Why I Choose Organic Milk for My Family
When I was a little girl, Friday dinners were the best because Friday night was pizza night. My parents made a pizza from scratch and my brother and I were allowed to have a soda to drink with our meal. We only got one soda per week, so this was a big deal. My brother always chose a Coke and I always chose….milk. Yes, I was the kid who chose milk over soda. I chose milk over everything. Back then, I drank milk just because I loved it. I still love it now, but I also choose milk to drink because I know that it’s a nutritious option for me and for my family. And since I became a mom I’ve started choosing organic milk. I have partnered with The National Milk Life Campaign to discuss why my family chooses organic milk.
I’m not sure precisely when my husband and I made the switch to organic milk because it was so long ago, but I’m guessing it was around the time we started trying to conceive our first child (who is 11 now).
For milk to be certified organic, farmers must follow strict standards set by the USDA. They are only allowed to use organic-approved substances for their crops and livestock. More specifically, that means:
- No synthetic fertilizers
- Avoiding most synthetic pesticides
- The cows are not treated with growth hormones or antibiotics
- Farmers never use genetically modified (GMO) crops or feed for their cows
Because the cows that produce organic milk can not be given growth hormones one of my strategies was to start buying organic milk and dairy products. And once I did become pregnant, I wanted to keep my calcium intake up both for the health of my baby and to keep my own bones strong. Drinking a few glasses of organic milk every day was an easy way to accomplish this. I kept up my organic milk intake while I was breastfeeding, but when my son was old enough to start eating solids and drinking cow’s milk I doubled-down on organics. I wanted the food and drinks he put in his little body to be as nutritious as possible so I’ve continued to put a gallon of organic milk in my shopping cart every week for the past 11 years.
All that being said, it’s a big challenge for me to get my boys to sit down and drink a glass of milk. For awhile it was simple. My oldest son drank so much milk when he was a toddler that his doctor told us to limit the amount he drank in a day to ensure he got enough calories from other food sources. But then one day when he was about three, he stopped drinking milk cold turkey. One day he drank six cups of milk, the next none. And he’s kept that no-glasses-of-milk streak going for most of the past eight years. I still want him to get the protein, calcium and other nutrients in milk though, so I incorporate it into his diet in other ways. My kids eat milk poured over their cereal, of course, but I also use it as the liquid when I make oatmeal, mix it into smoothies and stir chia seeds into it to make puddings. And I let the kids drink a big glass of chocolate milk sometimes too.
And my love of milk is still going strong! I always pour a couple of big glugs into my morning tea and I like to drink a glass with my lunch and with my family’s Friday night pizzas. Organic milk is kind of like a childhood friend who’s still hanging out with me into adulthood and I’m happy I get to introduce my kids to my old pal.