No, I don’t buy ALL my groceries in organic form, but I can say I buy dairy products (pretty much cheese, milk, and butter) in organic form at least 98% of the time.
Why dairy products specifically you ask?
Four reasons: GMOs, pesticides, antibiotics, and rBGH
What are GMOs?
GMOs, in case you haven’t heard, are genetically modified organisms that consist of plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from either bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals.
Key word here: engineered – I don’t know about you but I don’t necessarily want any part of something that was made in a petri dish.
Using genetically modified organisms is strictly prohibited in organic products, however, it doesn’t mean that the food is 100% GMO free. What it does mean though is special precautions and practices were assumed to be taken to prevent it from occurring.
Pesticides & Organic Products
Unfortunately, organic doesn’t equal 100% pesticide free like you may think, but it does severely limit what is used. The National Organic Program has a national list that includes all the substances that are either prohibited or allowed to be used in organic agriculture.
For example, pheromones are a non-toxic way to “confuse” insects that might infest organic crops. And vaccines are important to prevent disease since antibiotic use is prohibited in organic livestock.
Which brings me to my next point.
Antibiotic Use in Animals
More and more antibiotics are being used in both animals and humans. This has resulted in an increase of antibiotic resistant bacteria – bacteria that is resistant to the affects of antibiotics.
Many times antibiotics are used in animals to promote growth and prevent disease, known as non therapeutic use, and not necessarily used to treat a sick animal.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), American Public Health Association, American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, Infectious Disease Society of America and World Health Organization (WHO) state that this non therapeutic use of antibiotics pose a threat to human health.
But, despite this news, there is currently nothing in place to restrict this from happening.
The best way to avoid antibiotics in your food, especially dairy products is to buy organic. An organic cow is not allowed to receive growth hormones or antibiotics. However, if the cow does get sick and needs treatment with antibiotics or other drugs, per organic standards, it must then be removed from organic production. So any product from animals that have been treated with antibiotics or other drugs cannot be sold, labeled, or represented as organic.
What is rBGH?
rBGH (which is a product of Monsanto) stands for recombinant bovine growth hormone. It is a man-made hormone that is used to increase the milk production in cows. It was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) back in 1993.
Milk including rBGH has been plagued with a variety of downsides including:
- having extremely high levels of IGF-1, which is a hormone considered to be a high risk factor for breast, prostate, colon, lung, and other cancers
- lowered nutritional value
- increased antibiotics
- more pus from infected udders
So, there you have it – all the reasons why I buy organic dairy. These are just my reasons, you may have different ones or you may not care too much about buying organic dairy at all.
What do you do? Do you buy your dairy organic or no?
Great post. I am right there with you. Organic is the only way to go. Why not use technology to help in reducing the costs of getting organic foods to market instead of creating genetically altered ones.
Very good point Dean!