDA…..

        Conventional milk and Raw milk are not the same…. and are far from equal! There is much documented evidence that proves otherwise.

        Here’s an experiment someone did showing the difference in two calves…one on raw milk, one on conventional milk. There is a huge difference!

        http://thebovine.wordpress.com/2010/06/04/the-tale-of-two-calves-one-calf-got-raw-milk-the-other-pasteurized/#more-16769

  • Amber says:

    We buy it for my daughter, and have since she started drinking milk (she’s 3 now). It’s worth the extra cost to us. I don’t even like milk but it tastes much better than “regular” milk to me. The deciding factor for me was a simple test. If you leave out a sippy cup of regular milk and a sippy cup of organic milk, take a look after the milk starts to sour. The regular milk looks disgusting and smells awful. The organic milk is nowhere near as nasty or smelly.

    • Brooklyn says:

      @Amber,

      I’m not an expert by any means and there seems to be a lot of “evidence” supporting all kinds of different things regarding milk (and all other foodstuffs for that matter). However, the reason regular milk in your test gets “disgusting” is because there are live cultures in the milk. Just like peaches will mold after awhile–a natural process (McDonald’s food, however, does not mold even after years). The organic milk you used for the test is most likely ultra-pasteurized milk. That process, while it extends the shelf life of the milk, kills off the live and active cultures that are in the milk. It is a good thing when food molds or becomes gross when not refrigerated or after time–this means it’s a whole food subject to natural biological processes.

      I believe it was Michael Pollan who said something like, “don’t eat anything that doesn’t rot…food is alive and it should die.”

      • Amber says:

        @Brooklyn, You’re right. We get the ultra-pasteurized kind. I did not think about it this way. However it still tastes better than regular milk to me 🙂

  • Pamela O. says:

    I bought organic milk for a couple months then stopped because it was eating up my food budget! I also read about the UHT (ultra high temp) pasteurization negating any beneficial aspects of it, I think I read about it on KitchenStewardship.com. I would love it if we could find a way to get raw milk but I don’t know of any in my area. Until then, it will be hormone free milk for us.

  • I found this post very helpful when making that same decision: http://www.foodrenegade.com/healthy-milk-what-to-buy/

    Good luck in your decision making. Who would have thought that which milk to choose would be such a personal decision? 🙂

  • Christy says:

    Can you buy organic milk in skim or 1% or 2% varieties?–just wondering. I know a lot of people are in to whole foods so I guess not altering at all would be the way to go, but there is so much fat!

  • jan says:

    We don’t drink much cows milk- but for cooking I use the store brand milk because it is hormone free. Also I never buy skim or 1% milk because they add soy lecithin to it to make it look thicker. We drink almond or rice milk. I am pretty anti-soy so we don’t use soy milk either. If we could buy raw milk here I would but you can’t.

  • Jenni says:

    I just don’t buy into the whole organic craze that is sweeping the country. I think it’s comparable to the debate about the correct sleeping position for newborns – every few years it changes! Right now what “they” say is good for you will not be what is “good” for you in 4 years. I don’t want to start a debate, but I think it’s just a bunch of hype to boost that particular market.

    • Emily says:

      @Jenni, I absolutely 100% agree!! I refer to it as “jumping on the organic bandwagon.” It’s just one big advertising ploy!

    • brookeb says:

      @Jenni, Inherent in this is an assumption that everyone who buys it is doing so because it’s healthier for them. There’s also the position that you buy it because it lasts longer (due to ultra-pasteurization), that you are choosing to support those specific farms with certain practices, or that you simply like the taste better.

    • @Jenni, I agree with you. It seems very trendy right now, along with going green. I have looked into buying organic and I don’t feel that it is worth the extra money. If I can get it for the same price or cheaper than conventional products then I will buy it. I would rather be able to offer my kids a variety of healthy foods than a few organic foods because of the cost difference and I belive that eating a variety of foods (even treats in moderation) is what is most healthy.

  • jan says:

    by the way if you’re worried about the hormones in milk having an estrogen effect- you should avoid soy lecithin- which is what they add to skim milk to make it look thicker- and almost all package processed /foods if you read the label- it’s harder to avoid than high fructose corn syrup

  • Carrie says:

    To those who feel raw milk is healthy, read this article that recently appeared in Slate by Pulitzer-prize-winning science writer Deborah Blum:
    http://www.slate.com/id/2260389
    “The golden, creamy milk of those 19th-century farms killed people, often enough that public health crusaders fought for years for the protection of pasteurization.”
    (Full disclosure: She’s my cousin, but she is indeed a Pulitzer laureat)

    • Leigh says:

      @Carrie, I study domestic history, including the 19th and early 20th and raw milk does have a dangerous side. Not that you should not drink it, but go in with eyes open and do your research. Safe milk was a big public health fight for our great-great-grandmothers. They would be glad to see us have so many choices.

    • Doreen says:

      @Carrie, When I lived in Romania we heated our milk to a certain temperature (now I can’t remember what it was) It was just enough to kill the bad without ruining the taste and the benefits. Cream still rose after that. If a person wants fresh from the farm milk and yet is worried about possible milk borne illness investigate this.

      • Julie says:

        @Doreen,
        We did that too in Romania. I even remember one time my mom tricking us into thinking we were drinking warm cow’s milk but it was actually warm water buffalo milk (which in my opinion tastes better anyway)!!
        Where and when were you in Romania?

        • Doreen says:

          @Julie, I was in Paltinis Romania for a year 2003-2004. That’s near Caransebes in the Caras Severin district. I’ve been back twice since then, once for two months, and now I am marrying a young man from there. 🙂 We are planning on living here in Missouri so we can adopt my foster daughter.

    • Jennifer says:

      @Carrie,
      This article only talks about how the milk was making people sick and this is true BUT, they conveniently leave out WHY the milk was bad. Please refer to this blog post on how the dairy farms in NY were feeding their cows leftover “slop” from the whiskey distilleries and this was making the cows AND their milk sick. Milk was not pastuerized prior to this, yet people did not get sick and die left and right from raw milk until dairy factories came about. Like others on here have said and I will say again…There is a HUGE diference between milk from a cow being fed poison and milk from a cow that eats real food meant for it to eat. I would never ever suggest anyone drink raw milk from a factory or grain-fed cow. Especially not from cows that eat leftover chemical slop. I hope people will actually take the time to read this and research the incidences of sickness related to milk. All milk is not created equal.

      Jenn

  • elizabeth says:

    I buy organic milk if I can get it for 3.50 or less for a gallon. Otherwise I get the one that is regular but says no hormones. I personally do not drink milk ever due to having Crohn’s disease, so I cannot comment on taste differences. It is mainly for an occasional bowl of cereal and for the kids.

    I just want to suggest that you can look to see how much milk it is suggested that your child drink a day and then only give that amount. My boys were going thru a ton of milk. I now give them one glass in the morning and it is water or water with lemon for the rest of the day. In that way, it helps cut my costs and also I can feel better that if the milk isn’t 100% perfect, at least they are only intaking a small amount.

  • Emily says:

    The extremely high price tag for organic is certainly one deterrant for us. I also just don’t really “believe” in organic. My thought is, “Eventually we all will die – of something.” Yes, it might be cancer or Alzheimer’s but research hasn’t really proven any link between eating organic and not getting these diseases. We do eat healthy in our house and try to buy local when possible, but I don’t foresee us becoming organic – not even once we have children. I think children do need exposure to regular food if they are to have any kind of immune system.

    • Krystina says:

      @Emily, YES! I saw this cartoon once of an ancient guy visiting the doctor. He’s hunched over, grey haired, wrinkly, hearing aids, glasses, and a walker. Doc says to him, “remember all those healthy foods you ate that promised you a longer life?” The guy goes “yeah.” Doc says “these are those years.”

    • Heather says:

      @Emily, I agree with you mostly, but don’t say that about cancer! It’s a terrible way to have to go.

    • Holly says:

      @Emily,
      Yes, we must all die eventually, but the problem is that our CHILDREN are dying! No one wants to hear that, but it is happening every day… just visit your closest children’s hospital. My two-year-old was recently diagnosed with cancer and the rate of childhood cancer is on the rise. I have not been very “green” in the past, but I do believe all the chemicals we are using every day have something to do with the increased rates of cancer. Due to this my family is becoming more “green.” Once you see your child go through the pain of cancer and it’s treatments, you vow to do everything in your power to protect them. My son is two. He has never smoked or done anything to put him at a higher risk, but now he has to endure three years of chemo. Organic may not be perfect, but if there is one tenth of a percent that it is healthier for my family, then it is worth it to me.

      • Emily says:

        @Holly, I am very sorry to hear that your son has been diagnosed with cancer. It is a terrible disease – I lost a grandparent to it and also had a childhood friend who won her battle against it. It takes far too many lives every day. I pray that your child is able to kick this nasty disease with the help of his doctors!

        That said, I am curious if anyone has been able to prove that cancer is caused by a non-organic diet? Or that one can prevent cancer by eating organic? Just playing the devil’s advocate here…

        • Holly says:

          @Emily,
          Do we know exactly what causes childhood cancer, no. Childhood cancer research is grossly underfunded and most of the funding goes to finding treatments, not causes. Many studies have proved that the chemicals we are surrounded by every day (not just in what we eat) are carcinogens. I don’t believe that eating only organic foods will eliminate cancer, but if there is a CHANCE that it could prevent cancers by not using pesticides, dye, etc. in foods, then it is worth the extra money for me. If you compare health care costs of treating cancer to the costs of eating organic, eating organic no longer seems so expensive. I cannot effectively explain my rational to someone who does not have a child with cancer, but when I see my child going through the pain he goes through and some simple lifestyle changes could reduce the risk of him relapsing or someone else in my family going through that, then I don’t have a reason NOT to make those changes. Here is one recent article about this topic:
          http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20009228-10391704.html

          This web page is from the organization that did that study. They go through both the good and the bad. It’s interesting to read through the already banned items and makes you wonder what will be next…:
          http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20009228-10391704.html

  • sara says:

    Wow is that a lot of replies. Here’s one big thing to keep in mind… READ THE INGREDIENTS ON THE BOTTLE. I was excited when I saw organic milk at the 99 Cent Store. As I started looking at the bottle more closely I want to say the first ingredient was water, the second ingredient was oil, and the third ingredient was organic milk powder. There was another ingredient but I can remember what it was. Who would ever buy that if they knew that!

  • Susan says:

    Though the best milk would be straight from the cow, when you can’t get that and have to buy it in a store…
    Organic milk is definitely worth it. Not only is it hormone free but, it is antibiotic free. My son is allergic to antibiotics and most milk companies don’t test for and guarantee their milk is free of them. So he at anytime could drink a glass of milk and have an allergic reaction. Shamrock Farms in our area actually guarantees both their regular and organic milk is free of antibiotics. Now we have to find out which organic milks are certified GMO free.

  • erin says:

    i buy organic milk from a local farmer. it is more expensive, but i find it is very worth it. i am also concerned about the environment and animal rights, and buying from this local farmer ensures that i am supporting what is extremely important to me. plus my family can visit the farm, see the animals and how the farm operates, and get to know my farmer! learning where our family’s food comes from is so important to me, and it’s a fun learning experience for my family. i haven’t had to many wide spread brands of organic milk, so i can only speak with this one in mind, but i find that the taste of this milk is SO much better than conventional milk.

  • Courtney says:

    My husband and I decided early on that it is worth the extra cost to buy organic milk, butter, sour cream, cheese and meat if it means avoiding hormones, antibiotics and pesticides. I grew up on a farm and still live right in the middle of farm country, so am very aware of all the chemicals and medications that livestock are typically exposed to. We go through three gallons per week of Organic Valley lowfat milk at $6.59 each, unless I can find it on markdown when its near expiration. I was excited to see that Walmart now has Great Value organic milk that is priced a bit cheaper, but it is almost always sold out.

  • Bethany says:

    I would suggest that, if possible, you find a local farmer who has a small dairy and would be willing to sell milk to you. You may even be able to find milk from grass-fed cows that is basically organic without being a certified organic dairy. My parents buy milk from a local Amish farmer for $2.25 a gallon. I realize that that price is much lower than many people would find, but your search may be well rewarded.

    • Jenny M says:

      @Bethany, So very true. I have herd shares with a semi-local (1hr drive) Amish farmer who sells raw milk for $3/gallon and raw butter for $3.50/lb. You just have to ask around and keep your ears open.

  • Lisa says:

    Just because a product is organic doesn’t mean the animal was treated any differently. Organic just means the farm says it doesn’t use antibiotics or feed feeds that are treated. People want affordable food and if all animals were raised walking around outside eating grass a lot of people would not be able to afford to eat. It takes twice as long for an animal to get to slaughter and the cow will produce less milk making items expensive. farmers are not bad people they are just trying to make a living and produce enough food to feed our country. they are true stewards of the land and animals, they are their business and that’s how they feed their families.

  • Rachel says:

    I’m 30 years old and grew up drinking raw unpasteurized whole milk until I was around 12 or 13. None of my 3 siblings or I have had any problems due to drinking the raw milk. Since then, I’ve been drinking the milk from the grocery store and haven’t noticed any health problems either way.

    I would advise that if you do the raw milk route that you know your farmer/dairy. My parents used two different farmers during the time we drank raw milk and we also drove out to the farm and got it from the milk tank in the barn. We knew when he milked and the “cleanliness” of his operation. We always made sure our containers were clean and that we didn’t contaminate his milk room.

    I can’t stress enough – to know your farmer in this situation. I do think that the milk tasted better that way and wow we really enjoyed all the fresh cream that came with the milk!

  • Amanda L says:

    We are trying to shift our diet to be more organic. I had some health problems when I was younger and switching to organic meats made a huge difference. We are thinking about expanding our family and I am very fearful mostly of the hormones and their effect on a future child. The research on this doesn’t lie. I don’t go organic with everything, but I have switched on beef, milk, and produce in the dirty dozen when possible. I notice a serious difference in the taste and quality of the beef as we get it from a local farmer. I want to switch more things over, but we’re trying to fit it into our budget.

  • Laura says:

    ALL animal products contain hormones. The difference between organic and conventional foods is added hormones. The cows who produce conventional milk may have been given rBST to boost milk production. Organic cows would not have been given this hormone and would be required to be fed organic feed. They are raised on farms that have met the USDA requirements to be labeled organic.
    Some people state that they can taste a difference between conventional milk and organic. As far as nutritional benefits, there is not a difference. It is a preference and lifestyle decision.
    As far as the antibiotic issue, cows that produce conventional milk must go through stated withdrawal times before their milk is considered safe for human consumption. A cow would be given antibiotics for infection, such as mastitis. I don’t know how antibiotic usage is determined for cows producing organic labeled milk. These rules can be found on the USDA website.

    • @Laura,
      You are correct in saying cows treated with antibiotics are not milked into the ‘milk tank’ until their system is clear of any antibiotic residue. All truck loads of milk are tested for antibiotics. It is illegal for milk to contain antibiotics. An organic herd is not allowed to be treated with antibiotics ever.

  • Veronica says:

    By the time my twins were 18 months old, they had been on perscription antihistamines for 9 months. I was fed up so did some research. I pulled my kids off all dairy and switched to organic soy milk/cheese/etc. Within a month, my kids were perscription free. We gradually introduced organic dairy milk into our cooking about a year later without any problems. My kids still exclusively drink soy milk but I am able to cook using organic dairy products. My twins are 10 now and I’ve noticed that if either of them have “regular” milk, at a friends house or at school, they are SICK by the next day. For me, it’s work the extra money for organic milk ~ and organic soy milk. I’ll never switch back. Cost wise… check the store brands. My Tom Thumb (Safeway) has their organic milk on sale a couple times a month. And since the organic lasts so much longer, I can stock up when it’s marked down.

    • Amanda says:

      @Veronica, There are a lot of health dangers associated with soy, as well. Soy mimics estrogen, and research seems to show that can be dangerous (female cancers, etc.). If they are allergic to dairy, then I would suggest trying almond milk as an alternative.

      • ann says:

        @Amanda, Yea, you are right..the phytoestrogens mimic estrogen and may lead to cancer, thats what research says. On the other side, they also talk about the benefits of soy. I am trying so hard to get off milk totally due to the cruelty to these animals…but i can’t seem to find the right beverage….everything has its pros and cons… 🙁 Ultimately, the consumer is lost! On second thoughts, i might shift to rice/oat milk…but then again what about the protein and calcium?

        • Amanda says:

          @ann, You’re right Ann, it is difficult as a consumer that wants to make the right choices. But, eventually I guess we have to loosen up and trust God that even if we make some wrong choices, he is in control.

          By the way, almond milk (at least the kind I buy) has as much calcium as dairy milk. It does lack in the protein department, so I just don’t count on the almond milk as a source of protein.

  • Amy says:

    For my 2 cents, we buy organic milk and organic soy milk (mix it half and half) mostly because of my two young boys. I do think some of our local milks are hormone free, but haven’t checked into it. I buy it at Giant (in PA) and both are decent prices (3.50 for milk, 2.5 for soy I think or maybe a little more) also BJs here sells organic milk too (for a little cheaper I think)! We don’t drink much of it (I try to keep most of my boys drink to water) so that helps some…..we go through one to one and a half gallons a week

    • Emily says:

      @Amy, If you’re in Central or South Central PA, Rutter’s milk is all hormone-free. I used to shop at Giant when I lived there, and I think, if I”m not mistaken, that their milk may also be. Check it out.

  • Maria says:

    Sherri – That’s hilarious!! My daughter is 13 and I don’t even know what to do with her “girlfriends.” They are huge!! I don’t mean to offend anyone by those comments. She’s well developed in that area! We buy organic when we can, but its really not a priority to us. However, we do buy milk w/o hormones from our local market. Great topic! Thanks!

  • Melissa says:

    According to Katie at Kitchen Stewardship, no it is not worth it. I agree. Here’s why. http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2010/06/22/what-kind-of-milk-should-i-buy/

  • Amy says:

    We buy regular ol’ skim milk…whatever is cheapest that trip to the store. Our two boys, aged 6 and 5, are normal, healthy little guys! Neither my husband nor myself have ever eaten organic and we’ve made it this far! To each his/her own!

  • Victory says:

    We don’t drink cow’s milk, both me and my husband are allergic to it. We drank soy for a long time, but now drink almond milk. I LOVE IT!!! It tastes great, is rich and creamy, and not too expensive. Also, there are a lot of websites that talk about the fact that there are a lot more pesticides in some fruits and vegetables than in the dairy/meat products, something to think about when deciding what to buy.

  • david pinto says:

    One money saving trick I can offer to save on organic milk is to supplement it with organic milk powder. I buy it in bulk from our food coop and it ends up costing a little less per gallon than conventional milk.

    At this point, I actually like the taste of powdered milk and so do our kids. At first, we would mix it half-and-half with regular organic and I couldn’t taste the difference. The powder is also great to have for cooking. I keep a cream-of-anything soup base ready to go in the cabinet – it’s mostly powdered milk, corn starch and seasonings.

  • Krystina says:

    My husband drinks milk like it’s going out of style, about 1 gallon for about a week and 1/2. I only take the occasional bowl of cereal. But now that my son (just turned 1) started on cow’s milk, he’s been dipping into that amount, so it upped our milk-intake to about 2 gallons in about 1 1/2-2 weeks. We go with the store brand, which is usually Wal*Mart (unless I forget to grab some, then it’s Food Lion), and I know Wal*Mart has gone rBGH free since 2008. But, price has a lot to do with it, since we’re living from paycheck to paycheck as it is.

