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Your food... Dairy

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  •  
    Milk, Eggs, and Cheese
    Drinking organic milk offers more health benefits than drinking non-organic, according to the Danish Institute of Agricultural Research. As reported in the study, organic milk has 50% more vitamin E than conventionally produced milk and 75% more beta carotene, which is converted into Vitamin A in the body. It is also two to three times higher in antioxidants.
  • Local organic dairies that allow their cows to graze on grass produce healthier milk than "mega" dairies that feed their cows organic grain in confined feed lots. When buying organic milk, read the label to be sure you're getting milk produced by grass-grazing cows.
  • Another advantage of organic milk and dairy products is that they do not contain the genetically engineered "bovine growth hormone" (known as rBGH or rBST), which is injected into non-organic cows to increase milk production. Injecting cows with rBGH can lead to infections that require treatment with antibiotics. The milk of cows that have been injected with rBGH and antibiotics often contains residues of these chemicals. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has said that using rBGH poses no health risks. Consumer and health groups argue that we should not burden our bodies with synthetic hormones and unnecessary antibiotics. Co-op News presents an excellent overview of the issue here.
  • Eggs can be more than organic; they can be "cage free," "free range," "natural," or even "free farmed." Read this explanation of your options at Grist.
 

For Your Shopping List:

  Local Milk in Re-Usable Glass Jars

Your best bet is to find milk, cheese and eggs that are produced locally by farmers who do not use hormones and antibiotics. Plug your zip code into the Food Routes map to locate an organic dairy farmer nearby.

In your grocery story or food co-op, look for brands like these:

In My House

We drink at least five gallons of milk a week at our house, so we decided a long time ago that as much as possible, we'd stick to organic (unless, of course, we run out in the middle of the night. Then we're just like everyone else: we make an emergency run to 7-11 for a quart to get us through until morning). We're lucky because, being in the Chesapeake Bay region, there are a couple of good local dairies around. I can buy delicious organic milk that's locally produced and that is somewhat reasonably priced The downside of organic milk is that it's so darn expensive. I justify it in a lot of ways. Mostly, I figure if I can spend $10 to rent a couple of movies every week, I can spend an extra ten bucks on healthy milk for my family. I buy my eggs at the farmers market - they're usually picked the same morning I buy them, and they are really delicious. Most of my cheese comes from the supermarket, and it's not very good. Functional, but not particularly tasty. It does seem like the closer you can trace food back to the earth, the more delicious it is.

 
 

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