Organic milk: skippable, apparently.
food, health, milk, organic milk, organic
And milk is like the one organic thing I buy, too. Oh well. I still think it tastes better. Also, the organic I find lasts for much longer in the fridge; when I buy regular milk, it tends to go bad before I can use it.
@area@twitter I totally agree. I love organic milk - it tastes creamier and lasts longer.
@area@twitter The reason it "tastes better" to you is that the ultra-pasteurization process used to treat organic milk caramelizes some of the sugar in it, resulting in a sweeter taste. If it weren't treated at high heat, organic milk would be indistinguishable from regular -- it doesn't have an inherently different flavor.
Lasting longer in the fridge is a bonus, though.
@packedsuitcase That's what I came down here to say too. Organic 2% tastes like conventional whole to me, and it lasts longer. And I only use it for coffee and cooking so it's not like a huge part of my budget.
@elysian fields The more you know! I had no idea that was why organic milk tastes better - does it affect how creamy it tastes, too?
@stuffisthings Yeah, it lasts like twice as long, so ends up being cheaper for me in the long run given that I'm hard pressed to use a whole gallon of non-organic milk before it starts to get stanky.
@elysian fields I did not know that! Hot damn. I swear it also tastes richer and fattier to me too- skim tastes like 2%, 2% tastes like whole. Is that due to increased caramelization too?
We've recently started buying lactose-free milk and it lasts forever too. What the dilly???
@area@twitter I buy organic skim milk and I think it tastes like regular 2%, while regular skim milk tastes like flavored water to me.
Thank you for this tribute.@j
Sounds to me like the criminal masterminds in charge of the dairy lobby are behind this report!
*adjusts tinfoil hat*
They say that the antibiotics and drugs used on cows show up in the meat, so wouldn't it also show up in the milk? It sounds like all they tested the milk for was growth hormones.
I'm a big proponent or organic farming, not because I think it will give me super powers, but because in many cases it is better for the environment. But all these tests seem to have incredibly limited scopes (like the one about how organic food wasn't better for you because it didn't have more vitamins and minerals. Then here is this study saying right, no more/less vitamins and minerals, but all those pesticides sure are bad for you.), and yet are reported by these media outlets as being conclusive.
@SarahP So, one issue though is that pasturing organic cattle is usually not that much better for the environment than conventional cattle, because when an organic cow gets sick and then gets treated with the antibiotics and medicines of conventional livestock, it becomes a "conventional" cow. (Obviously "organic" gets defined a bunch of different ways and this is not the case across the board, but generally ethial farmers keep 2 herds at once so that they can keep organic cows that have needed "conventionalizing" (not even slightly a word) medical interventions.) So, most proponents of organic dairy usually are mainly worried about what's better for you and what hormones are in the milk, instead of the broader environmental impact differential (which tends to be negligible).
@RK although, organic feed probably has a net benefit, if you trace it back far enough, and organic farms with a conventional herd tend to feed both herds the same.
@RK Well, I'm vegan, so I'm not really supporting any sort of cow raising, and am also not an expert on the differences between cow-farming practices. I think I see what you mean, but aren't pastures for organic cows more likely to be more environmentally friendly (ie, no chemical pesticides, fertilizers, etc) than pastures for conventional cows?
Again, though, the antibiotics that are in the meat are probably in the milk, right? Or, are possibly in the milk, but it appears that all they tested for is growth hormone, which isn't necessarily why all consumers are buying organic milk, like they (or at least the WSJ) seem to think.
@RK Maybe this is stupid, but if a cow gets sick and needs to be treated with antibiotics, is it really forever condemned to the conventionalized pasture or can't it just get over it's flu and go back to being an organic cow afterwards..like when a human gets sick?
This article irritates me, as does the one it references, which my McDonalds-loving friend gleefully posted when it came out awhile ago. I don't eat everything organic, and I'm not a vegetarian, and I eat some junk food from time to time. But I am a huge proponent of healthy living and eating within realistic means, and I hate the food industry for imposing labels and making organic vs. natural vs. processed a war, which makes people choose "sides" even, and makes any extremist look so foolish (e.g. "Check it out guys, organic doesn't mean shit!!! HAHAHAAHA"). I just wish there could be a normal, widespread emphasis on respect for humans and the earth and animals through food.
