1. You Won‚Äôt Pay for Organic Milk, but $5 at Starbucks is Okay. Here‚Äôs why organic milk is worth the extra cost.
Milk does a body good‚Äîor at least its supposed to. Here‚Äôs what we know. Milk is milk. It comes from a cow, right? Have you bothered to read the ingredients label on the back of a gallon of milk lately? Go ahead, take a look and see all the extras you get with your milk‚Ä¶who doesn‚Äôt want hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, and preservatives? Why should you be concerned with what‚Äôs in your milk? Do you have kids? Are you ready for them to go through puberty before they can ride a bicycle without training wheels? Or, have antibiotics no longer be effective when they get sick? Plus, why would you want to ingest pesticides?
Milk Never Used to Cost this Much
At the grocery store we walk past the organic eggs and organic milk with contempt. We gaze through the clear refrigerated glass and notice a clear demarcation between the organic and non-organic milk. They‚Äôre both in a clear container. They‚Äôre both white. They‚Äôre both called ‚Äúmilk.‚Äù They‚Äôre both in a gallon container. So, why the $2.00 or $2.50 difference in price? ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs Ridiculous‚Äù, we proclaim after we take a brief trip down memory lane and wax poetic on how easy life used to be. It's hard to stomach a $5 or $6 price tag when staring at that gallon of milk. However, when we go into a Starbucks we consider adding vanilla syrup for an upcharge to an already $5 beverage that is only slightly bigger than our cell phones. Oh and what about adding a little pump of carmel. Is it pumpkin spice season yet? (And don't get us wrong, we love Starbucks; we're actually about to take the afternoon walk to Starbucks.) This disconnect and romanticism of the days of yesteryear is even more exacerbated in our parents and grandparents. They have an almost vitriolic response to being asked to buy organic. Sort of reminds you of when people first started verbalizing not wanting to be around second-hand smoke. So, here are some of the extras you get when you don‚Äôt purchase organic milk.
Unlike those brutes in Rocky IV, you can‚Äôt give growth hormones to cows that make ‚Äúorganic‚Äù milk. (Growth hormones in cows can cause reproductive disorders in cows and infections requiring antibiotics. Those antibiotics can then be passed through to the milk we drink‚Äîso you‚Äôre trying to be good about not making your body immune to antibiotics, but you are inadvertently drinking antibiotics. Great.) Cows are essentially injected with synthetic growth hormones to help milk production (who cares that this might lead to higher levels in our bodies of IGF-1, the cancer causing hormone. I mean, producing more milk faster is good for business and our pocket books.) By the way, growth hormones are banned for use in cows in Canada, Europe, Norway, Switzerland, etc., and they are even banned by the Cancer Prevention Coalition. It‚Äôs one thing to be the greatest country in the nation, but it‚Äôs another to be naive.
We already mentioned that adding growth hormones can lead to infections requiring ‚Äúfarmers‚Äù to give antibiotics to cows. But, antibiotics are also used to fatten up cows. And beyond fattening up cows, it‚Äôs leading to increased antibiotic resistance in cows. And it's not just affecting cows. The World Health Organization has stated that the ‚Äúoveruse and misuse of antibiotics in food animals‚Äù is contributing to the growth of antibiotic resistant bacteria in humans. Again. Isn‚Äôt that special? So it‚Äôs not like you‚Äôre abusing the system and getting a Z-Pack when you have a sinus infection so it doesn't ruin your weekend trip. What we know: We‚Äôre helping build super bugs by trying to fatten up cows so we can produce more milk, faster.
Cows producing non-organic milk are often fed feed that is genetically engineered with chemicals. Residue from herbicides ends up in our food and the food cows eat. We know that drugs fed to dairy cows end up in their milk, and human breast milk has tested positive for the primary ingredient in these herbicides. The FDA doesn‚Äôt currently require that milk is tested for herbicide residue. Yet, this residue is linked to kidney disease, etc. So how can we be cautious about what we know and don‚Äôt know? What we do know: Cows that produce organic milk cannot be fed feed that uses synthetic pesticides and herbicides.
Cows that are fed a lot of corn can lead to the production of unhealthy fatty acids. ¬†These unhealthy fatty acids are of course filtered through into the milk they produce. Further, corn is high in omega-6 fatty acid. It‚Äôs important to have a balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. So, if cows are constantly fed corn and not allowed to graze on grasses the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fat gets lopsided. In short, high levels of omega-6 can increase the likelihood of a host of diseases, ailments, and autoimmune issues. By requiring cows to graze on grass, organic cows tend to have a better fatty acid ratio. Plus, at the end of the day organic milk tends to have healthier fats and more antioxidants. So, how long does that gallon of milk last in your house? Longer than a grande frappuccino? We get it. Buying organic milk means that each cup of milk costs you 25 cents more. But, isn‚Äôt it worth it?