Friday, May 18, 2012

Know Thy Milk

Less than a year ago, I switched over to organic milk. Despite having changed my meat sourcing several years prior, milk was just one of those things that I never quite got around to changing.

First of all, it’s expensive. And second of all, my husband, who is a big milk drinker, was convinced that organic milk would taste like grass or like soy milk or just plain weird.

But after reading about animal mistreatment at factory farms and the hormones and antibiotics pumped into dairy cows, it seemed ludicrous that I had made so many other dietary changes and let this one slide. So, the next time I visited Kroger, I picked up their brand of organic milk and didn’t look back. That is, until about a month ago.

Shortly after starting this blog, a friend and a reader both suggested The Cornucopia Institute as a source of information for all things organic and sustainable. Always one to seek out new information on this topic, I checked out the site and was immediately intrigued by the scorecards and reports, which review and rate various companies on their organic and sustainable claims.

I checked out my eggs, which were a 5 star rating. Awesome! I checked out my cereal, which was also a top rating. Woo hoo! Then I checked out my Kroger brand organic milk. Not so good. With just a 1 star rating, my milk was considered better than conventional milk, but far below the standards of other organic farmers and certainly far below the standards I have for paying a premium price.

Thankfully, it took me only a minute to see that Organic Valley and Whole Foods’ 365 Organic brand were both highly rated and available in my area. And, although I now pay a little more for my milk than I did for the Kroger brand, I’m confident I’m buying the best for me and my husband.

Before you spend your hard-earned food budget on organic, check out The Cornucopia Institute to ensure your dollars are going toward the most reputable farms and the best quality products.

Question: What are your biggest sources of information when choosing foods for your family? 
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