@SarahP Huge animal operations (CAFRs) don't let their cows out to pasture, they give them feed in an enclosed-ish area, and if there's an organic herd and a standard herd, they're not going to be buying two different types of feed and have two feeding operations. There's also the problem that "organic" can be defined so differently between companies (let's be real, any milk you're buying in the store is coming from a corporation, not some family farm), one farm's organic could mean no pesticides and organic milking practices, another farm's could mean only the manner of milk collection/pasteurization, etc.
@itiresias Some farms will let the sick cow go back to the organic herd when it's off meds, but most won't (the idea being that they can't say their herd doesn't get treated with antibiotics if they sometimes treat some animals with antibiotics). Having said that, my experiences are by no means universal, and Polka Dots is right that my mentions of pasturing animals is a drop in the bucket when you think about how much more of our milk comes from factory farming. I'm from the West Coast, where people are righteously indignant about the way food gets labeled, despite the fact that different farms define "organic" differently.
@SarahP You're probably right about the pesticide/fertilizer business. If the cattle is being pastured, it's reasonable to assume that the chemicals used to maintain an organic pasture will have a smaller impact.
I don't know what it is, but Organic Valley whole milk just tastes...amazing. It's like milk crack. I've done blind taste tests with regular whole milk, and there's no comparison. The Organic Valley just tastes...I dunno, milk-ier? It's a king's ransom in NYC at $4.99/half gallon, but I pay it because other kinds of milk now just don't taste right anymore. Horizon doesn't have the same effect, so I have no idea what they put in Organic Valley (since it's not just the organic-ness).
@jule_b_sorry Have you tried Ronnybrook? That's my milk crack. I remember chugging whole pints of the chocolate milk when I was little.
@jule_b_sorry I've been forced to switch to lactose-free (which tastes more like regular milk than non-dairy alternatives like soy, but still tastes decidedly different) and imo, Organic Valley's lactose-free tastes the best.
@Lisa Frank love Ronnybrook milk! I try to buy their product because it's local, but I don't think that they do organic products.
@Jen Kiaba Ronnybrook is one of those farms that isn't certified "organic" but might use better practices than some that are certified. The whole "organic" label is a bit of a racket, according to the farmers I sometimes buy produce from at the farmer's market. Definitely feel good about buying Ronnybrook despite it lacking the organic label. Plus it is indeed unbelievably tasty.
If you're curious, here is how they lay out the implications of organic in comparison to their farming practices.
@Poubelle I will take organic lactose free milk over just regular Lactaid any day. Seriously, it tastes so much better.
@Moxie Yeah, the dairy my parents get their milk from isn't certified organic because it's a small operation, but they do basically everything in the same way. (And sell milk in glass bottles!)
Unless you care about things other than nutritional content, like the way animals are treated (not guaranteed to be different in organic, depending on brand) or how many chemicals go into the ground/water in order to grow the food that feeds the cows that produce the milk.
@bb Yeah, I care less about whether it's better for me and more about whether it's better for the farmers, the animals, and the environment. Which gets into the whole greenwashing "what does organic mean" bullshit, but that's an entirely different carton of milk.
@bb Yes! In other news, Dairy Cows Advocate Plant-Based Milks
@bb Eggs and dairy are the only things I'm stringent about buying local (usually organic in my area) because I feel for the animals. I seriously cannot buy conventional eggs now.
@KatnotCat I guess I don't understand how you feel for the animals that are producing eggs and milk but not for the male chicks that get slaughtered because they are considered useless or the forcibly impregnated cows that are separated from their calves, the males of which will also get slaughtered. Vegan rant.
I also found the article self-contradicting. First the paragraph on milk had the pediatricians saying that artificial growth hormones in cows don't affect children, and THEN they were saying that children should drink skim because estradiol (related to estrogen) is passed along in milkfat. So which is it -- a problem, or not a problem?
Also, it is not a good idea to give children bad-tasting faux-food, which is what skim milk is -- so many good nutrients and fats skimmed out of it. Bah humbug!
@harebell It is not a good idea to give *anyone* skim milk. That stuff is the devil. Seriously, why bother? You might as well drink a glass of water and take a calcium supplement.
@elysian fields I don't like milk. I only consume it in cereal, and I use skim because the creaminess grosses me out. Even 1% tastes too creamy to me.
