Organic Milk: Healthfood Trojan Horse

by Sarah Raw Milk SafetyComments: 145

Organic milk is unhealthier than raw milkOrganic milk companies are pulling to wool over the eyes of the consumer.

By marketing their milk as certified USDA Organic, an ever increasing consumer base willingly buys it paying roughly double the price per gallon of regular, pasteurized store milk.  The truth is, Organic Valley and Horizon’s ultrapasteurized organic milk is really just as unhealthy as regular, pasteurized store milk.

I’ve often thought if I HAD to choose between them, which milk would I select as being better:  regular pasteurized milk from the store or ultrapasteurized organic milk?  That’s a toughie.  Neither choice is optimal as there is no clear winner.

Both are highly processed milks, both contribute to poor health and chronic illness in general.

Pasteurized Store Milk:  Clearly Not Good for You

On the one hand you have regular, pasteurized store milk that comes from sick, confined cows that are injected with hormones and other drugs.   They are fed unnatural, GMO, pesticide and antibiotic laced feed with no access to fresh green grass.    These cows stand on cement floors their entire lives and usually die within about a year and half.   Incidentally, the true lifespan for a healthy dairy cow should approach 15 years.

Milk from these confined cows NEEDS to be pasteurized as it is loaded with pus and pathogens because of the filth and chronic mastitis they endure.

Ultrapasteurized Organic Milk:   Still Bad for You!

On the other hand, you have ultrapasteurized, organic milk.  A consumer with only partial knowledge of how milk is processed is easily lured into buying this milk because on the surface, it seems so much healthier.  After all, the cows don’t get any antibiotics, steroids or hormones, right?    It’s certified USDA Organic. Doesn’t that mean something?

While the cows producing organic milk may not be subjected to the drugs and antibiotics used on conventional dairy operations, the milk coming from an organic-industrial complex is even more highly processed.  For example, ultrapasteurized (UHT) organic milk must be subjected to a temperature of 280F for at least 2 seconds (this compares with standard pasteurization temperature of about 161F). Such a high temperature results in a product that has extended shelf life and can remain unrefrigerated for up to 6 months in aseptic packaging.

I find it outrageous that Organic Valley and Horizon frequently display their aseptically packaged, organic dairy in the refrigerated section of the healthfood store!   Turns out that consumers (particularly those in the US) are much more likely to be duped into buying organic milk if it is displayed in the refrigerated section.  Buying organic milk unrefrigerated on the shelf goes against intuition and just doesn’t seem very natural, does it?

Moms buy individually sized aseptic packages of Organic Valley milk and put them in their children’s lunchboxes with ice packs!   If they only knew that this milk is so dead that it doesn’t even require refrigeration they might rethink their choice of beverage.

Ultrapasteurized Organic Milk: Auto Immune Disorder Link

Why is ultrapasteurization so bad?  The high temperatures used to ultrapasteurize organic milk damage the fragile milk proteins so completely that the enzymes the body produces to digest them do not work as they no longer  “fit together” like puzzle pieces.  These undigested proteins then make their way into the bloodstream due to “leaky gut” syndrome, which nearly all Westerners suffer from to some degree. At that point, the body identifies them as foreign proteins and mounts an immune response, better known as allergies, asthma, eczema and other symptoms of auto immune disorders!  Ultrapasteurized milk cannot even be cultured into yogurt in your own home using a standard yogurt culture and yogurt machine.

This stuff is dead, dead, dead folks.

There is no way that it can be considered healthy even if it is labeled USDA organic.

The enhanced immune response that occurs from drinking ultrapasteurized milk has the potential to lead to milk and dairy allergies pretty quickly. I remember when my first child was nursing, I drank a lot of  Organic Valley ultrapasteurized milk.  My son spit up so badly during that time that there was some concern that he had a reflux disorder.   Remarkably but not surprisingly, when I stopped drinking the Organic Valley milk, his reflux problem resolved.    I have no doubt that if I had continued drinking this milk and had weaned my son onto it  that he would undoubtedly have a milk allergy today.  Fortunately, I wised up in time to get off that poison!

Trading Drug/Pesticide Residues for Estrogen Mimickers

While a consumer may be reducing his/her exposure to antibiotic and pesticide residues by choosing Organic Valley milk, this is by no means a guarantee to less chemical exposure.  Processors of organic milk frequently heat the milk to the required 270F AFTER the milk is in the aseptic package or plastic jug!Another option, just as bad, is to fill the package or jug with boiling hot milk that has not yet cooled down! This releases high levels of endocrine disrupting phthalates (the notorious BPA as well as several others) used in the packaging into the milk! Most everyone now knows never to heat food in a microwave with plastic wrap on top for this very reason.    It’s a shame more people aren’t aware of the tremendous endocrine disrupting potential of drinking ultrapasteurized, organic milk!

