Milk. “It does a body good.”
But the real topic lately has been “how much damage is it doing?” I’m sure by now you’ve heard the reports claiming that rBGH, a growth hormone given to cows that ends up in their milk, can cause early puberty as well as other health issues for those who drink it. These issues are still being studied but in the meantime, many parents are choosing to provide their families with organic milk as an alternative – simply to avoid putting their families at risk. However, the cost of switching to organic milk can be, well… costly. The good news is that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to bring your family a healthier alternative. Which is great news for those who’d like to try it but can’t afford the extra expense.
Believe it or not, Braums’ milk is rBGH-FREE. I’ve always thought their milk tasted better, it ALWAYS lasts longer in the fridge, and it costs the same (if not less) than what you’d normally buy from your local grocer. Here, Braums’ milk is usually less than three dollars, compared to $3.20 (regular store brand milk) and up at other grocery stores. While it isn’t actually organic (which I believe means simply that their cows aren’t fed organic feed) it is a healthier option at an affordable price. You can read more info on Braums’ milk on their website, but we gleaned info on their rBGH-FREE status through an email inquiry to customer service. This was their email response:
“Thank you for your recent inquiry about Braum’s dairy herd. Braum’s milk comes exclusively from our own private dairy herd. Braum’s does not clone. Offering the highest quality dairy products to our customers has always been our number one priority at Braum’s. That’s why we raise and own our private dairy herd. It gives us the ability to consistently control the quality of the products we provide. We know what goes into the milk …and what doesn’t. Braum’s milk is fresh, wholesome, rBGH-FREE, and comes from real cows. Again, thank you for your inquiry. Sincerely, S.Davidson Customer Service”
There’s another source for affordable milk that is rBGH-FREE and organic–one that many may not know about. I didn’t know about it until I found this article online. Apparently Wal-Mart is beginning to integrate into their stores a Good Value brand of organic milk which averages 8-35% cheaper than other organic brands. The same dairy that supplies Wal-Mart with their store brand organic milk also supplies Target, Costco, Safeway and Wild Oats with their store brand organic milks. There does seem to be some controversy on whether or not their cows are fed enough grass vs. grains, but if your main issue is rBGH this is certainly a viable and affordable option. If your issue is whether or not it is organic, Aurora (the dairy that processes this milk) currently claims to meet all the requirements and guidelines for organic milk. And if nothing else, it would still be a higher quality than inorganic options.
Doing this research and looking for rBGH-FREE milks prompted me to check the milk in my fridge. I just bought a new gallon a few hours ago. The empty store brand gallon that we purchased from one of the grocery stores in town does not claim to be rBGH-FREE. However, the Oak Farms brand that I just purchased from the Dollar General for $3.50 does. It isn’t organic, but at least it’s hormone free. My preference would be to purchase organic milk (which I’d have to travel forty-five minutes for to get at a decent price or buy at the higher price here in town.) But at least I know I have this affordable option here at the local Dollar General for when I can’t. RBGH is becoming a big enough issue to prompt many inorganic brands to remove this added hormone on their own. With a little research you may discover that there is something readily available in your usual store that will meet these requirements.
The “cousin” to this issue concerns meat products containing this same growth hormone. The same rule applies: look for meat and dairy products that are marked “organic” or “rBGH-FREE” and if it doesn’t say, ask your butcher or send an email, you might find there are more hormone free products out there.
Bottom line: A little research can go a long way towards a healthier family.