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Why I Choose Organic Milk for My Family

Why I Choose Organic Milk for My Family

By Wendy Copley

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.

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Thank you to our sponsor Milk Life and the Mom It Forward Blogger Network for letting us share our story with you.  As always these opinions are our own.

 

 

About the Author

Wendy Copley

Wendy Copley is a cook, writer, crafter, lunch-packer, wife and mom. Whenever she goes too long without doing something creative, she starts to lose her mind, so she’s always working on some ...

Wendy Copley is a cook, writer, crafter, lunch-packer, wife and mom. Whenever she goes too long without doing something creative, she starts to lose her mind, so she’s always working on some sort of project. Her focus frequently shifts from sewing to baking to paper-crafting to creating with her kids but she is unwavering in her devotion to packing cute, mostly-healthy bento box lunches for her two boys.

You can follow her adventures on her blog Wendolonia or you can learn all her lunch box secrets from her book, Everyday Bento: 50 Cute and Yummy Lunches to Go.

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Comments

  • Myriam

    Just to chime in that organic milk has not been demonstrated to be healthier or better for you than “regular” milk. So if your choice is regular or no milk, than don’t feel guilty. Milk is a beverage, and should be consumed in moderation, and part of an diverse diet. It is true that organic doesn’t use GMOs, but GMOs are demonstrated to be safe, and chemical fertilizers and pesticides can be “gentler” on the environment, being more targeted, smaller amounts can be used.

    • Myriam

      I just read my comment, and it reads like I’m anti-organic. I’m not… I’m interested in preserving the environment, and growing healthy foods. However, I don’t believe that organic is the only or even the best way to do so. We have to keep working at it, from all angles!

    • Bethany

      Yes, so much this!

  • Myriam

    If you want to know more : https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/organic-vs-conventional-meat-and-milk/

  • Anita Alvarez

    Great tips if you want to continue drinking milk. some choose not to, and that’s OK too. When you’re really committed to making sure things you eat are safe, that feeling will eventually extend to other areas, like your home. We’ve invested in injection foam insulation precisely because we feel it’s a better option than fiberglass, for example, which releases chemically treated fibers. Injection foam hardens about 30 seconds after it’s installed, so it not only keeps the product contained, it creates an airtight barrier, too.

  • Anna

    When I do buy milk I like organic too. Whether or not there is better health for me and my family, I am more comfortable with the way the cows are treated. However, I rarely find myself buying milk anymore.
    Calcium itself is awesome and good for bones for sure- but there are several studies with evidence that milk consumption actually increases fracture risk for women!  Fascinating. Over time, several long term health risks go up relative to exactly how much milk one drinks.  If you are interested in the study details, nutritionfacts.org is a great site wih lots of brief clips reviewing medical literature on nutrition. The one I referenced is at: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-milk-good-for-our-bones/
    I’m sure the milk industry disagrees, but I respectfully prefer beans and greens as excellent calcium sources- plus protein, iron, antioxidants and vitamins!

  • Katie

    Hi there. I’m a dairy farmer. Thanks for drinking milk! I think it’s pretty great that we live in a country where we have choices. I just wanted to let you know that there is no difference in the quality of any milk: organic or non-organic. No dairy farmer gives hormones anymore, so that’s a needless worry. Also, some people think that antibiotics are given routinely; this is not the case. Cows are only given antibiotics if they need them i.e. an infection, sickness, etc. and that milk is discarded. We cannot sell that milk. Milk is tested 17 times from the time it leaves a farm to the time it gets to a grocery store. Any trace amount of antibiotics means an entire tanker load has to be dumped and dairy farmers cannot afford that. If you have any more questions, please check out my farm’s FB page: Cow Comfort Inn Dairy.  Thanks for drinking milk! 

    • Marcia

      You are awesome! Thank you for the grace you have shown by that reply.