  • I think I have have found an economical middle ground for our family because we cannot always afford raw milk which I would love to have all the time (it’s 8.99 a half gallon where we live). We drink Trader Joe’s cream top milk that is low temp pasteurized but not homogenized and it’s organic. I guess breaking up all those little fat gobules has been shown as a link to heart disease so we try to steer clear of it.
    Jana

  • gina says:

    I was just wondering, does anyone know the laws regarding what is able to be labeled ‘organic’? and is there frequent patrolling of the farms?

    • @gina,
      Organic dairy cows must receive 30% of their dry matter intake from grazing on organic pasture during the growing season. Organic dairies are re-certified every year (not like their initial certification) basically their paperwork is looked over during this annual visit and then can remain certified.

      • @The Wife of a Dairyman,
        I forgot to mention, organic cows never receive antibiotics and must eat organic grain and hay.

        • Emily says:

          @The Wife of a Dairyman, I saw you’ve mentioned this twice now, that organic cows never receive antibiotics. What happens if a cow gets a bacterial infection?

        • @The Wife of a Dairyman,
          If an organic cow gets an infection, a couple things can happen; 1)a cow is either sold to slaughter or 2) if they can be cured by antibiotics, they are treated and then sold to a conventional dairy farmer.

          There are instances, however, such as Foot Rot that can be treated without antibiotics. The problem I see with this is you must wait for the infection to get so bad, that the infection site opens up from the foot. You then clean the foot with iodine and then wrap with an iodine/sugar mixture. (In my opinion waiting for an infection to burst, can be very painful for the cow).

        • Elizabeth says:

          @The Wife of a Dairyman, This is one of my big concerns with organic– there is such a disincetive to use antibiotics, which can be a real animal welfare issue. Even animals kept in excellent conditions occasionally need antibiotics, and I think this is a troubling part of the organic equation… organic is supposed to be a better animal welfare option, but in this way, it isn’t.

  • Sarah says:

    I look for raw before worrying about “organic.” The farm we buy from does happen to be certified organic, but many times it’s cost-prohibited to be certified. So while it’s nice in theory, I like to know exactly where my milk is coming from. I buy raw milk for all the good stuff (probiotics, etc.) that is killed when they pasteurize and homogenize the stuff from the store.

  • Dianne says:

    If you spend the money on organic milk, you pretty much have to say you think it’s worth it whether there is a difference or not. Otherwise, you would not buy it.

  • Kayla says:

    For us it IS COMPLETELY WORTH IT. We’re not big milk drinkers and buying a half gallon of milk is almost wasted if it’s conventional. For some reason organic stays better.

  • Ruthanna says:

    I’ve been buying organic milk since watching Food Inc. I was raised on raw milk because my parents felt it was the best option for us and I would LOVE to find someone in the Houston area who offers it… I also love yogurt and buy extra milk and make my own organic yogurt. It is super easy and MUCH cheaper than buying it already made. Many times my grocery store will clearance the organic milk going out of date and I’ll pick up several and freeze them. I find that the organic milk easily lasts a week+ past expiration but the regular milk I used to buy went bad almost exactly on the expiration date. I think all the allergies and sicknesses today have a lot to do with what we are putting in our bodies. We aren’t really aware of all the repercussions of what we eat and inject into our bodies so I’m going back to the basics with my family!

  • Amy says:

    We buy Aldi milk, which says it is from farmers who pledge not to use artificial hormones. Not organic, but closer than some others.

  • kp says:

    i buy my organic milk for half price which is about or close to regular milk prices. it’s simple – when it’s 1-2 days to sell by date, ask if they will mark it down for you. i’ve asked at several different grocers and they always mark it half price. it’s still good for awhile after the sell by date. if you have a small family or just you, freeze part of it.

  • It is well worth it! You are getting milk with out the hormones! But it is true if you can find raw milk it is much better for you than organic. The problem is you can’t find it everywhere. You may have to go to a local farmer. The hormones in the milk can mess with natural hormones in your body. You really are doing youself a favor to buy organic!

  • Leigh says:

    I have been thinking more and more about this topic. We buy TJ’s organic milk for our toddler (who can drink a gallon before it goes bad) and conventional milk for ourselves (we drink a gallon a week). I am trying to decide if we should switch as well.

    I am impressed with the care shown in all the posts. There are a lot of different opinions expressed, with out negativity or petty meanness to others.

  • Julie H says:

    I haven’t had time to read through all the comments, so I apologize if this is a duplicate response. I think the question should first be asked what are your reasons for buying organic? If you think it contains more nutrients than conventional, then it would be a waste of money.

    If you are worried about rBGH (growth hormones) or antibiotics in conventional milk, it may not be as big a worry as you may have thought. I have a friend who is a farmer and she has an excellent post on her website about misnomers of organic vs. conventional milk. VERY GOOD! http://thefarmertakesawife.blogspot.com/2009/01/mmm-misleading-milk-marketing.html

    Last thing…organic milk is usually ULTRA-pasteurized…which means it is heated at an even higher temperature than pasteurized milk…killing pretty much all nutrients, which then have to be added back in.

    For my family, we drink a combo of conventional milk (from a local dairy farm that we really like) and raw milk (also from a local farm). The raw milk has not lost any nutrients to heat-processing and hasn’t sat on a shelf for an extended period of time. It goes straight from the farm to our house. I buy it for the nutritional benefits for my children. I am drinking 1% milk from the conventional farm b/c I don’t need all the extra calories from the raw, whole milk. But the taste of raw milk is absolutely amazing!!

  • Crystal says:

    I’d love to purchase all organic food for my family, but – even though the prices are starting to even out a little more thanks to more people purchasing them – it’s still not within my budget. We choose to buy the foods we eat the most of organic. My daughter, for example, loves milk and drinks at least 3 cups a day. I feel good knowing that she’s not getting a helping pesticides and antibiotics with her milk. I wasn’t raised on organics, but I feel our generation is better educated about the benefits of choosing organics over conventional.

  • Mary says:

    I’m glad to see this posted. I’m keeping it short and sweet because there are so many good comments here, and I say YES it’s totally worth it. You can use coupons too! Also watch out for organic companies with bad practices. Another thing to be aware of is a lot of these organic companies have been acquired by corporations. Amy, only making a note because you’re right above me, but Aldi milk does not have the hormones, but they do have rBGH, at least in NJ where I’m from. All I have to say is, don’t fully trust the FDA. Take a look at lobbyists behind these government organizations and see what they’re really after. I did not have time to read all of these posts, as I’m about to go to bed, but EVERYONE (at LEAST MOMS) should read Michael Pollan’s books, or at least watch Food Inc. (please don’t get the impression that it’s “my bible” [I’m not that kind of person], but it’s really eye opening)…anyway I guess I did not succeed in either short or sweet. So tired. Happy saving…Goodnight!

  • Amanda says:

    I LOVE almond milk! There are forms that don’t need to be refrigerated until they are open, so I can stock up with sales and coupons! PLUS, there are a lot of studies about humans consuming TOO much diary.

    I am so skeptical of the organic milk industry (too many farmer family members and friends telling me about the false info out there). Plus, it costs almost 6 bucks a gallon in PA! There is a reason milk is pasteurized- to protect us from disease! Not a risk I am willing to take.

    When we do drink milk, we just buy local in the glass containers.

  • Mary says:

    Also, I forgot to mention that I am so glad to see such a high level of awareness! Keep rockin’ moms 🙂

  • Andrea says:

    I think buying milk that is hormone and antibiotic free is important. There are ways to buy it and keep expenses in check. Follow the same coupon principals that apply to anything – combine coupons with sales, don’t be brand loyal, shop where it is the lowest price.

    Is it elitist to buy organic milk? Absolutely.

  • Rae says:

    I don’t have a strong opinion on the topic, I buy whatever I get the cheapest (which sometimes is the organic because my Kroger does great manager markdowns on dairy products when they get close to the date including organic). I think to each their own 🙂

    I just wanted to say that you had me dying with laugher about the “if they don’t purchase raw grass-fed milk from a goat in their backyard they are going to fall over dead tomorrow” lol. You always put a smile on my face Crystal 😀

  • Bethany says:

    I drank raw milk straight from the farm every single day for 10 years. It was the best thing I ever did for my health. I hardly EVER got sick. Then, I got married and moved away from that farm. I started buying Horizon organic milk. It just doesn’t taste the same. If it’s been pasturized and homogenized, all the enzymes, vitamins and other health benefits are stripped away. I try to avoid drinking store-bought milk as much as I can help it.

  • heather harris says:

    yep, I only buy raw for my family at this time, but if I didn’t have the choice to do that, I would ONLY buy organic. The pesticides/hormones are not worth the risk to me…just my opinion. But, you can find rBST free milk just about anywhere, so if it’s price prohibitive to buy organic, then do the best that you can and trust that the Lord will take care of you regardless!

  • Ruth Banner says:

    I think it is–I wish it weren’t so expensive, but since we drink less milk than we used to and since the organic tastes SO much better (like milk tasted when we were kids many years ago, my husband says, and I agree), and since I don’t break out with hives from the antibiotics in other milk (and people with younger children don’t get growth and other hormones), we buy it and love it! I’m also glad that it’s healthier for the farmers and even the cows!

  • Tara says:

    We buy our milk from a local organic dairy farm who also only does low-heat pasteurization. Supposedly (from what I have read) this leaves behind good bacteria that helps in actually digesting the milk. The milk is delicious and worth it to us!

