by Angela Pohlman, Wellness Category Manager
It’s Dairy Month! If you eat dairy, one of the best companies (IMO) to purchase dairy from is Organic Valley.
The world is becoming a scary space for farmers. Between market inconsistencies and climate change, many farmers worldwide are struggling to put food on their own tables.
Farmer cooperatives like Organic Valley are banding together to support each other, create more financial security, maintain quality standards, and fight for cleaner air, land and water.
Rather than buying milk from a huge “farm” that focuses on creating as much profit as possible—animals and environment be damned - Organic Valley has more than 2,000 farms across the country, and each of those farms has an average dairy herd of only 71 cows. Compare that to the average factory farm—1,661 cows!
Fighting climate change
Organic Valley is committed to taking action to fight climate change. Here in Wisconsin, they have a 12-acre solar installation which supports their goal of sourcing all electricity needs met by renewables by this year. They are collaborating with other groups to create new ways to make organic dairy farming carbon positive. They are driven by California’s laws that require farms to reduce emissions by 40% by 2030. They are utilizing Climate-Smart Farming (CSF)—an approach to farming that addresses the challenges of food security and a changing climate.
Based in the Midwest
Organic Valley is a national cooperative. They have farms all over the U.S., but they are based in the midwest. You can enter your zip code into their farm finder and see how many farms are near you and who your closest farmer is. For 53703—we have 34 farms within 50 miles of us! That is amazing.
They have a ton of products to choose from. Their original line is all organic, and they now have a grass-fed line, featuring milk, yogurt, and cheese. Grass-fed means that Organic Valley has prioritized the pasture and it guarantees that cows spend as much of the grazing season as possible out in the fields. There is a lot of confusion out there as to what grass-fed means, but luckily a new “Certified Grass-Fed Organic Livestock Program” was introduced this year and will help clear up all the misconceptions and tricky labeling from other companies. With this new seal, you will know that the animals met stringent requirements including:
• No grain, all grass.
• Animal wellness checks are required.
• Organic is the foundation.
• Farms are certified annually by an independent third party.
My household loves this stuff. You can really taste the difference. I feel good giving it to them! Yes, the prices are often higher than conventional milk products, and even some other certified organic dairy. You get what you pay for in this case. You are investing in local farmers, fighting climate change, and prioritizing the quality of dairy products that we are feeding our families.