@fondue with cheddar Maybe it's because I am a water addict, but same here- I can only tolerate organic skim, either pre-chocolated or with lots of chocolate syrup (or Ovaltine! IT'S HEALTHY) added. Anything more than skim makes me a little chuggy- I am super picky about my dairy and am the same way about yogurt, cheeses, mayo, etc.
@New Hoarder I'm with you on the chocolate milk! The chocolate has to be pre-chocolated or syrup, like you said. The powder is gross! That's why I never drink hot chocolate even though I love the idea of it. I ordered it in a restaurant once where they made it with actual melted chocolate and it was DELICOUS. I've never had Ovaltine! If you think it's great then maybe I'll like it also. Oh! I was in Vermont a couple weeks ago and bought some local chocolate milk in the big heavy old-school glass bottle. It was the best chocolate milk ever. I don't know how much of it was the chocolate and how much of it was the milk, but the chocolate was definitely superb.
I'm picky about dairy in general also. I only like the less-yogurty yogurts. Mayo is disgusting and I can only tolerate it in small amounts. Are you a supertaster too?
Btw, I may have told you this before but your userpic is my favorite scene. "Uh, I just got...I don't have time now."
@harebell Don't really little kids need the milkfats? I swear I've read that you should definitely stick to whole milk for toddlers, and gradually go down to 2%. Skim is only better for big kids, except it's not better at all 'cause it's watery and gross.
@fondue with cheddar I have to warn you, Ovaltine is no chocolate syrup. BUT, if you put in a heaping tablespoon and stir very well, it's pretty good. I just figure I shouldn't be using a whole bottle of chocolate syrup every ten days so I tell myself I am a grown-up whenever I use Ovaltine b/c supposedly vitamins. That, and its reference in "A Christmas Story."
I don't think I am a super-taster, just super sensitive to the varying consistencies in dairy. I can abide sour cream if it's really thick and not melted, and only in small amounts; mayo is the worst; I like harder cheeses; no to cheese sauce (e.g. nachos must have shredded cheese- I like TexMex more than proper Mexican b/c of this); no to milky-milk; no to almost any yogurt except Wallaby and some of the Trader Joe's ones; etc. Oh, and that creepy Icelandic one that feels like paste? It's gooood when dressed up with chocolate chips. (Chocolate is obviously my cure-all.)
Haha, yes, I frequently physically act out Andy's temper tantrum: hunched posture, dragging feet, and so on, but I try to curb that tendency at work. Only sometimes successfully. ;-)
@fondue with cheddar Hot chocolate solution: European drinking chocolate! My favorite is Schokinag. I ordered a three-pack of mint chocolate a couple of years ago from Amazon; one of the best winter investments I ever made. I mix it with a bit of milk but mostly hot water at home (vigorous stirring required), and with hot water and a pinch of packeted Swiss Miss for the milk powder. YUM.
@New Hoarder Ovaltine is also referenced in Young Frankenstein!
I like cheese sauce on nachos, but only because of the meltiness factor. Shredded cheese melted just congeals and makes them all stick together. I can understand why people wouldn't like it, though. It is sort of gross but I still like it on nachos and cheesesteaks.
Chocolate does cure a lot of things!
@harebell Yeah I thought it was contradictory, too. Like, conventional foods are totally fine EXCEPT FOR THE PRESENCE OF PESTICIDES IN YOUR URINE. No biggie. (?!?!)
That's it. I'm OUT. It's my high school diet of poutine and Diet Coke until my premature death from sitting.
@Nicole Cliffe I hear that.
@Nicole Cliffe I read "diet poutine" and immediately thought "EW. . . where can I get some?"
@Nicole Cliffe Sounds like a 'Pin challenge.
@Nicole Cliffe I've never had poutine! But I think I would love it.
@Nicole Cliffe Heard this on NPR yesterday-- diet soda, not actually that bad! (But you can pry my real sugar/HFC-laden Coke from my cold dead hands)
The really terrible thing about organic milk is the stupid "ultra-pasteurization".
So, I pretty frequently make a queso fresco/paneer/ricotta basic cheese, whenever called for (just, hot some milk, add some acid (lemon or white vinegar), strain, boom, done. Nice cheese. Light, delicious on tacos, wonderful. It's the jam.
However, this bullshit ultra-pasteurization they do to the organic milk makes it not like, cheese-up right, and the yield is mad fucking low.