  • Conni says:

    I think the term “organic” needs to be defined. Are we talking “certified organic” or just “organic”? These terms have very different meanings from person to person, state to state, and federally, and are often used very loosely. I am very cautious of anything labeled “organic”. It just seems like a marketing ploy to me…a reason to charge the consumer more. As a result, I do not purchase “organic” milk.

    • brookeb says:

      @Conni, Companies in the US (and certain other countries) can’t use “organic” legally without meeting certain criteria — it can’t legally be used loosely (although consumers could certainly throw it around however they might want). It’s not like “natural”, which isn’t regulated as a term.

  • g says:

    Totally worth it. It lasts at least a week longer and since we don’t drink a lot of milk, it is cheaper to buy a gallon of organic milk that lasts three weeks than three-half gallons of regular milk over a three week period (because they usually expire after about a week).

  • I buy organic milk for my husband and I (we don’t have kids). I definitely enjoy the health benefits it has, but honestly, I also like that it takes forever to expire. We don’t drink a lot of milk, so I was throwing out a lot of regular milk that would sour before we finished it! So, now I just get a half gallon and it lasts 2-3 weeks before we finish it!

  • heather harris says:

    Please note: I thought this would make for an interesting discussion, so have at it. However, as always, keep your comments cordial. If you can disagree in a friendly manner, go for it. But if you leave a comment screaming at someone that if they don’t purchase raw grass-fed milk from a goat in their backyard they are going to fall over dead tomorrow, you’re likely going to have your comment deleted.

    just curious…Crystal, did you write this? it doesn’t sound like you…

  • Heather says:

    As a proud owner of dairy cows, please rest assured that milk IS milk. There is no difference between organic and conventional milk. All milk is tested many times before it leaves the farm and before the milk can be unloaded and packaged. You can be certain that all milk available for you in the store is from cows who are taken care of with great attention to detail – maximizing their comfort and being fed a balanced diet (to name a few). Make the decision best for your family but you can’t go wrong either way.

    • Elizabeth says:

      @Heather, I too come from a farm family, but I have to disagree with you on this. Milk is not milk. Milk from commercial scale farms is not the same in the terms of animal welfare, quality of life for the farmer, environmental impact, or quality of the product as milk from small-scale, local, and hopefully organic farms (though I’m pretty conflicted on the organic part– lots of gov’t bureaucracy to try to take the place of common sense and decent farming practice, but in the face of the ADMs of the world, what else is there?). My farm was not organic (and I am fine with non-organic in the hands of actual farmers, not corporations), but we knew each and every one of our animals and made decisions as far as medicines, food supplementation, etc. for them individually, not by the 1,000s. And I knew the farmers who raised the hay and corn they ate, and knew what went into it. You can’t say that about the mega-farms of the country, and the thoughts about how those animals are treated turns my stomach. The $2.65/gallon plastic jug of milk at the store is that cheap for a reason– because everyone, the farmer, the animal, and the environment subsidized it. Anyone who has ever raised animals knows that meat and milk SHOULD be expensive– it is a precious thing.

      Anyway, just my 2 cents.

    • @Heather, Our family took several field trips to a variety of dairies when we were learning about how to start our own small farm dairy…… We had some nice visits with small dairy farmers…but the big dairies were horrifying…… All milk from the store is not from cows who are taken care of with great attention to detail!!!

      The mega conventional dairy we were invited to horrified us. It was very disturbing–the cows had their tails cut off, they were milked 3 times a day and their udders were huge, some with cracked and bleeding teats, and some with scraped up sides and backs from being herded through the concrete milking stall area. They didn’t touch or eat a blade of grass and stood under a milking shelter eating a mixture of grain mush the entire time they were in milk. The smell was horrible and the stacks and stacks of clorox bleach bottles outside the milking house added an interesting dynamic to the entire scene.

      There have been several conventional dairy people mention that milk is milk and rest assure that the milk is safe and tested, animals are taken care of… etc. etc….. This isn’t what we found when we visited the actual big conventional dairies….

      I’d encourage you to research where your milk comes from and visit the source!

  • ksenia says:

    I know this has been said, but I would recommend, if possible, that you buy local, organic, non ultra-pasteurized (choose pasteurized instead) milk from a smaller farm. At our local market in Oregon, New Seasons Market, it is about $6 per gallon. If your family drinks a whole lot of milk making that a huge expense, I would suggest cutting your milk consumption down a little. Older children and adults do NOT need a lot of milk. Plus, milk is often consumed with highly processed foods (like oreo cookies). If there’s no milk, maybe it would discourage some of that as well. Investing in good food is investing in your health, I don’t think you’ll ever regret it.

  • Angela says:

    disclaimer – I didn’t read the rest of the comment before I wrote this.

    our family is right now strictly organic milk only b/c I don’t want to take a chance that what happened to my brother and I will happen again.

    bro & I came from taiwan, a little island nation in southeast pacific ocean, not to be confused with china. back when we were kids, there are mom and pop farms everywhere and we got locally grown food everyday b/c there weren’t big box supermarkets. there were “farmers markets” and that’s it. the folks who sold the food, depended on that food as their livelihood, they ate the food and they cared about it. there were things we had to export and most of the time, that would be animal products such as milk. our parents were brought up to believe that milk is one of the best thing for a growing child. so we drank reconstituted powdered milk from new zealand every morning for breakfast. then we came to america. I was 8 and he was 4 and our parents bought fresh milk by the gallons. I can remember mom getting excited about it being so cheap and abundant. I don’t think we were allowed to live a day without drinking at least 2-3 tall glasses. due to personal tragedy, we moved back about a year later. in order to keep our green cards (we’re here legally!) and for dad to find a job, we moved back and forth btw. .tw and all across the us. I hit puberty earlier than my mom and her sisters and got my period by 11. not super early but earliest of all the 5th graders out of 600 students in the 5th grade classes back in tw. I want to say maybe only half of, if even that, of the 6th graders didn’t get theirs yet. (b/c there were only maybe 20% of the girls who “got the visit” by the end of sixth grade.) but that wasn’t the only thing. bro and I also started to grow tall and fat at a much earlier time and faster rate than the rest of the school kids of our age. then when our cousins came to study in america around 14, they spent their teenage years staying in a healthy weight without struggling. these are the same cousins bro and I played with, for the same amount of time, doing the same exact thing and we all are related by blood. the same cousins who did not expose themselves to the ton o’ growth hormone laced milk and ate locally grown food during their pre-teen years. they didn’t eat more than we did and they didn’t eat less than we did during our teen years.

    after much discussion about what could have gone wrong with bro and I, especially after learning about the abuse of growth hormones in cows and in america’s food chain, the whole family’s conclusion is to try to switch to organic and no growth hormone as much as we can while staying in budget. milk would be one of those things that we would splurge on b/c we cut out sodas and juices.

    I’m not saying here that I am 100% right about why bro and I are obese when compared to our cousins and the ideal wt from fda. but I am saying that it’s a personal belief that 1. it was the milk and 2. that everyone should be able to eat as best as they can. and it is undeniable that organic milk tastes better. so we go organic.

    • Doreen says:

      @Angela, I’ve been thinking about the puberty connection with milk. Sure it sounds possible but it didn’t work that way in our family. My sister developed early (9, I think) and I was a month away from my 13th birthday. We drank the same milk.

  • Coupon Mami says:

    I had been a soy milk drinker for the past 13 years and within the last year switched to whole milk, as it was easier for the family. Recently we started purchasing organic milk and I believe it tastes 100x’s better than nonorganic milk; not to mention the health benefits. My husband, whom has been a nonorganic whole milk drinker his entire life also notices a considerable difference in taste. At this point, when we can afford to do it we purchase organic milk. Good luck with the decision that best meets your family’s needs.

  • Megan says:

    Because of the hefty price tag, I don’t go out of my way to buy organic milk (we get most of our milk from WIC anyway). However, if I have a coupon, I’m game for anything! I think almond milk is delicious.

  • Jennifer says:

    While I would love to give my family organic milk, we just can’t afford it. We go through about 6 gallons a week for a family of 7. Milk is about all my daughter will drink. If I had my choice though, I would prefer organic, raw milk.

  • Jennifer says:

    For health reasons, here is the list of possibilities *I* would choose for milk.
    My top choice would be local, fresh, raw milk from grass-fed (hay in winter) cows. However, that’s not an option everywhere, and a short comment box won’t give me nearly enough space to explain the benefits.

    The next choice would be local, fresh, low-heat pasteurized NON-HOMOGENIZED milk, whether “certified organic” or not, from grass-fed cows. [When fat globules are forcibly broken up by mechanical means (homogenization), it allows an enzyme associated with milk fat, known as xanthine oxidase to become free and penetrate the intestinal wall. Once xanthine oxidase gets through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream, it is capable of creating scar damage to the heart and arteries, which in turn may stimulate the body to release cholesterol into the blood in an attempt to lay a protective fatty material on the scarred areas. This can lead to arteriosclerosis.]

    Third choice would be hormone- and antibiotic-free non-homogenized milk from grass-fed cows.

    Fourth choice would be to stop drinking milk or switch to rice or almond milk (I avoid soy, again, for health reasons – “The Whole Soy Story” is a good place to start for thoughts on that).

    Good luck in your decision!

  • Katherine says:

    I’m certainly no expert, but from the reading I’ve done, there’s not a huge difference between USDA Organic and non-organic but rBST-free milk from one of the big dairy companies. The real difference, that I find is worth the extra cost, is in milk from local, organically raised, pastured cows. I’d even pick milk from a local family farm that wasn’t completely organic over “USDA Organic” agro-business milk. It can be hard to find, and of course it’s more expensive, but it’s worth it to us, both for our own health and the health of the environment. We’re blessed that a local health food store (not a chain) carries such milk, for a lower price than the organic milk from the big companies. And since it comes not homogenized or ultra-pasteurized, I skim the cream and make my own organic ice cream for a fraction of what it would cost in the stores. Yumm!