What to Drink Instead of Organic Milk

As you can see, it is an extremely hard decision to pick which milk is more unhealthy:   regular pasteurized store milk or ultrapasteurized organic milk.

Better not to have to make the decision at all and seek out fresh raw grassfed milk straight from the cow (or goat) from a farmer in your local area. And, if you are fortunate enough to have a source for this type of health giving milk, don’t run out and buy a half gallon of ultrapasteurized organic milk from the store if you temporarily run out of the fresh from the farm variety. In those situations, it is best to simply go without. The risks from consuming ultrapasteurized store milk even on occasion are simply too enormous to ignore.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Sources and More Information

101 Uses for Raw Soured Milk

Tips for Freezing Milk and other Dairy Products

A1 and A2 Milk: Do Cow Genetics Even Matter?

Comments (145)

  • Jaulisa

    Hi all- My DD is a year old with a milk allergy…I breastfed but had to cut out dairy consumption. I am concerned about what milk or best alternative to give. I’ve read alot of your responses and have done research and am not really interested in soy. Please help. She is small in weight department. Suggestions.

    October 12th, 2015 4:50 am Reply
  • Ryan

    So, there is very little, if any scientific evidence that this so-called “leaky gut syndrome” exists. Scientists have noted some naturally occurring permeability in the digestive tract, but not one legitimate study has ever found that the human body “mounts an immune response” to this permeability, let alone that this response is manifested through common allergies or eczema. “Leaky gut syndrome” is most likely just what it sounds like: a buzz term developed by alternative medicine practitioners looking to sell supplements. Making incredibly broad, scientifically unfounded statements like “all Westerners suffer from leaky gut syndrome to some degree” sounds highly suspect. Now, you show me several different scientific studies by reputable research teams proving your claims and demonstrating how all this works, then I might change my mind.

    July 30th, 2015 11:32 pm Reply
    • BeOhBe


      You couldn’t be more wrong. What you need, however, is to do your own research. That way you will be sure no one is simply duping you. Try entering “paleo” diet, books, method, etc. in a search. Good luck and good health.

      August 20th, 2015 1:27 am Reply
  • Ankara

    Although non-dairy milks (except for soy) are good for you, they should be homemade with nothing other than the almond, quinoa, etc. and water. Commercially-produced non-dairy milks are all ultra-processed and contain all sorts of other ingredients to make them palatable to the average consumer. Carageenan, for example, is added as a thickener to most all non-dairy milk. Although it is supposed to be something natural, that doesn’t make it good for you. Not everyone tolerates having this particular ingredient in their digestive tract. In fact, it can either cause or aggravate IBS something fierce. For those who believe that drinking the ‘breast’ milk from another mammal is unnatural, then ingesting carageenan (which was never a part of the human food supply until non-dairy milk started being produced commercially) should not be something acceptable either.

    March 9th, 2015 12:44 pm Reply
  • Christie

    What about “flash pasteurized”??? Is this better? We have a milk delivery service that offers this — tastes GREAT.

    I’ve tried raw milk and it doesn’t taste good at all :(

    January 26th, 2015 10:16 pm Reply
    • Rachael

      You may want to try the raw milk again. When I first had it I thought it tasted weird also but that was because it was springtime when they eat the new greens that are kind of bitter. So part of it is that and a bit of it is adjusting your taste buds. Although the rest of the year the flavor really isn’t that different to me from regular milk. Just be sure of course to shake it up, and keep in mind the milk will be creamier because it has more cream than store-bought, as I’m sure you know. Perhaps Sarah can clarify but from what I understand flash-pasteurized is better though of course not as good by far as raw milk. If we’re in a bind, and out of raw milk, sometimes I purchase Kalona grassfed milk from the store which is flash pasteurized.

      January 27th, 2015 4:41 pm Reply
  • Kati

    what about half and half???

    January 26th, 2015 9:48 am Reply
  • Ellen

    Correct me if I am wrong but don’t the existing bacteria need to be replaced with the type of bacteria that produce a particular cheese? How would that happen unless the milk is heated somewhat?