And then, if I want non-pasteurized for-realsies milk? I could probably buy an assault rifle easier than I could buy raw milk straight from the cow in this country. I'm not some hippy whatever, I'm open to like, some degrees of modifications to our foods (Like, you want to talk about genetic modification, look at what our selective breeding has done to corn - those things used to be the size of a thumb, max) - but for fucks sake.
We live in a country where I can buy a taco made of 'cheese product' and remaindered meat shoved inside a fucking dorito envelope, and I can't just get some milk straight from the cow's boobie?
@leon Oh, The Hairpoin should SO do a post on making your own ricotta/queso fresco. I tried it a few months ago, and now I'm never going back to store-bought. It's cheaper than store-bought, it's mad easy, the product is delicious, and you also then get the "hey, I MADE this" bragging rights.
As for the ultra-pasteurization problem, I just buy a smaller thing of regular-pasteurized milk for cheese-making, and then a half-gallon of the organic stuff for plain ol' "chugging straight from the carton". I'd probably feel squidgy about making cheese from raw milk, just because of the "sitting on my counter at a low heat temperature for a long time" step in the process. This may or may not be a rational fear.
@leon s This weekend I went to a restaurant where I ordered...surprise...cheese fondue. It tasted like the primary ingredient was Kraft singles. In a restaurant! What is this world coming to?!
@leon s: I've got a source for fresh milk straight from the udder. It's a bit of a trek so I don't do it often but when I do, it's great. The farm has three cows and few goats and they all have names like Blossom and Petunia and you can hang out while they milk them. Last time I was there they had a litter of barn kittens sitting on the cows while they were milked. Unsanitary perhaps but oh my gawd the charm factor was off the charts. And the milk is great.
But yeah, it's totally like a drug deal. So absurd.
@fondue with cheddar I dealt much better with Cheese in the UK. because their standby cheese is awesome awesome awesomesauce cheddar, and here the default is American, which makes me immediately barf. Not sure why, but sometimes I'll be halfway through a takeout burger and then BAM, sick- "Dammit! They switched their cheese!" I suppose that is nature's way of keeping me relatively healthy.
@New Hoarder Man, seconding that your average grocery store cheese in the UK is like several orders of magnitude better than ours (comparing cheddar vs. cheddar - I'm not even getting into American cheese). So inexpensive and so delicious on my sandwiches! Get it together, America!!
@New Hoarder Yeah. The deli-style American is okay. I don't prefer it but I can eat it if that's all that's available. But the processed stuff is DISGUSTING. I don't even know how they can call it cheese.
@leon s: Teach us to make cheese, yes?
@HeyThatsMyBike I HATE that the worst cheese in the world has our name attached to it.
A former coworker who is married to a Brit claimed that the milk chocolate is better there because it's a smaller country so they don't have to use as many preservatives. He claimed it was made with real milk whereas ours isn't. I don't like most mass-market milk chocolate, but the stuff he brought us from there was great. I wonder if this applies to cheese as well.
@leon s Oh wow, you just caused me to have an epiphany. THAT'S why my paneer stopped working when I got all fancy and started buying organic milk. You are my hero of the day and savior of future Indian meals.
@leon s Did you see that New Yorker article a few months back about the raw milk "traffickers" in California? The fact that fucking milk is being treated like a drug just because it didn't go through one process is mind-boggling.
@fondue with cheddar Agh I learned this fact/ myth? when I was abroad too. Apparently we use more sugar in our chocolate and they use more milk, so our milk chocolate is bitter and theirs is creamier. Whatever, I still prefer dark chocolate on either side. It's my #1 vitamin.
@laurel - It's easy!
Get Some Milk. Note that the less pasteurized it is, the more cheese per volume of milk you get - I don't really believe in food borne bacteria, so I like to use raw milk when I can find a cow. (Yep, I know how to milk cows. I recommend you try it, it's gross as hell but kind of awesome.) Let it sit on the counter till it's room temperature. Put it in a pot - the heavier the bottom the better (heat transfer and shit). Also make sure there's some room above in the top - don't fill your pot more than 2/3rds. Hot that shit, stirring forever (note that constant slow stirring dishes, such as risotto and this and properly carmelizing onions, are an awesome time to get all close to someone and make out a little and take turns stirring.)