  • Andrea says:

    I have been buying organic milk as well as other dairy/animal products. Sometimes I can not find organic beef but will try to buy as close as I can get by going to whole foods or just not having beef for awhile. We have cut out a lot of meat and I only use it occasionaly due to the large price tag. I found that COSTCO sells organic milk and butter. The milk is ultra pasturized so buying 3 half gallons at a time saves us money and trips to the store. Kroger is now carrying more organic products as well. I am not sure if the milk is better for me heath wise, but it makes me feel better about the welfare of the animals that it is coming from. I believe that paying a little more for organic products is telling companies that we don’t want to sacrifice quality for price.

  • Melissa says:

    Scientific test after scientific test has proven that organic food has no significant difference from conventionally grown food. Organic food is a great niche market that sells to well-meaning parents, but in reality, conventionally grown food has proven to be safe and feeds billions every day that otherwise could not be fed.

    • jennsquared says:

      @Melissa, It’s interesting you said that. My FIL is a psychiatrist and by continuous reading and learning for his field, there are plenty of studies that shows, inconclusively, that conventional food that contains traces of pesticides, correlates to children being diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, and different spectrum of Autisum. I am an engineer, and by not able to conclusively determine if there is a correlation, is good enough evidence for me to go as organic as possible for my family.

    • ~*Anon*~ says:

      @Melissa,
      Did you know those tests are funded by farmers who do NOT grow organic??? I don’t trust those “tests”!

  • Debbie says:

    Wow, such a discussion here! For my husband and myself, we purchase regular milk because we are retired and living frugally. We do the best we can with finances and food choices and leave the rest to the good Lord.

  • Jessica says:

    I recommend the book The Untold Story of Milk. You can probably find it at your local library.

  • Jennifer B says:

    I have not read through the comments but wanted to add to the discussion. I hate the “regular” milk at the stores but also did not want to drive out of my way too much for raw milk or pay the hefty price of organic milk. Luckily, we have an ice cream store that has their own dairy farms. Their milk is not organic but also does not contain any hormones which is good enough for me and my babies! It also is a tad more expensive than the grocery stores, but we’re talking cents not dollars more.

  • Jennifer B says:

    Ooops, hit submit too soon.
    So you might see if you have a local store like that.

  • Caroline says:

    We buy raw organic milk at a local farm, and I’m not sure if this is the only reason, but my 2 year old daughter has never had a cold. The taste of raw milk is wonderful!

  • Sarah Hanrahan says:

    I’m not sure if organic is worth it. For us it isn’t. We buy 4-5 gallons of milk a week, plus lots of cheese. I grew up on a non-organic dairy farm (maybe the reason for the love of milk in my family) and I know that right now farmer’s are not allowed to give their cows BST – production companies won’t allow it. The cows are given medicine (antibiotics) when they are sick, but are not allowed to be milked in the tank (the milk is checked for this and dumped if there is an accident and the milk gets in). Their feed is grown in a conventional way, so pesticides are used….how much that bothers you I don’t know. In general dairy cows are treated much more humanely than some other farm animals. It is in the farmer’s best interest for them to live as long as possible and be very healthy so they will produce more milk. Even though milk, organic or not, may be expensive, be aware farmers make very little of the money. Milk prices (to farmers) have changed little since the 1970s and that is why many small farms shut down.

    • @Sarah Hanrahan,

      We took several different trips to different dairies and were shocked at how the mega conventional dairies were run.

      Maybe we baby our cows way to much—but it was horrifying to see how these dairies treat their animals and shocking to see the milking practices.

    • Katie says:

      @Sarah Hanrahan, Thank you Sarah for your reply. Those of us, me included, who grew up on or around dairy farms know that milk cannot be sold if it contains antibiotics or hormones. My dad is still a dairy farmer in Southcentral Kansas, but most of the small farms have gone out. I’ve watched the ones around here close and die off due to the low milk prices.

      Somone mentioned that commercial farms might not treat cows as humanely as smaller farms. I would agree with that. I only buy Hiland milk because I know that hormones are not allowed and because I know that my father sells his milk to them. In KS, we have Braums; they have their own dairy. I avoid Braums milk because of their commercial dairy operation.

      I am not going to say much on this subject because I feel that I would be shouting into the wind about this issue. Thank you to the Dairy Farmer’s Wife, and the Farmer’s Daughter who have posted about what they know of dairy farms and milk. I am a proud dairy farmer’s daughter; I’ve been there during milking times. I just don’t discuss the organic issue with others because I feel sometimes that I am back in high school and explaining to people that you can’t actually tip a cow.

  • celia says:

    I only buy organic milk for my family. My husband was very resistant to the “waste of money” at first, but after a time not only did he agree about the health benefits but we both find organic milk tastes better and do not drink milk at other peoples homes.

    We buy as much organic as we can afford. I would cut our cable before I stopped buying organic.

  • JenK says:

    I love this conversation. Very informative.

    I purchase organic milk for my children, ages 4 and 2, who drink about a gallon a week. I began buying organic milk because I was concerned about early development in my daughter, like several other people. The cost difference is something that we have chosen to work into our monthly food budget. Somethings we purchase organic, and somethings conventional. For our family, milk is worth the extra money, because we use a lot of milk and because we think that some organic farmers choose to treat the land and cows better, and we prefer the taste.

    That being said, here is one way I have saved on my organic milk, and if you live near a Harris Teeter, you can take advantage too:)

    They have a long term VIC special on thier brand of organic milk. $4.99 for a gallon. THis is not always advertised in the weekly ad, but check the tag at the store, and it may say what the end date is for the sale. This is a decent price by itself for organic milk, but if you join E-VIC, they send you an email with special deals . This morning my email said that same gallon of organic milk is $3.99. (Limit 1). I have been using this deal most of the summer at 4.99, and I get the EVIC price every time it is offered, which is pretty frequently.

    JenK

  • We eat local and organic and purchased organic milk for many years. Aside for the concern over hormones, the organic label means the cows are not given feed containing genetically modified ingredients. However, the organic label doesn’t necessarily mean the cows are roaming on green pastures. The cows could be feeding on organic corn and organic soy, which isn’t the natural diet for a cow.

    At this time, we’re choosing LOCAL over organic. I’m buying milk from a local dairy whose cows are never administered growth hormones and are pastured raised. I still buy organic milk for making yogurt (only because the local milk doesn’t seem to set right). If I had my choice, I’d buy local, grass-fed raw milk. But we don’t have that choice in North Carolina.

    Mary Ellen

  • Kristy says:

    Absolutely worth it. I highly recommend you do NOT buy the organic unless you are committed, b/c once you taste how much better it is (fuller, creamier, etc.) you will never go back. Plus, it’s important to me b/c of the pesticides/antibiotics as well. But really, the taste is no comparison. Organic wins, hands down. I’ve read that’s b/c regular cows get “watered down” b/c of everything being pumped into them to increase milk production.

  • Vanesa says:

    don’t know if anyone else posted this or saw this…but here’s an article that came out last week…. conveniently while all the Shirley Sherrod scandal was going on so it went virtually unnoticed….but the USDA is finally begrudgingly admitting that the antibiotics are a cause for concern.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-gunther/usda-antibiotics_b_649673.html

  • Nicole says:

    Organic milk is absolutely worth it to me. I can taste a huge difference between it and regular milk. I can’t drink regular anymore.

  • Jennifer says:

    I would recommend focusing more on local milk from small farms if possible. Farmers markets should have milk from small farms, and you can talk to the farmer about how the cows are raised. My aunt and uncle can’t afford to get organic status for their milk, but they do their best to use natural treatments when possible, and don’t use growth hormones. You might be able to find milk less expensively from local dairy farmers who use natural methods, but can’t afford organic certification.

  • Claire says:

    I don’t have time to read through all the comments, but I wanted to throw in my own two cents. The hormones are absolutely in the milk you drink and, though not proven yet, it seems clear that those hormones could also affect you/your children. And the whole point of the hormones is to make the cows produce more milk in a day; this means they need to be milked more frequently. On modern farms, this is done by machine, and their udders end up being really irritated. (Look up some information on this – you might even be able to find a Youtube video on it.) Their udders are infected, nasty things, and the pus from the udders gets in the milk. The milk that is sold in the US would not be allowed to be sold in the EU because of the amount of pus in it. True, it is pasteurized, but still, that’s just disgusting!!!

  • Natalie says:

    Wow. So interesting to see everyone’s comments! I’ve been wrestling with this for quite a while since we are so fortunate to have so many options as consumers. I was really happy to see this come up!

    Here’s my 2 cents…
    I know that my daughter is far more “developed” than I expected her to be at 10 years old. And she drinks a ton of “regular” milk.

    I also know that my youngest son had severe dairy (and soy) allergies as a toddler which have subsided somewhat as he’s gotten older. Both he and my daughter had to be on Alimentum as babies, he could have only rice or almond milk until he was about 5, but both drink milk now and both show signs of ADHD (at least according to their teachers/ doctors – I’m not a huge proponent of the blanket diagnosis and I refuse to medicate them but teach them to deal with it, but I can’t deny their behavoir is far different than my middle son).

    Just enough weird coincidences to make me point my finger at the “regular” dairy, or maybe dairy in general. Obviously, I can’t say there aren’t a ton of other contributing factors, but without going into too much biochem, I think I would like to see what would happen if we switched to a hormone free version. Or maybe the damage has already been done? I just don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner. Duh.

    BTW – I also grew up on a farm (we raised beef cattle and were “organic” before it was trendy… intensive grazed on pesticide/herbicide free pasture, bred the old fashioned way, no hormones, etc…). But we did not market as “Organic.” Most of the meat was purchased locally and we didn’t feel the need to go that route. So I wanted to mention that the farmers who are able to commercially label their products “Organic” by USDA standards are not necessarily seeing the huge profits you would think considering the inflated prices. It’s bureaucracy. And it’s very expensive (in time, effort and $$) for them to become and remain USDA Certified.