    November 25th, 2014 11:56 am Reply
  • Angela

    Or….. maybe we could drink milk that isn’t the breast milk of another species? Breast milk designed and formulated for a baby calf, not human beings. I don’t know…just a thought.

    No added sugars (unless you get the sweetened types), no pus, no hormones..but what do I know?

    almond milk
    cashew milk
    hemp milk
    flaxseed milk
    coconut milk
    soy milk
    rice milk
    quinoa milk

    …my fingers are getting tired. LOL

    October 24th, 2014 5:56 pm Reply
    • Ellen

      None of those choices are time-honored or traditional milks. The soy milk is especially loathsome with its anti-thyroid actions. For those who are looking for nourishment, raw milk from cows, goats, etc. is the best solution.

      November 25th, 2014 11:47 am Reply
    • Rachael

      Wow, a kinder tone might be more effective in trying to convince people. There are many health benefits from raw cow milk and raw dairy products that simply don’t exist in these other “milks”. Plus even the versions of these you may be able to find that don’t have sugar do almost always have other additives (unless of course you make your own). I’m not against using them (minus soy milk because it affects hormone balance) although, as another person stated, most/all of these are newer, from what I understand, and more unnatural concoctions. Raw dairy has been used for thousands of years and has helped facilitate excellent health. It’s the same for other foods out there until all of them were tampered with in our modern times. Gotta go back to the original state of foods and make sure they’re clean and high-quality. To end this comment, I love raw milk and am really thinking about doing a raw milk fast this spring when it is extra nutritious from the spring grasses. I think that will be the easiest way for me to detox and go grain free for a period of time. I wasn’t raised on traditional foods and battle sugar cravings off and on so I have frequent sinus infections and other health issues. But I think the milk will work nicely since I’ll still have something filling and satisfying to consume, and I’ve heard people say they didn’t really have cravings or die-off symptoms. Anyway, to each their own. We all have to respect each other’s opinions and decisions. :)

      January 27th, 2015 5:05 pm Reply
  • Becky

    I used to get pasteurized milk from Maines Own Organic Milk (MOO Milk), but when they almost went under OV bought them. I’ve since noticed that OV is offering Grassmilk and Local (New England) Milk at my neighborhood WFM. None of OV’s milk seems to be ultra pasteurized at the Whole Foods I go to. I avoid all other organic brands, especially Horizon! Mostly we drink raw grass fed milk, but if I can’t get my hands on it (often for weeks because of ridiculous inspections) I opt for OV milk that isn’t ultra pasteurized.

    October 7th, 2014 9:34 pm Reply
    • Ellen

      Time for a grassroots rebellion to get our freedoms back. It is our RIGHT to feed ourselves as we wish and the rights of the farmers to produce their products as they will. Raw milk is our RIGHT and those who oppose this need to be fired, educated or whatever else works. Enough is enough.

      November 25th, 2014 11:50 am Reply
    • Sigrid

      Be sure to check the ‘sell by’ date. I bought the OV Grassmilk to make yogurt; when I opened it the cream was in chunks floating on the watery part. It was 2 days short of the sell by date so it should have been somewhat ok. I used my blender to break it up and it looked fine. When I started to heat it, it broke into curds and whey at a fairly low temperature. Not being little Miss Muffett, I was aghast at first but then I strained it — voila, ricotta cheese and whey. But that’s not what I wanted. I bought some local milk, as usual, and am happily making yogurt without any separation or other problems.

      June 1st, 2015 4:24 pm Reply
      • BeOhBe


        What you saw was a lot more to do with the delivery than the age of the milk. The “chunks” were simply the butter fats, floating because of age (a few hours is needed), but turning to butter because it had been shaken. You should simply skim it of and use it. There is nothing what so ever wrong with the milk. In fact I would be disappointed if the raw whole milk I buy didn’t have a generous portion of thick cream on top.

        August 20th, 2015 1:43 am Reply
  • Amber Egelston Cooper via Facebook

    Why does NV raw milk taste bad when I compare it to TN raw milk? We drank raw milk all the time in TN. Now that we’ve moved out west, the kids won’t drink it, and I don’t blame them. It doesn’t taste good. Is that due to the lack of green grass out here?

    October 6th, 2014 12:37 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Yes, that is likely the reason why. When we drink raw milk in other parts of the country, it tastes different whereever we go based on what the cows are foraging for in the pasture.