Once it starts to get a little bubbly and tumultuous, stop hooking up and splash in a little vinegar or squeeze a lemon slice over it. How much? I dunno. If it's white vinegar, it ends up being a surprising amount. Basically just crank up the heat a little and slowly add acid until it starts seperating out into white chunks and yellowish liquid (these parts have proper names, but fuck that noise).
Once it seperates out enough (only a minute or two if you added enough acids), pour it through a cheese-cloth lined strainer. Be proud that you are, for the first time in your life, using a cheesecloth for cheese. It's best if the strainer is over a bowl. As it strains, loosely cover it in some plastic wrap so the top doesn't dry out as the bottom strains.
Go smoke a cigarette (or do a higher-intensity than above make-out sesh for 5 minutes). Come back, uncover it. Dump your new cheese into some kind of thing to hold it. Pack it tight if you want, leave it loose if you want, I don't care.
Want it drier and crumblier? Let it stand open and dry a little longer. Want it moist and shit? Lay a wetted paper towel over it and seal it up fast. Again, I don't really give a fuck. Now you got cheese, and you're fancy.
@leon s: How To Make Some Fucking Cheese.
Boom. Thank you.
@HeyThatsMyBike Studied abroad in Spain. Supermarket AISLE of $2 (normal) to $10 (SO fancy) hunks of amazing manchego. I've been bitter ever since my return.
And not only is their chocolate creamier and better, it's also way cheaper for better brands.
@New Hoarder Aha, that explains it! Dark chocolate is definitely way better than milk, though I do like the higher-end milk chocolates, like Godiva and Ghirardelli. Hershey's literally tastes like vomit.
@leon s Fuck yes. Doing this very soon. How long does the cheese generally keep in the fridge?
Slash, how many people have you seduced over a stovetop?
@leon s "I don't really believe in food borne bacteria " I'm curious what you mean by this?
@polka dots vs stripes I am also curious about this!
@leon s Good instructions! I would add: you can heat up the milk in the microwave - I think curdy pyrex bowls are easier to clean than curdy metal pots. Add some salt at some point in the process. And you can totally use moistened paper towels to line your strainer if you don't have cheesecloth, although some brands work better than others.
@polka dots vs stripes - I was mostly joking and just being ridiculous. It's a serious problem when cooking for people, and one that requires proper food handling technique. The best way to combat getting people sick is to really understand what is and isn't safe, and what the danger zones are.
That being said, the joke comes from the huge misunderstandings most people have of what the risks really are, a lot of which comes from living in (a)such a litigious society and (b)having such a compromised food production culture. Take pork, for instance - trichinosis is killed at about 138 degrees or something. Safe eating temperature for pork is low 140s. However, because of all of the horrible shit in our food production chain and a fear of lawsuits, most people recommend it be cooked to 165 - which frankly, is gross and overcooked. In a lot of other cultures where food comes from safe sources, things like eggs and cheeses are left out on counters. In the US we refrigerate our eggs because our factory farms are ridden with salmonella, so, there's that. We need to brutally overcook our meats because shoddy 'butchering' on factory killing floors lets cuts of meat come in contact with fecal matter - the source of e. coli. Buy from trusted butchers and reliable sources, and doing things like resting meat on the counter for 4 or 5 hours to come up to room temperature before cooking (which results in a much better cooked product, if you like a nice crust and still rare meat on the inside) is completely safe.
So, basically - if you have access to really good, clean food sources, you can play it a lot more loose with USDA recommendations. I still recommend checking with The Book of Harold to learn your food safety.
But cooking should be like dating, and the kitchen should be the bedroom. All of the intellectual stuff (which is fun! and rewarding!) all of the talking and thinking and contemplating should be done in advance. Once you step into the kitchen/bedroom, you should put on some music that gets your blood going, and move on the instincts and passions.
@leon s Ahhh wow thank you. I was afraid you were going to be anti-science and actually tell me e. coli doesn't exist or something! I don't cook a lot of red meat at home (really, never) so I haven't needed to think about stuff like that.
Also great metaphor.
Dude, love your ideas on food, esp meat. Just sayin'. I'm too poor right now to afford clean food of every kind, but when I can afford it, you be that's what my money's going towards.
