You may think if you buy organic it’s all the same. Well, according to the Cornucopia Institute (an institute engaged in educational activities supporting the ecological principles and economic wisdom underlying sustainable and organic agriculture), it’s not. Cornucopia alleges certain agribusiness giants may be duping consumers, and they maintain,
Consumers have been willing to pay premium prices in the market for certified organic dairy products, with the understanding that the food has been raised in a sustainable, environmentally sound manner….Many consumers assume that humane animal husbandry practices are employed by organic farmers, and they may believe that organic food is more nutritious….But this success story is now at risk; it is threatened by powerful economic interests that covet their share of the organic pie…and who are willing to twist, manipulate, and even ignore federal organic regulations….Some agribusiness giants are depending on consumers not knowing the difference between their product and those produced with ethics and integrity.
In order to inform consumers, Cornucopia decided “to pull back the veil and allow consumers to easily identify those organic dairy products that have been produced with the best organic practices.” They rated organic farms using twelve equally weighted criteria (valued at 100 points each). The criteria were ownership structure, milk supply, disclosure of information for verification, certifier farms, certifier processing, cow pasture time and acreage provided, health and longevity of cows, farm support oversight, whether replacement animals were acquired from organic farms, whether antibiotics were used on young cattle, whether reproductive hormones were used, and whether outside dairy ingredients were purchased. The best a farm could achieve was a score of 1200.
Here are the farms Cornucopia found to be outstanding.
|Bridge View Dairy||Whole raw milk, cheese||PA||1200|
|Green Hills Harvest||Fluid milk products||IA, KS, MO||1200|
|Hails Family Farm||Cow and goat milk, cheese, yogurt, kefir||PA||1200|
|Kimberton Hills||Fluid milk products, raw||PA||1200|
|Organic Pastures Dairy Company||Fluid milk products, raw||CA||1200|
|Radiance Dairy||Fluid milk products||Fairfield, IA||1200|
|Thistle Hill Farm||Tarentaise Cheese||Nationwide||1200|
|Fresh Breeze Organic Dairy||Fluid milk products, butter||WA||1195|
|Butterworks Farm||Yogurt||East Coast||1190|
|Crystal Ball Farms||Fluid milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, ice cream||MN, WI,
|Seven Stars Farm||Yogurt||East Coast,
|Hawthorne Valley Farm||Yogurt, cheese, raw milk sales on the farm||East Coast||1190|
|Cedar Summit Dairy||Fluid milk, yogurt, ice cream||MN||1180|
|Whispering Meadows Farm||Yogurt||Midwest||1180|
|Coonridge Dairy||Raw goat milk||NM||1175|
|Evans Farmhouse Creamery||Fluid milk products||NY, NJ||1170|
|Stafford Organic Creamery||Fluid milk products||VT, NH||1165|
|Castle Rock Farms||Fluid milk products, cheese||WI, MN||1150|
|Loleta Cheese||Cheese||Northern CA||1150|
|Traders Point Farms||Fluid milk, yogurt||Midwest,