  • Jennifer says:

    Yes, absolutely! In addition to any potential health benefits (which I really haven’t researched all that much), what drove us to switch was our passion for animal welfare and the environment. I believe God commissioned us humans to be good stewards of the earth, and there is SO much about our current food system that doesn’t do that. That being said, we don’t buy everything organic, but we are taking baby steps. We buy organic milk and meat, and some veggies. Locally grown when possible.

    It is important to remember that cheap food costs just as much as responsibly grown food–it just costs someone else… the animals who suffer, the people who have to clean up the environment, etc. Fortunately, we are in a financial position to take some of this cost upon ourselves. I realize that many low-income families are not able to do this, and that’s sad.

    • Mindy says:

      @Jennifer, “I believe God commissioned us humans to be good stewards of the earth, and there is SO much about our current food system that doesn’t do that.”

      well said.

  • Jenny says:

    We buy Organic Valley milk. There are also a couple sources of local organic non-homogonized milk in glass bottles that we love! We did go through a period where we could not afford organic, but I have recently made it work, again. It is a priority for me and somehow, someway I cut $5 a week to make it work.

  • Nicole says:

    Too much info out there, and it’s so hard to discern who’s REALLY right and who’s going overboard! I’ve talked with our family doctor and our Integrated Osteopathic doctor from Romania about organic foods and the whole issue from immunizations to milk to water! The best thing I can do is trust the Lord and do my best to provide wholesome, nutritious foods, made from scratch when I can. But, I still visit the processed foods of McDonalds, and frequent lunchmeat, hot dogs, and regular milk. Like I said, for us, it’s an issue of cost, time, and trusting the Lord, knowing we’re doing our best in a busy world 🙂

  • ~*Anon*~ says:

    One important thing to note is most of the studies done about whether organic is better for you is sponsored by farmers who don’t grow organic…so I don’t trust studies that say “there is not difference”.

    My motto: “use common sense””
    Is it wise to eat hormones, antibiotics, pesticides etc? My answer is “no”, so I don’t do it!

  • Emily says:

    Wow, lots of good comments on here and I see my friend Wife of a Dairyman piped up too. As an Organic Valley farmer and owner, I wanted to let you know my take on the topic.
    It is true that no milk in the stores has antibiotics in them and yes all cows produce natural hormones. (note OV cartons says producted without added hormones). Also, I have never seen “pus” in milk.
    So what makes organic different? It is in how the milk is produced. Our cows are required to received at least 30% of their feed from forage (grasses, hay, etc) and spend at least 120 days on pasture. Organic farmers are not allowed to sell milk from cows that have been treated with antibiotics EVER. Unlike in conventional dairy where after a period of time the cows are let back into the herd (based on whiledrawl times, etc).
    Does this make organic milk healthier? There are a lot of studies out there that show miilk from grass-fed milk could contain more nutrients. The problem with organic studies is there are not many and to have them peer-reviewed is very difficult. Since we cannot use drugs, there are no drug manufacture dollars to support research.
    So why is organic milk so much more expensive? The reason that Organic Valley’s milk is priced where it is at is because us farmers set the price. Organic Valley (OV) is owned by its farmers members. We set our price based on cost of production. This doesn’t mean we are making a big profit though (our family of four lived on $30,000 last year). Organic farming is expensive: land costs, labor costs and of course certification are amoung our biggest expenses. Personaly, I hate arguments that pit expensive food and against “cheap.” The more our culture demans “cheap” food the less our farmers are paid. I want to see ALL farmers receiving a fair price for their product (conventional and organic) and that is not happening when we only demand “cheap.”
    On our farm we have seen a huge improvement in our animal’s and our land’s heath since we went organic. We believe that healthy soils make healthy animal and then in turn make a healthy product for your family.
    Thank you to everyone who continues to support family farms such as my own. You can download Organic Valley coupons from their website. We are proud Organic Valley producers.

    • ~*Anon*~ says:

      @Emily, Thank you for posting this!

    • Emily says:

      @Emily, Sorry for all the typos. I was typing with a baby on one knee. *sigh* the life of a working mom (yes farm moms are working moms too) 🙂 Love the discussion here. The point is by buying any type of milk you are providing a whole product for your family. In our country you are fortunate to have the choice on how that milk is produced.

  • emma says:

    I wish i could afford all organic, but if you can it is definitely worth it. From my research, it is not just hormones and antibiotics that should be a concern in conventional milk, but also the accumulation of pesticides and toxins in the fat stores, and I’m fairly sure that the milk companies are not testing batches of milk for DDE, atrazine and the thousands of other chemicals that could harm our bodies. From what I understand, organic cows are fed organically, thus reducing their overall pesticide load and reducing it in the milk they produce. I know most people have heard that human breastmilk is one of the most toxic substances on earth, well that is true of all milk as many pesticides sprayed on the grains the conventional cows eat, is stored directly in the fat that is converted to milk that lands on your breakfast table. Yes people often quote the ‘dirty dozen’ of produce, but if you really want to find the dirty food products, you are looking in the wrong aisle, those items are dairy and beef. I personally have given up beef a long time ago, and i try to buy organic dairy when possible, but ultimately try to limit it, rather than over feed it in my family.

    Many of the pesticides sprayed on croplands are known endocrine disruptors which may be the reason behind early childhood puberty. I know many previous posters stated that their girls were normal to get their periods at 12, yes that is normal for today, but go back in history and you will see that as the years have gone by the average age of puberty has fallen dramtically.

    I hope no one takes offense to this post, like i said, I too eat some conventional raised dairy products, as I cannot afford to buy all organic at this time in my life. Just wanting to bring a different side to the story.

    http://www.askdrsears.com/html/3/t032100.asp last section pertains to organic milk

    http://www.ewg.org/report/CDC-Scientists-Find-Rocket-Fuel-Chemical-In-Infant-Formula

  • Lee says:

    I think people forget some very important things. Organic doesn’t mean chemical free…it means that chemicals aren’t used to treat it or are added to it. My husband works for our state government and handles water and environmental issues. If you think you are safe you are not. You should see the chemicals in your water, the same water cows drink, and plants drink. If you want a safer environement we must stop using chemicals and plastics. I for one drink regular milk, I am not going to chance my life with raw milk or waste (to me) my money on organic. We don’t drink a ton of it either way anymore. Everyone must do what we can for our families and our health. And remember that no-one is meant to last forever and that even if we only eat organic ultra healthy non processed stuff we do eventually die and may do so before someone idea of our “time”.

  • Kim C says:

    Simple answer is YES. Bottom line is that non-organic milk is filled with hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, and the cows are all-around unhealthy. Organic milk has no hormones, no antibiotics, and are grass-fed (the way nature intended it), the cows are (usually) treated more humanely. So you have to decide if its worth the extra couple dollars per gallon to intentionally load your family with antibiotics & hormones?

    Also, a study in 2008 found that grass-fed cows that graze freely (rather than packed into muddy lots) produce milk higher in vitamins, antioxidants, and beneficial fatty acids. In summer, those beneficial fatty acids were up to 60% higher in organic milk vs. regular milk. You can read about the study at this link

    http://www.ncl.ac.uk/press.office/press.release/item/1211878767

    • Megan says:

      @Kim C, Good points! Though not all organic milk (especially from the big manufacturers) is grass-fed. Many of those cows are fed organic grains.

    • @Kim C,
      Thankfully I am happy to say you are incorrect in your statement….conventional milk contains NO antibiotics and most contains no added hormones (we do not give our cows hormones and I know many other dairy farmers don’t either) As for antibiotics, it is illegal for milk to contain antibiotics. Every tanker truck of milk is tested for this. If a truck of milk is contaminated with antibiotics, it is traced back to the dairy farmer who then pays for the entire truck of tainted milk to be dumped. No dairy farmer wants this to ever happen. If only one cow slipped by and was milked into the tank of thousands of gallons of milk, while antibiotics in her system, it WILL be caught.

  • Lori says:

    Wow! Who would have thought milk could spark such a debate! I have recently begun switching my family to organic meat and dairy after watching the Food INC. Documentary and subsequent research…while my family can not afford to switch to all organics, we have chosen the food that has the best nutritional benefits for us. I agree on organic milk because of the nutrition the cows receive…there is a lot of data out there and it all boils down to your choice for your family!

  • Racquel says:

    I think something important to consider in this discussion is the difference between ORGANIC milk and RAW milk. Raw milk is not homogenized or pastuerized, organic milk purchased at the health food store is. Many of you are citing health benefits to “organic” milk, which are actually only available in raw milk. You won’t find raw milk at the store, you will need to find a farmer to purchase it from.

    If you buy organic milk at Whole Foods by the case ( 4gallons), you are really only paying about $1 more per gallon.

  • Traci says:

    One thing I haven’t seen anyone address is that “organic” is generally more earth-friendly. This is a big factor in some of my organic purchases. I’m willing to pay a bit of a premium to reduce pollutants like chemical fertilizers & pesticides. (Of course, then you have to decide, is it better to buy organic shipped from far away, or non-organic local foods? But that’s a whole other debate!)
    For milk, I buy primarily from a local dairy company – not organic, but I know most of the farmers they buy from are within a few hours of here. If I buy a national organic brand, who knows where they get the milk?

  • Mel says:

    I noticed several replies about the fact that organic products can keep children (espcially girls) from developing to quickly. I was raised on completely organic meat, fruits and veggies, and raw goats milk and developed faster then anyone of my classmates. I do beleive that hormones can effect children but genes play a big factor too. ^_^

  • Brenda says:

    I’m a 3rd generation dairy producer and want to advise you not to be fooled by the excellent marketing of the organic industry. Organically-produced and traditionally-produced milks are identical in their composition, nutritive characteristics, purity and safety attributes. ALL MILK is antibiotic-free and pesticide-free. ALL MILK contains the same quantity of hormones. See my blog post on this subject at http://thedairymom.blogspot.com/2010/06/whats-difference-between-traditional.html.

  • Greg says:

    No, it’s not worth it. Milk by law in most states in the U.S. must be pasteurized to be sold in retail stores.

    Once it’s been heated to 161 °F and chilled, Milk is milk is milk.

    One could make the argument that Organic RAW milk – where available – makes a difference, but frankly I wouldn’t want random environmental contaminants and bacteria cultures in my milk.

  • Katie says:

    I have not had time to read through all of the comments, so forgive me if I’m repeating what’s already been said.

    Our family buys organic milk, directly from a local farm in season (they don’t milk in the winter). Most people are writing about the health options for their families and I agree this is a big reason to chose organic food. Another important reason for me are the environmental impacts of conventional farming, including conventional dairies.

  • Mary says:

    The question becomes : How Much Would You Pay For Peace Of Mind??

    I have always shared the opinion that if it’s something you or your child use or consume EVERY DAY, then organic is worth it. If it’s a special treat, the don’t go organic. My daughter has milk, cheese or yogurt, fruit and crackers everyday (toddler.) We buy those organic, since it’s a regular part of her diet. We DON”T buy organic ice cream, meat, etc, because those are only special occasion foods in our house. We pay a little extra, but I feel like I’m buying peace of mind. I literally do sleep better at night knowing that her grapes don’t have pesticides all over them (along with herbicides and fertilizers). However, her infrequent snack of regular marshmallows not being organic doesn’t keep us up at night! 🙂 Hope this helps!

  • amy says:

    I have problems on knowing what to buy because I have 2 of my 7 children allergic to milk. They also have a nut allergy so I don’t feel that almond milk is a an option. I usually buy organic soy milk for them but now I am seeing all this bad press for soy products too. I have purchased rice milk but don’t know much about that either. Any suggestions on what to buy for children that are allergic to milk and nuts?

    • Faith says:

      @amy, Amy, have you considered trying raw milk? We have no diary allergies in our immediate family, but a close friend has children who are and she found that they do not react at all to raw milk, since the bacteria is present to digest the lactose.

      • amy says:

        @Faith, 1 of the 2 are lactose intolerent too. But a true milk allergy is different than just being lactose intolerant. They don’t just suffer from the digestive discomfort of drinking milk. They are actually allergic to the protein in milk. It gives them hives, allergy sinus symptoms, eczema etc. Raw milk will not change these symptoms. But thanks for the suggestion.

  • Jenelle says:

    Very interesting. I’ve been meeting with a nutritionist and she has recomended actually eliminating dairy from my diet. After all this debate as to was is safe vs not safe, what has hormones & leached chemicals from plastic bottles, I think eliminating it may actually make sense! Because ther is just so much contradicting data I have no idea what to believe anymore.

  • Faith says:

    I definitely think the extra $$ to purchase organic is worth it! Our family has chosen to drink raw milk in the past (with even more health benefits!) but we’ve recently moved and I’m having difficulty obtaining as our new state is much more strict about how you can acquire it. The health differences for both are so worth it, though. Our 2 yr old daughter is offered cups of regular milk at her grandparent’s house and she refuses to drink it. I guess that speaks enough for me!

  • Erika says:

    I believe it is worth the $ especially for my growing girls. We buy regular milk for myself and husband. Typically to save some $, I watch for sales and get milk coupons whenever I can. Even the added DHA is worth it to me for my growing girls. If we need milk and there are no brands on sale, then I buy the store brand organic milk. On rare occasions when there is a good sale and it is cheaper than regular milk, I will stock up, and then freeze the extra milk in ice cube trays. Then I add a milk ice cube to my daughter’s milk in the morning, so it stays cold and fresh without diluting it.

  • SJ says:

    What a great discussion! I buy organic for my son. I truly believe there is a correlation between non-organic milk and the development of our children. Case in point, my husband’s niece was always the tallest in her age group. We thought she would be unusually tall for an asian girl. She’s 14 now and stands at 5’2″ and no longer growing. She got her period at age 9 which is very rare for our race. I am convinced the hormones in her high meat diet caused accelerated growth. If you can afford it, buy hormone free dairy and meats and have anything in moderation.

  • Jennifer says:

    You can taste the difference when you start drinking organic milk (as with any organic food). Just walk in an organic grocery store, and you will be struck by an (often uncommon urge) to eat fruits and vegetables. Aside from the fact that hormones are RAMPANT in non-organic dairy products, you might consider the plight of the animals (as organic farmers tend to treat their animals better). I am actually a conservative and frugal person, but when it comes to milk…. it’s worth it for me to buy organic.

  • tricia says:

    I think its all a matter of personal choice. If you like the texture/taste of organic/almond/soy/rice milk, then by all means, buy it. There has never been a definitive answer about early development because of the hormomes, I just think that more people are noticing/paying attention to other kids and making comparisons to their own kids. People are just more competitive these days and take notice of the little things that are “wrong” about everyone else. And I hate when people talk about the “health benefits” of organic. It has been shown over and over again that there is no difference in the nutrition quality between conventional and organic products. The difference is in the growing/farm process. So really, the only thing gaining “health benefits” from organic is the environment….but then again organic farmers use pesticides too.

  • Linda says:

    I really appreciate this post. I have been reading a lot lately about the benefits of raw milk, but alas, it’s illegal to buy it in Indiana. I thought ALL organic milk was ultrapasteurized, which kills all the “good stuff” in milk, so I’ve never bought it. I was excited to hear that there is some regularly pasteurized milk out there that is organic.

    I bought two gallons today. I almost passed out from sticker shock though! $6 for a gallon, when I normally get milk for around $2/gallon! It’s pricey, but I am intrigued to see how much better it tastes. I noticed a huge difference when we switched from regular apples to organic apples, so I am assuming the milk will be the same.

    • Jennifer says:

      @Linda,
      Linda – In Indiana, I’d encourage you to try out Trader’s Point Creamery milk, which is certified organic, minimally pasteurized (a process called high temperature short time (HTST). This process kills the bacteria detrimental to human health but unlike the ultra pasteurization process, it does not kill those bacteria beneficial to human health.) and non-homogenized from 100% grass-fed cows.
      http://www.tpforganics.com/ for more information and where to buy in your area.

      Also, it is possible to obtain raw milk in Indiana if you own a cow share. http://www.realmilk.com/where2.html#in

      • Linda says:

        @Jennifer, Thanks for the info on the cow share. I think it averages out to $6/week for the raw milk – which is what I spent per gallon of organic so definitely worth looking into.

        We have tried Trader’s Point Creamery milk – I got it at a local Marsh. It was even more expensive – $3.50 for a half gallon. I wish the price would drop because it was good! 🙂

  • Naomi says:

    I definitely think it is worth it to buy organic milk. I have been doing this for years. I am a survivor of breast cancer and my children are grown. I started buying organic milk after my second diagnosis of this disease. I realize that there are so many chemicals in our food and I should have been more intuitive about this years ago. Most milk no longer has a lot of chemicals in it but what the cows eat does make a difference. Many companies do have coupons for organic milk if you ask–Horizon, Stonyfield Farms, Organic Valley(my favorite) and I use them when I can. I am fortunate to live in the midwest where our large grocery chain, Hy-Vee has their own organic milk.

    • Ana says:

      @Naomi: My mom was the exact same way. She always tried to eat healthier/fresh/organic when possible…. but went to an almost all-organic diet after going into cancer remission. She said the same thing… it wasn’t that she thought non-organic milk, fruits, veggies, etc. CAUSED her cancer, but that they probably didn’t help anything.

  • anne says:

    My answer is, it depends. Currently, only 17% of cows are treated with hormones. As for concern about antibiotics in milk, cows have a clean-out period of 2 weeks after they finish the round of antibiotics before they are returned to the milking pool. I personally don’t think the minimal amount of hormones or the concern about antibiotics is worth the extra price.
    That said, organic milk comes from cows that eat pesticide-free feed, and are required to have “access to pasture” at least part of the year. No pesticides and the improvements in the type of fat that is in milk from pasture-fed cows may make it worth the price – especially in the summer when more of the cows will actually be grazing in pastures than in the winter when pastures are under snow and cows prefer shelter.
    Lastly, the environmental impact of organic milk is so much less than the considerably high carbon footprint left by conventional. If you buy organic simply for environmental reasons, I think organic milk is the way to go!
    I prefer to buy local, organic, pasture-fed jersey milk when I can; and then go cheap with conventional milk when I can’t. My two cents:)

  • Ana says:

    Crystal: Do you mean to tell me that people who drink “regular” milk won’t drop dead at age 50? Well golly gee! Living in Seattle had convinced me otherwise 🙂

    Just kidding… sort of. I was not raised on organic milk, but it is something I will do for my kids. Not necessarily because I think that non-organic is BAD for you, but I think it tastes better and even if no correlation has been proven, I’d rather just give my kids the “best” milk if have the financial ability to do so. If we didn’t have money for organic milk that week/month, though, I wouldn’t be too distraught giving them “regular” milk.

    On another note, though, we will NEVER buy non-organic beef. This was the case when we were extremely broke, and will continue to be the case now that we have money. I would rather skip eating beef for a month because it wasn’t in the budget than buy the cheap non-organic stuff. I don’t really know why… I’m just weird about it.

