According to Dr. Alan Greene, author of Raising Baby Green, and clinical professor of pediatrics at Stanford University’s Packard Children’s Hospital, women who are pregnant should choose organic versions of these five foods to maintain health of their baby and the planet.

  1. Beef – If you eat beef during pregnancy, choose organic beef. The meat from grass-fed, organically raised cattle tends to be leaner overall and has about five times the omega-3s of its conventional counterpart. In contrast, a 2007 study published in the Oxford journal Human Reproduction linked mothers who ate beef from conventionally raised cattle during pregnancy with lower sperm counts years later in their adult sons. The men in the study whose mothers ate conventional beef most frequently had sperm counts that averaged 24 percent lower than their counterparts, and they were three times more likely to be infertile. The authors of the study believe the added hormones were the culprit.
  2. Milk – If you drink milk, opt for organic. Milk from organic, pasturefed cows is produced without antibiotics, artificial hormones, and pesticides, and can also provide extra omega-3s and beta-carotene. When women start making organic choices for themselves and for their families, they often intuitively start at the top of the food chain with organic milk. They understand that the foods they eat and the medicines they take will often get into their breast milk, so they easily make the connection that the medicines and foods given to dairy cows may affect their family’s health. They prefer avoiding the routine use of antibiotics, artificial hormones, pesticides, and genetically modified feed. Recent USDA monitoring data found that 27 percent of the conventional milk samples contained synthetic pyrethroid pesticides. By contrast, lower levels of the pesticide showed up in just 5 percent of the organic samples. Read the rest of this entry »

Insisiting that there’s no problem with the product, St. Louis- based Monsanto, announced it is selling the division that produces bovine growth hormone, also known as rBGH or rBST.

But nationwide a growing number of consumers and dairy processors feel otherwise. “No artificial growth hormones used” is now commonly displayed on store shelves from Florida to California.

Posilac, is sold in an injectable form to an unknown number of dairy farmers in the U.S. and internationally.  Monsanto refused to divulge sales figures, but insists that one-third of the nation’s cows receive injections. The USDA estimate that number to be more in the range of 15 percent.

The dairy drug is now made at the company’s Augusta, Georgia plant after production problems at its Austrian facility forced it to close earlier this year.

Monsanto has no timeline for the sale and would not comment on any prospective buyers.

Consumer surveys show that over the last decade, consumers have rejected buying milk from artificial hormone treated cows.  Read the rest of this entry »

Organic milk is significantly richer in nutrients than that from conventional dairy farms, thanks to the cows’ diet, a new study has shown.

Researchers found that when cows were grazed outside on grass and clover, they produced milk with higher levels of beneficial fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins.

The study by Newcastle University showed conjugated linoleic acid (CLA9) – which has been hailed as helping to reduce the risk of cancer – to be 60 per cent higher in organic milk during the summer months.

It also found organic milk has 39 per cent more omega-3 fatty acid and 33 per cent more vitamin E than the non-organic alternative. Both are thought to reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Read the rest of this entry »

Organic milk healthier

June 7, 2008

Organic milk is healthier, says a new study from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom. Scientists found that milk from organically farmed cows contained 67 percent more antioxidants than milk from conventionally farmed cows.

The study which analyzed milk from twenty-five farms, found other nutritional differences between organic and non-organic milk. The organic milk contained 39 percent more heart-healthy omega-3 oils and 32 percent less of the less-healthy omega-6 oils. It also had 60 percent more conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, which studies have shown can reduce tumors, and also about 60 percent more of vaccenic acid, which may reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

The researchers found that levels of antioxidants and healthy fatty acids were higher in summer, when cows ate fresh grass. Organically farmed cows get about 80 percent of their diet from grass while cows raised on conventional farms get under 40 percent of their diet from grazing.

 Although organic milk is more expensive than regular, experts say that since organic milk is so high in nutrients, customers wouldn’t have to buy as much to get the health benefits.

“This research confirms what organic farmers and consumers have long believed to be true,” said Peter Melchett, from the Soil Association, which advocates using organic farming methods. “This latest research demonstrates that it is the cows’ organic diet that makes their milk healthier.”

A new study by Newcastle University proves that organic farmers who let their cows graze as nature intended are producing better quality milk.

