Start Drinking Organic Millk

For some, going completely organic with all of your food purchases is overwhelming and often expensive. So consider starting out small, buying a few organic products and building from there. Did you know that a lot of people make the leap to organic products with milk?

Organic milk is a familiar sight in most dairy sections around the country, so it’s an easy gateway to other organic products.

Organic milk has several benefits. For starters, to be labeled by the USDA as “organic,” it must come from cows that have not been treated with any Bovine Growth Hormone. Just to be clear, if you are drinking regular milk, the growth hormone doesn’t show up in your milk just because it is given to a cow. But it gives you peace of mind knowing that the milk you are drinking wasn’t conjured up by giving artificial hormones to cows. Another benefit of organic milk is that it only comes from cows that were not treated with any antibiotics. But you don’t have to worry about the cows. If a cow gets sick, it can still be treated with antibiotics to get well, if they are necessary. Those cows just can’t produce milk with the rest of the herd for one year. Finally, cows that make organic milk also have to be given feed grown without organic pesticides, whether it is grass or grains. And the cows must have access to pasture.

Most organic milk is ultra-pasteurized. That means instead of being heated to 162 degrees for 15 seconds like regular pasteurization, ultra-pasteurized milk is heated to 280 degrees for two seconds, then chilled. The sell-date on ultra-pasteurized milk can be several weeks after the date of purchase, so for a small family or business that doesn’t use milk every day, organic milk is a great way to not be wasteful because it lasts longer. If your milk at home sometimes goes bad before you have a chance to drink it all, then you might actually save money by drinking organic.

Organic milk also uses less energy to produce and creates less waste than non-organic milk since there are no pesticides and chemicals and all the stuff that goes along with that involved. Using less energy to create something just as good or better just makes sense.

So next time you head to the grocery store or super market, try out the organic milk if you aren’t drinking it already. Unless you’re vegan. In that case, go with the organic soy.

Cows, cow farts, fertilizer and climate change / global warming

Photo courtesy of rmrayner at

When governments talk about fighting global warming, they put a lot of emphasis on reducing industrial emissions. But, agriculture is responsible for a surprisingly large share of the gases that cause climate change. By some estimates, emissions from fertilizer, animals, and farm equipment account for about 20% of all global warming gases.

Overuse of synthetic fertilizers is a major problem because some of the chemicals in these fertilizers trap heat better than Carbon Dioxide. For instance, Nitrous Oxide can retain 300 times as much heat as CO2. There are many superior organic alternatives, but these account for only a fraction of the fertilizers used today.

Farm animals are another major source of global warming gases. As cows, goats, and sheep digest food, they release a high volume of methane. Cows are responsible for about 75% of all methane made by farm animals. That’s another potent gas behind global warming – Methane is about 25 times better at trapping heat than CO2.

It may be possible to reduce these emissions with big, sweeping government policy. But, if you want to make a difference, change starts in the grocery aisle. The next time you go to the grocery store, consider produce that’s raised with organic fertilizer and leave those slabs of prime rib in the grocer’s freezer. Your body will thank you, and you can breathe easier too!

Photo courtesy of OutdoorAlex at