How to Figure Out What Dairy to Buy

How to figure out what dairy to buy                    

It can be very overwhelming and confusing when you are trying to figure out what kind of dairy to buy at the grocery store.  There are a lot of different options! Some labels say natural, others say healthy. I have broken it down to 4 different options and I look for these key words on the label – no added hormones/antibiotics, organic, and grassfed. 

You can basically break it down into 4 different choices.

1.  conventional dairy

     - typically given antibiotics, hormones, and feed grown with pesticides

2.  non hormone/non antibiotic  dairy

     - the label might read “cows not treated with rBGH or rBST growth hormone”

     - animals were never given hormone treatments

3. organic

    - look for “100% organic” or “USDA organic” on label

    - no antibiotics, hormones are given to the animals

    - no exposure to artificial pesticides or GMO’s

    - animals are given organic feed

    -  animals must be allowed access outdoors.  

4.  grassfed

     - no antibiotics or added growth hormones are given to animals

     - animals are fed grass and forage

     - animals must have continuous access to pasture during the growing season

Raw dairy milk is actually one more option.  But it is not legal to buy raw milk in all states.  It is not legal in North Carolina where we live. 

What do I buy?

I used to be intolerant to dairy and could not eat if for about 2 years.  My body can handle dairy again. I actually have more energy with adding animal protein back into my diet.  But I am very careful about what dairy I put into my system.  I only purchase organic or grassfed dairy for two reasons.  The first reason is I want to stay away from the added growth hormones/antibiotics. . RBGH and rBST are genetically engineered growth hormones given to animals to increase milk production. My body does not do well with anything genetically modified. The added hormones cause breakouts, PMS, fatigue, and much more.  The second reason I buy organic or grassfed dairy is because of what the animals are given to eat. Conventional and just non hormone (not organic) dairy animals are fed genetically modified corn.  And again, my body does not do well with genetically modified foods in my system.  So it is important to me to buy organic and grassfed dairy.

What should you buy?

I would suggest staying away from conventional dairy – especially if you are a woman.  Who needs any extra hormones? Look for the hormone free or not treated with rBST labels.  And if it is important to you to avoid all GMO’s then look for organic and grassfed dairy options. 

Your food budget:

Organic and grassfed dairy are more expensive that conventional and non hormone.  Look for items on sale and then buy multiples and stock up.  You can also make homemade yogurt. It is super easy and does not have the extra additives that are in regular yogurt at the store. Your health is so important so it is worth it to budget a little more for quality dairy products.




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