J500 Media and the Environment

The Night I Lost My Dairy Innocence by alyv
February 20, 2009, 12:58 am
Filed under: Society + Media


The late-night stock crew at Dillons thinks I’m crazy, but knowing what I know now, I couldn’t care less.

I sat down to read a series of articles on organic dairy last night, and after finishing the second, I knew I couldn’t sit around wondering anymore. I had to know: How does the milk at my grocery store – Dillons – stack up on Cornucopia’s ranking of organic dairy?

So I put on my boots, grabbed my reporter’s notebook, and headed to Dillons on a mission.

What I found, was phenomenal.

Three of the seven brands had USDA-organic labels. Two of those brands had rankings at Cornucopia’s Web site: Naturally Preferred and Horizon Organic. The first, a Kroger Co. brand, got a 1 on the scale. Horizon got a zero.

The 1 rating for Naturally Preferred means that Kroger didn’t bother to send a response to Cornucopia’s survey and that its dairy comes from “unknown sources.” Zero means the cows are part of a factory farm, and that the company didn’t respond to the survey.

The only truly organic milk I could find – Iwig Family Dairy from Tecumseh – didn’t have a stamp. But I checked out the Web site, and after reading what it takes to have a truly organic farm, Iwigs is legit in my book.

I just don’t know where to go from here. I feel like this has been a huge advancement for me as I’ve never even thought about buying organic milk before – just assuming that the Kroger brand I buy every two weeks “can’t be that bad.”

But if we are invested in organic food, and we can’t even trust the USDA labels, what else can’t we trust? And how can we protect farmers who do provide organic milk from being shut down by companies that can charge less for their “organic” milk?


Thanks to Global Health Center for the picture.

Thanks to You Tube for the video.


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Iwig milk is so good! We’re lucky here in Lawrence to be able to buy local and organic simultaneously.

Comment by jessicasb

What a great experiment to run! (even though the results aren’t quite as great…)

How much do organic labels mean if they aren’t accurate? And who/what makes them accurate?

Comment by Lauren Keith

Yeah, Lauren, I don’t know. Even worse, I started talking to my parents about what I found, and they had to stop me and ask what organic milk really is. Seems the USDA doesn’t even know, so how could we expect anyone else to?

Comment by alyv

We need our powerful storytellers to share this information so EVERYONE knows.
Great job, Aly.

Comment by j500

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: