Milk Muddle

Organic Milk Producer Under Pressure




Dudarev Mikhail/Shutterstock.com

The Aurora Organic Dairy pastures and feedlots north of Greeley, Colorado, are home to more than 15,000 cows—more than 100 times the size of a typical organic herd. It is the main facility of the company that supplies milk to Walmart, Costco and other major retailers.

They adhere to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic regulations, but critical weaknesses exist in the inspection system the government uses to ensure that food is organic; farmers are allowed to hire their own inspectors to certify them, and thus can fall short of reaching standards without detection.

Organic dairies are required to allow the cows to graze daily throughout the growing season rather than be confined to barns and feedlots. Although the USDA National Organic Program allows for an extremely wide range of grazing practices that comply with the rule, Aurora was observed onsite and via satellite imagery by the Washington Post as having only a small percentage of the herd outdoors on any given day. The company disputes the data. U.S. organic dairy sales amounted to $6 billion last year; although it is more expensive to produce, the milk may command a premium price of 100 percent more than regular.


This article appears in the September 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Natural Health Consultant Returns to the Gulf Coast

Naturopathic doctor Ramona Shires, a longtime resident of Pensacola, recently returned to the area to open White Sands Natural Health, where she uses holistic assessments and natural therapies to help her clients restore their health.

Feeling Inspired and Hopeful - November 2018

Last week we visited the home of a friend whose neighborhood had suffered the wrath of Hurricane Michael’s Category 4 winds. A towering tree near a rear corner of his house had toppled, causing its giant root ball to push up through the floor inside and take up permanent residency in a back room. The scene inside was surreal, particularly because from the outside, the home looked unscathed. Right now, we feel a bit like that house: okay on the outside, but topsy-turvy on the inside.

Eco-Packaging Progress Report

Creative new options include carry-out containers made of wood pulp, baked-goods wrapping paper infused with antibacterial spices, and cardboard made of mushroom roots.

Ease Repetitive Strain Injuries

Any movement we do repeatedly, such as typing at a screen or keyboard, can cause muscle strain and injury, but the right kind of exercises can lower our risk and repair damage.

Kristi Nelson on Why Gratefulness Brings Happiness

It’s not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy, counsels the head of the Network for Grateful Living.

Add your comment:

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT