Here's a very brief summary of what I learned about the current problems with cow's milk*. In an effort to make more money, many dairy farmers give their cows the artificial growth hormone rBGH, created by the corporation Monsanto (big surprise). This added hormone is banned in most of Europe and many other parts of the world. It's my understanding that rBGH increases milk production in cows, but because their bodies are often not able to handle the added milk, it can cause mastitis (an infection). To treat the mastitis, cows are given antibiotics, which theoretically pass into our milk and could potentially not be great for our health.
The other controversy related to rBGH is that the added hormones themselves may be bad for our health. Consumer advocate groups theorize that it can be a cause of early puberty in children. However, several studies have disproven this theory, and it seems that the rise in early puberty is more likely related to an increase in childhood obesity. It is, however, possible that rBGH may be linked to cancer in humans.
While much is still unknown, I decided that it was important to find a milk clear of rBGH for Baby. My criteria for The Ideal Milk was:
- Locally produced (for environmental and economic reasons)
Now, I'm not going to list all of the options for milk available in Colorado Springs, because there are MANY, but I will name a few that I considered:
- Robinson Dairy: While local and convenient (they deliver to your home), the prices were a bit high for the amount of milk we drink.
- Organic milk available at the grocery store: Not locally produced and pretty expensive.
- Raw milk from a local farmer: Although arguably the most healthful option for adults, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be fed only pasteurized dairy products. Plus, it's usually VERY expensive.
- Colorado Proud milk: I shop at King Soopers, and Colorado Proud is the brand name of their cheapest milk. It's usually priced around $1.68 - $2.29 per gallon. Not only is it locally produced (I'm defining "local" as "Colorado" here), but it's rBGH free!
So, surprise, surprise, the least costly option ended up being the best choice for my family.
Now I'm curious: If you choose organic milk for your family, what is your reasoning? Am I missing something?
*I'm sorry, I can't quote sources for you...I think I learned the most from Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle", but I also did some internet research, and this was nearly a year ago so I don't remember where I found most of it.