Milk Muddle

Organic Milk Producer Under Pressure




Dudarev Mikhail/Shutterstock.com

The Aurora Organic Dairy pastures and feedlots north of Greeley, Colorado, are home to more than 15,000 cows—more than 100 times the size of a typical organic herd. It is the main facility of the company that supplies milk to Walmart, Costco and other major retailers.

They adhere to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic regulations, but critical weaknesses exist in the inspection system the government uses to ensure that food is organic; farmers are allowed to hire their own inspectors to certify them, and thus can fall short of reaching standards without detection.

Organic dairies are required to allow the cows to graze daily throughout the growing season rather than be confined to barns and feedlots. Although the USDA National Organic Program allows for an extremely wide range of grazing practices that comply with the rule, Aurora was observed onsite and via satellite imagery by the Washington Post as having only a small percentage of the herd outdoors on any given day. The company disputes the data. U.S. organic dairy sales amounted to $6 billion last year; although it is more expensive to produce, the milk may command a premium price of 100 percent more than regular.


This article appears in the September 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

Eco-Packaging Progress Report

Creative new options include carry-out containers made of wood pulp, baked-goods wrapping paper infused with antibacterial spices, and cardboard made of mushroom roots.

Ease Repetitive Strain Injuries

Any movement we do repeatedly, such as typing at a screen or keyboard, can cause muscle strain and injury, but the right kind of exercises can lower our risk and repair damage.

Kristi Nelson on Why Gratefulness Brings Happiness

It’s not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy, counsels the head of the Network for Grateful Living.

Raw Fruit and Veggies Key to Mental Health

Eating raw fruit and vegetables correlated more with psychological well-being in young adults than eating canned, cooked or processed produce.

Eating Well Protects Hearing

In a 22-year study of 33,000 women, Harvard researchers found that a healthy diet can lower the risk of moderate to severe hearing loss by nearly a third.

Add your comment: