One would hope that organic milk would be healthy as well as being good for land and cows.
Alas. This scorecard crushes that hope.
I was eager to see how Horizon Organic Milk fared against the Organic Valley Grassmilk that we regularly buy. Horizon – owned by the giant Dean Foods – didn’t get a single cow and Organic Valley, while not gaining 5 cows, received the 4-cow excellent rating.
What does the scorecard measure?
The Institute explains the scorecard applies criteria that highlights the best beyond organic practices discussed in their report, such as:
- The percentage of grass in a cow’s diet;
- How much pasture is available for grazing;
- The level of control a brand has over its milk supply; and,
- How the farmer suppliers expand their milking herd (some are bringing in conventional cows).
The scorecard also helps consumers find products with specific attributes they may desire, such as 100% grass-fed or dairies that use soy-free feed. The ratings help consumers separate brands that meet the spirit and letter of the law from industry scofflaws and profiteers.
Importantly, the scorecard ratings also spotlight family-scale organic farmstead dairies, in every region, that go beyond organic, making it easy for consumers to vote for integrity with their family’s food dollars. (from Executive Summary)
We, as informed consumers, can affirm and reward the dairy farmers doing the right thing with our support by purchasing their products.
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