  • Rebekah says:

    I really appreciate this discussion! No one in my family enjoys drinking milk, so it was an issue I was fuzzy on, but I like to keep up to date so that if it ever becomes an issue I can be informed. Maybe child #2 will like it when he gets old enough.. 🙂 Anyway, I googled for hormone info on Kroger and Walmart and it looks like they both went hormone-free in 2008. So as far as antibiotics and hormones go, they seem to be equal. Taste, price, and treatment of the workers and cows is obviously another story. 🙂

  • Jennifer says:

    Just wanted to add a link to this chart: http://www.organicpastures.com/whyraw.html

  • Marla says:

    We drink raw organic milk at $4/gallon. We get it from a local farmer. It is wonderful! Tastes so much better and doesn’t have that nasty smell. Ever smelled store bought milk when you opened it? Nasty! It has also done wonders for my kids asthma and allergies. They actually get sick when they drink regular milk now, not fun. Doesn’t last as long in the fridge, but we drink fast enough that it doesn’t matter. We buy more milk weekly anyways.

  • Andrea says:

    We drink raw cows milk for the nutrition. I get it from a local farmer for $2.50 a gallon in plastic milk jugs. Tastes so much better and we have fun doing different things with the cream. My favorite is taking frozen blueberries sprinkle with a packet of stevia and pouring some cream on. Then stirring it and the cream crystallizes onto the blueberries and makes it into ice cream. Delicious!
    The raw milk does not need nutrition added to it because it is in it’s Whole form and packed with nutrition that is lost in the cooking process.

  • tt in nyc says:

    Um, maybe this is too obvious, for sure cheaper….or maybe cuz I’m vegan this sounds more reasonable than it will to you, but my omni mom, who is a ddairy lover even admitted she likes that vanilla almond milk!but what if you just buy less milk?? Buy the good organic stuff, but less of it and explore the wonderful world of soymilk and almond milk! Trader joes has some amazing deals on organic almond milks and soymilks that taste great and are

  • Shelly says:

    we buy organic milk for our three young boys because I have read numerous times that dairy is one of the top three food products that you should buy organic. we save on other groceries, but I feel the extra cost is worth it to try to ensure the health and protection of our growing boys! it is also a little cheaper to buy in bulk (three half-gallons) at Sam’s Club!

  • Tammy says:

    We buy organic here because if you don’t use a lot of milk, the organic milk has a longer shelf life — typically three weeks. And conventional milk has some stuff added…as a former dairy farmer’s daughter, I can tell you dairy cattle without access to grasses are treated with antibiotics, and all that exposure to antibiotics over time can be a possible cause to antibiotic-resistent medicines. Definately look in to it and decide what you want for your family, like tt in nyc, I’m an almond milk fan, but not everyone in our house is, so we buy organic…I go to http://www.organicvalley.coop/ or http://www.stonyfield.com/ to print off coupons for either brand. I obviously grew up on raw milk as well, but we stick with just organic here because we live in a city with no access to raw milk.

  • Jocelyn says:

    When my son was 2 years old he got 3 ear infections in quick succession. I wasn’t getting any advice from the docs other than make sure to give him all the medicine. So I asked a naturopath who helps out at the local health food store for advice. He said to give my son only organic milk as its really the things that are added to milk that create problems. He didn’t have another ear infection for 5 years. Now that they are older I’ve moved back to regular milk because of price, but I always cruise by the organic section to see if they have any with the clearance sticker on them. Good luck!

  • Jill says:

    Hi! Organic milk is worth the extra price to my family. Not only are the cows not injected with hormones or antibiotics, but they are fed grass and organic feed not treated with pesticides. There is a taste difference as well, it tastes creamier and fresher than conventional milk. I like the fact, too, that the cows are usually treated much better on an organic farm. I can usually find organic milk marked down at Kroger on weekday mornings for around $3 a gallon. It may cost more, but the benefits are worth it!

    • Emily says:

      @Jill, The cows may be treated better in general, but I would have to argue that NOT giving an organic cow an antibiotic when it has a bacterial infection and truly needs one is not treating that cow very well.

    • Emily says:

      @Jill, I should also mention that I don’t know for sure if organic cows are NEVER given antibiotics (I don’t know very much about organic cows to begin with), but after reading many of the comments on this post, I’m beginning to think that maybe they aren’t ever given an antibiotic. While I do believe that giving cows (or people, for that matter) too many antibiotics when they aren’t necessary is also wrong, I think it is wrong to withold an antibiotic from a cow if it is necessary (if that is what happens on organic farms).

      • Jill says:

        @Emily, From what I understand, organic cows who are sick are given antibiotics, but are taken out of the organic herd at that time, and the milk that the cow makes is not put into production. Then, after a certain amount of time when the cow is better and the meds are out of its system, they are put back into the herd. So the cow is getting proper treatment, and we don’t have to drink the meds in its milk. I hope that clears it up a bit! 🙂

        • @Jill,
          Organic cows are not given antibiotics and if they are, they are either sold to a conventional dairy farmer and are not milked into the food chain while antibiotics are in her system, or they are sold for slaughter. If an organic cow is given antibiotics, she can never be milked in an organic herd again.

      • @Emily,
        Organic cows are not given antibiotics and if they are, they are either sold to a conventional dairy farmer and are not milked into the food chain while antibiotics are in her system, or they are sold for slaughter. If an organic cow is given antibiotics, she can never be milked in an organic herd again. The organic dairy farmer tries to cure the cow’s illness without the use of antibiotics.

  • Stacie says:

    If you have a local dairy around you, their milk is usually cheaper and you can find out everything you want to know about their cows straight from the source. Usually, you are getting organic milk that isn’t certified. My local dairy is soon going to be offering raw milk, so others must be, as well (though I don’t endorse drinking it… sorry, I just can’t get my head around that one), so that’s an option, too.

  • Charlotte says:

    I went to a naturopathic physician and she told me that nonorganic milk can cause hormonal imbalances in women…….since I am trying to conceive, she strongly suggested that I switch……….nonorganic milk not only causes hormonal imbalances, but also can lead to other female problems not conducive to pregnancy such as causing fibroids to grow in your uterine cavity or causing any fibroids that you already have to become larger.

  • Garrett says:

    As someone who is lactose intolerant, the thought of drinking milk at all kind of hard to relate to. I have tried rice, soy, almond — even hemp milk, and they are all fine. However, I am surprised at the implicit assumption that if you _must_ drink milk. Granted, it’s hard to find food without dairy products (though soy and HFCS are worse). Even things like baking are harder without a good liquid protein like milk.

    But if you are all so worried about it, why not just stop buying ANY milk?

    Calcium can be had from other sources, though if you don’t believe in fortified foods, you had better like leafy vegetables 🙂

    Of course, the whole cereal industry would dry up if we stopped buying milk, too.

  • megscole64 says:

    I’m not a huge Organic food fan…I think most of it is labeling and hype. But for Organic Milk I am a HUGE believer. It truly tastes different. I cannot drink regular milk anymore – it tastes bitter to me. It’s worth the extra cost to us.

  • Kirsten says:

    Organic milk is very expensive. What works best for us is to buy our milk and dairy from Braums. They are not certified as organic, but the dairy has no hormones or antibiotics added. The cows are also hormone and antibiotic free. The milk taste wonderful.

  • wendi says:

    http://www.naturalnews.com/028799_pasteurized_milk_raw.html

    ^^^^^^this article says it all, i dont have to say anything more! Sorry but this is ALLLLL true in the article

    • Candice says:

      @wendi, I completely second this link! there is an enormous amount of information out there if you just look! We drink Raw organic milk. Thats it. We don’t consume a ton cause it’s just not necessary. If we do drink pasteurized milk, organic or not, we all get sick. Don’t waste your money purchasing organic if it is not raw. It is a high price tag that does no good and only harm for your body,because of the pasteurization. Don’t just believe me though, read for yourself. And keep on reading. Truth is out there but you have to find it yourself.

  • Rachel says:

    I thought I remembered something about Wal-mart vowing to keep hormones out of their milk in the movie Food Inc.
    Please correct me if I am wrong as I would love to know the truth!

  • Becky says:

    Actually, to let you guys know, there is no way to test for hormone treatments in cows. One way ‘organic’ farmers can make more money is by using hormones to help the cows produce more milk and claiming it as organic if they don’t use antibiotics. However, these hormones don’t show up in the milk so it’s really not a problem for our health.

  • Kate says:

    I steer clear of milk. There’s no reason for an adult human to drink it, and very few reasons (none of them good ones, IMO) for children to drink it. Calcium can be had from a boatload of other sources–some of which carry greater concentrations and are more easily absorbed by the body.

    We’re the only species that drinks the breastmilk of another animal. Weird, huh?

    Industrialized soy milk isn’t a great thing to put in your body either.

  • Kat says:

    I am a non-organic dairy farmer with 30 cows (they have pasture access and are kept as comfortable as possible when they are not). I am amazed at how many myths there are surrounding conventional milk versus organic.

    For starters, conventional milk does not have antibiotics in it (otherwise, a farmer can be fined and the milk is discarded. Testing is done on every tank of milk that a dairy farmer ships (organic or conventional) to ensure antibiotics are not in the milk. Also, a cow cannot be butchered until the antibiotics are out of her system.)

    Secondly, I feel treating an animal when they are sick is a must! (Would you not treat your child or pet if they were sick?). All milk (and most food you eat) contain hormones (that’s part of being a living thing…organic plants included). If you are truly concerned about hormones in milk…soymilk will cause more complications due to the estrogen it contains.

    In addition, I believe in buying local as the most important key for freshness and supporting the local farmers. I know how hard my family works to ensure the healthiness of our animals and the quality of the dairy products we provide for consumers. Its a shame that most of these posts are against conventional milk as the milk my cows produce is probably healthier than organic (seeing as I ensure my cows are healthy and will treat them if they are sick. Their milk is withheld from the shipment until it is no longer in their system.)

    Please do not believe the hype surrounding organic milk, as you are just wasting your money.

  • stee says:

    I don’t think it’s worth paying extra for anything organic or “green”.

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