On an awesome (somewhat related) note, after going without farm fresh eggs for a while because my chicken lady sold her chickens (sad story) I have found a new fresh egg provider, and she works on the same campus as I do, and I will be picking up a dozen tomorrow! Woowoo!
If only dealing raw milk were so easy/legal!
@baked bean - Honestly, I can't afford food of the quality I'd like to eat a lot.
If you're looking at produce, there are a lot of articles online about the produce you can skip buying organic - things that grow in the dirt (except potatoes), have thick skins, or weird tastes (like asparagus) tend to not require as much pesticides, where things like berries, apples, peaches, celery tend to need the most pesticides.
If you live in a city, I cannot enough endorse shopping around your local butchers, if you are a meat eater. I've found out, via my relentless bodega news-gathering sessions (Bodegas are the Brooklyn CNN) that one random, small, old-timey looking butcher in my neighborhood is (a)basically the cheapest place on earth to buy meat, (b)has really awesome farm sources, mostly cuz they have some relationships going back to the 1920s, and (c)is actually the meat source for a Well-Known Hipster Food Institution in Bk North.
Plus, getting out there and talking to butchers, chefs on their smoke broke, and any other random food-industry people you run into is a great way to learn what's up, and not just about food. If you talk to a butcher, a couple bodega owners, and a few bartenders in your neighborhood on the regs, you'll never miss a thing.
I am generally speaking of meat, I guess. Produce I can buy from the farmers' market when it's going on (which is only May-Oct). There aren't a lot of organic veggies available in my town other than that. There are a few organic varieties at the store, like of carrots, but no organic apples or anything.
There's a smaller rural town across the river from my parents' small rural town that has a local butcher shop. I doubt much of the meat there is organic, but I do know that it is a very clean place and that all the meat is local, and much of it is possibly pasture-raised, although that is not something people in this town care about so they do not tell you what the cow ate.
Their bacon is to-die-for.
They will process any dead thing you bring in. They process the deer that hunters bring in (yeah, it's a small rural town).
They also make really amazing sausage in many different flavors now. It is so fucking good. And it's very lean, unlike most which will have more fat in their mix because it costs less.
They have a special right now, $149 for a half-hog, which is 68 lbs of meat in different cuts and sausage and stuff. That comes to about $2.19/lb. Amazing deal. If I had the freezer space I'd jump on that.
My parents have neighbors that raise animals, not organically, but if I wanted to, I could probably approach them and say, "Hey I will buy one of your grass-fed steers before you send it to the feed lots for the last few months of its life (to stuff itself silly with corn). I will take it to be processed myself right now."
NOOOO THIS IS MY FAVORITE MILK! Horizon Organic chocolate milk in the little kid size is the only milk I drink willingly. Organic milk tastes sooooo much better!
@New Hoarder Horizon Organic vanilla or chocolate, AKA "cow on milk" by my 3 year old, is his big treat when Mommy needs her Starbucks. He lives for that stuff.
@SoBeana ... sadly enough, I have that same routine with my husband. He orders whatever skinny whip triple latte with no twist or whatever, and I greedily grab a mini chocolate milk, sometimes two if there is a score to settle.
I don't drink coffee AT ALL, after getting sick from it the first and only time I tried it during 8th-grade exams. It was probably the 3 tablespoons of instant mix and the cup of sugar I poured in a 7-Eleven Super Gulp mug that did it. I though that was how my parents made coffee. =-(
Ugh, I'm sure others have already said this but stuff like this frustrates me. More vitamins isn't the point of organic, it's that there's less bad stuff! Way to miss the point entirely.
@lenka_V Seriously. If vitamins were the only thing that mattered, people would just eat Kraft macaroni and cheese for every meal and take a multivitamin.
Well, as we all know, fraternal organizations of medical professionals are always perfectly unbiased and have never been known to take donations from corporations or be influenced by corporate interests. So I for one trust this data implicitly.
@par_parenthese Never! It's SCIENCE it can't possibly be corrupted and twisted by biased individuals. It's like, magic or something.
Read this book.
I don't know if it's organic, but I get my milk from a local dairy farm. It's so good - I can skim the cream off the top for my coffee. Delish.