The Nafferton Ecological Farming Group study found that grazing cows on organic farms in the UK produce milk which contains significantly higher beneficial fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins than their conventional ‘high input’ counterparts.

During the summer months, one of the beneficial fats in particular – conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA9 – was found to be 60% higher. Read the rest of this entry »

Federal commodity regulators are investigating a price-manipulation scheme by the farmer-owned dairy cooperative that controls about a third of the nation’s milk supply, according to a published report.

Separately, the Justice Department is preparing to investigate a recently disclosed $1 million transfer to a former director of the Dairy Farmers of America, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing people close to the matter.

The Kansas City-based dairy cooperative, the nation’s largest, also faces antitrust lawsuits by farmers and retailers for allegedly conspiring to suppress prices it paid for raw milk in the Southeast, while raising prices to the region’s retailers, according to TheJournal. The alleged scheme could have boosted its profit as a middleman in those transactions. Read the rest of this entry »

Consumers think they are buying wholesome dairy products when milk protein concentrates in reality are an illegal, untested, unregulated, dairy ingredient from foreign countries that is displacing American dairy farmers’ local, quality milk.

by Brenda Cochran

As a dairy farmer, I’m proud to provide nutritious and quality products for “nature’s most perfect food,” milk. But now, I’m gravely concerned American food sovereignty is in jeopardy because of the greed of a few corporations. Nowhere is this trend more apparent and rampant than in the dairy industry.

As companies look for and encourage the cheapest, lowest quality product, consumers have responded with newfound concern for knowing what is in their food and how it is being made.

Sadly, agribusiness is targeting right-to-know labels in two egregious cases regarding milk:
1. Banning “rBST-free” labels.
2. Redefining milk to allow “ultrafiltered milk” to be labeled as “milk” even though it lacks so many vital nutrients that come from the real thing. Read the rest of this entry »

At a time when hormone-free milk labeling is under assault by Monsanto and its allies, Wal-Mart has taken a stand in favor of its consumers. All Great Value-brand milk sold at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club will be free of rBST bovine somatotropin, a growth hormone, the company said this week.

“As many of you know, there is a fair amount of controversy on this topic, but … Wal-Mart’s customers are telling us that they are very concerned so we listened, and we’ve made a pretty big change,” Rand Waddoups wrote in Check Out, a blog by Wal-Mart buyers.

Many consumers see the hormone-free label as a window into the operations at farms. Hormones keep cows producing milk at volumes and for durations that are unnatural, and their use often goes hand-in-hand with other “industrial” farming techniques, like keeping large herds in close proximity and whole-herd treatment with antibiotics and pesticides.

Monsanto, which manufactures the artificial growth hormone, has been going state-to-state, urging local agriculture departments to outlaw the use of labels like “rBST-free” on milk. Wal-Mart, which has proved that it knows well what American consumers want, has voted. Wal-Mart made no statement about the Monsanto initiative in its announcement about going hormone-free.

See also: Top rBST & rBGH free milk producers

Watch: You and your milk


Got Eco milk?

March 21, 2008

In the UK, supermarket customers could soon be running out for a bag of milk instead of the traditional glass or plastic bottles or containers.  The environmentally friendly plastic sacs, called Eco Paks, were tested last year and the response was positive. The bags use 75 per cent less plastic than bottles. Customers can also buy a reusable jug to pour the milk into.

Experts believe that the milk bags could make a significant impact on recycling rates. At present, most supermarket milk comes in cartons or bottles made of high-density polyethylene, a type of plastic that can be recycled, although mainly in China. Recent figures showed only seven per cent are recycled.

In the US, it is estimated that 134.1 billion beverage containers were not recycled in 2005–43.6 billion PET bottles, 6.8 billion HDPE bottles, 55.0 billion aluminum cans, and 28.8 billion glass bottles wasted.  That’s an increase of nearly 4 billion from 2004’s total of 130.3 billion.


Organic Valley, the nation’s oldest and largest cooperative of organic family farmers, strongly opposes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s ruling that food from cloned animals and their offspring is safe.

“Organic Valley farmers work in harmony with nature; we don’t seek to alter it,” said George Siemon, chief executive officer for Organic Valley. “Organic Valley and its meat brand, Organic Prairie, will never allow the use of cloned animals on our farms and in our products. And, we assume the USDA will never change its organic standards to allow for cloned animals. Read the rest of this entry »