HOW GOOD IS ORGANIC MILK?
Milk is the most popular organic product on the market, commanding up to twice the price of regular milk. Yet the idyllic vision many people have of organic dairy farms—and organic milk’s environmental benefits—is often not the reality.
An increasing amount of milk that is certified organic under current USDA standards is produced by cows that spend most of their lives in crowded feedlots. These “factory” farms generate tons of manure that pollute the air and water, posing risks to the environment, farm workers, and nearby residents. What’s worse, some of the country’s largest organic milk producers are fighting to weaken USDA standards.
So what’s a milk lover to do? Here are several strategies for ensuring your organic milk is actually better for cows, farmers, and the environment:
It is important to note, however, that grass-fed cattle do not necessarily meet organic standards (or vice versa). UCS and other organizations are advocating that farms that are now organic also become pasture-based.
Written by: Union of Concerned Scientists.
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