Articles like this make me so angry. I hate blanket statements that don't look at the "big picture" of what organic is trying to do. I completely understand that the organic label has been watered down by the FDA so that big food companies can still have a piece of the pie, but that doesn't mean organic isn't a good thing! Many times (not always), organic companies not only focus on "pesticide, hormone-free" but also on the well-being of their farmers, animals, producers, etc. These companies actually give a shit about sourcing and fair pay and environmental. Once again, this isn't all companies. The big thing is to actually RESEARCH the companies and understand them. There are plenty of conventional/small businesses that can't afford the organic label but are still doing a great job. I wish people would just pay more attention and do research.
That being said, I want to give a huge shout out to Organic Valley. They are freaking fantastic. I don't work for them (I'm not getting paid for marketing them), but I did get a chance to tour one of their farms in Wisconsin. It was a small family farm with I think 200 cows (OV has a cool thing on their site where you can see where your milk is coming from/farms in your area). One thing they talked about was how well they are paid, which is why the milk can be so expensive. OV makes sure their farmers can actually make a living wage even with a small farm. Having worked on a small produce farm when I was a teen and witnessed my boss's struggles, I was really impressed by this.
@ohmy Thank you. As mentioned upthread, Ronnybrook is an excellent company that doesn't have the "organic" certificate.
All this brought me back to Mark Bittman's excellent analysis of the Stanford study about organic food not being "healthier". The idea of healthiness is about a lot more than vitamin and nutrient content.
How is organic milk "skippable"? Yeah yeah, no discernible direct health benefits to the kiddos. But the environment! All of that chemical-ly fertilizer and artificial hormone-ridden cow poop getting into water supply systems! In my opinion that's a pretty big health effect on our entire population. (And seriously, why does this article dismiss the welfare of the cows!). Am I just a big crazy hippy??? (Do I need to get out of Portland?)
I agree. It makes me really pissed when people don't make the connection between environmental health and our health. We fucking breathe this air, we eat what comes out of the dirt, and we drink the runoff from these farms. We breathe the air the trees give us, and choke on the air that is polluted by pesticide production/application/etc.
Like that fucking article that told us (wow surprise!) that organic vegetables aren't "healthier." No shit they don't have more vitamins and less fat, dear God, people. They're healthier in the environmental way and the pesticide-free body way. How are people so stupid?
I don't think organic certification is a holy grail. I don't necessarily think all of our organic requirements are perfect (no antibiotics, EVER, even to treat an illness? C'mon now), but I think they're a hell of a lot better than mainstream CAFOs' standards.
Just to take the antibiotics example: antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a HUGE problem in the human population of the developed world, so much so that many doctors now actively discourage their patients from taking antibiotics for minor infections. And yet we're pumping stuff that's full of antibiotics and resistant bacteria into our food supply, our water supplies, our waste stream. "Skip organic milk; it doesn't have more nutrients than 'normal' milk" is such a head-spinningly narrow view of the massive problems with our food system that I basically can't take it seriously.
This article was offputting, to say the least, so I went and found the source article that the author was referencing (here: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2012/10/15/peds.2012-2579). Unfortunately, the author cites the original paper incorrectly. No where in the article is it stated that organic milk is the same as non-organic. It mentions similarity of some chemical standards, but also that organic milk has higher levels of antioxidants and poly unsaturated fats (the good fats!).
Besides the original information being mis-quoted, it just doesn't make sense to say that organic dairy is the same as conventional. Milk is made from the food the cow eats, and if the cow is eating things it was never meant to (GMO corn, grains...), then it's milk will be inherently altered. Even if we can't biochemically figure out exactly how it is different, that doesn't mean it's the same thing anymore!
Keep drinking your yummy organic milk ladies.
Or you could just not drink cow milk because humans aren't meant to drink milk and despite what the completely biased dairy industry says, milk really isn't that great for you. Cholesterol, fat, not that much calcium? Not to mention the gross conditions and inhumane practices but that's another story I guess.
Some friends and I did a blind tasting of milks a few years ago and the winner was organic and NOT ultra pasteurized. It's a brand called Eco-Meal. If I remember correctly it is a cooperative of Amish farmers. It tasted like pudding! I buy it whenever I get the chance, but it's not always easily available here in Brooklyn, NY. Oh and it's great for making yogurt so I imagine it would solve some of the cheese problems mentioned above.
Such a nice video. Thanks for sharing. I really like chocolate milk. But unfortunately i dont know why i didnt grew up tall eventhough i aften drink milk. Maybe its because of gen, poor me.
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