      January 26th, 2015 10:23 am Reply
  • Jeani Vigil via Facebook

    And it tastes disgusting…

    October 6th, 2014 12:21 am Reply
    • Krissy

      Hi Jeani! :) I had read this before so started buying Horizon Organic which is only pasteurized. Do you know if that’s any better? I know grasping at straws, lol! :)

      January 26th, 2015 1:12 pm Reply
    • Krissy

      Just read this comment…

      Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
      Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist June 1, 2011 at 10:25 pm
      Plain pasteurized is certainly much much better than ultra-pasteurized … try to find some that is also nonhomogenized and that would be an acceptable compromise.
      – See more at:

      January 26th, 2015 1:16 pm Reply
  • Pingback: Organic Milk Not Ultra Pasteurized « Healthfood Tips

  • Kris

    I wish I could get Kalona in the Seattle area, but they don’t ship out this far west and the places that will ship it for them, charge 4-5x the rate or what standard organic milk is. Plus, they require a 4-6 pack of most items, which is a lot for 1 person.

    July 19th, 2014 5:27 pm Reply
    • Pam

      I’m drinking Kalona milk right now, and it has a goaty taste….I don’t think I will be buying it again. There is a brand in our area called MillKing that tastes a lot better! It’s the same type of product, low-temp pasteurized, non-homogenized.

      February 21st, 2015 8:29 am Reply
  • Pingback: What’s Your Beef With Raw Milk Anyway? | Healthy Concepts with a Nutrition Bias

  • Pingback: How to make Homeade Baby Formula – { Natural } | BALM! Baby Blog (BBB)

  • Fabian Kuhn

    I was hoping someone had information on this blog about the supplements given to the cows to increase their milk production – I have heard it keeps them in constant pain – The UHT route seems to be a bad way to go also but if cows are treated more humanely that would be better than nothing – We tried almond milk for a long time but now am told to avoid almonds because it exacerbates kidney stones in me – Soy milk does not seem a good option because it manipulates hormones in women

    April 8th, 2014 11:44 am Reply
  • marina

    well what if i cant get my hands on fresh grass grown cows milk? i love in the city and there is no way ill find a cow near buy. so u saying there is no organic brands that i should drink @ all?

    April 1st, 2014 12:53 am Reply
    • Rachael

      Hello, I know this is an older comment but if you’re still wondering about this I have a suggestion. :) I live in the Dallas area and we’re part of a raw milk co-op. Every other week a few people in the group take turns driving an hour to a dairy farm and then everyone in the group comes to that person’s home to pickup their milk from the driveway (everything is in big coolers). They also usually have certain grassfed meats and pastured eggs available. So I only have to drive 10-20 minutes to get my milk every other week. If I want to purchase less often, sometimes I buy a bunch at once and freeze what we don’t need yet.

      January 27th, 2015 5:14 pm Reply
  • Cheri

    Hi All,

    Great discussion. Living in Oregon, buying raw milk is not an option. But, I have found Organic Valley’s Grassmilk to be quite good. It is minimally pasteurized, not homogenized, and is very flavorful. I can’t get it at all stores, but there are enough who carry it to make it fairly easy to find. Their Grassfed butter is good, too. Unfortunately, these products are only available in Oregon, Washington, California, Utah and Colorado (I just checked the website). If you want it in your area, it can’t hurt to make a request. As awareness increases, these products will become easier to find.

    Keep up the good work on getting the words out!


    March 19th, 2014 1:21 pm Reply
    • jill

      I beg to differ on the availability of raw milk in Oregon. I’ve been there and you just have to find a dairy farmer, small time farmer, or a family with some cows who will sell their milk. I drank the raw milk up there for my entire visit and too, a ton back to CA with me and I still miss that rich creamy milk. Of course, do be sure to check out their methods and sanitation procedures. Also, if you cross over into Washington, say, from Portland into Vancouver, we also found raw milk in the health food store, along with other raw products. Check into it. Ask around.

      October 5th, 2014 11:20 am Reply
    • Chris Nagy

      I live in Oregon and buy two gallons of raw milk a week. You have to get on a wait list for most farms as Oregon law only allows 2 to 4 cows which isn’t a ton of milk to go around. If you are close to Washington, they sell it in stores there I believe. I haven’t bought any as knowing my farmer is key. Weston A Price website has a list of local chapter leaders that will help you find a farm. That is how I found my awesome farmer.

      January 26th, 2015 8:07 pm Reply
  • Pingback: Living Naturally: If I can't afford organic, where do I start? (part 2) | vintage kids|modern world

  • Skeptic

    No facts here whatsoever. In most countries in Europe (like Germany and France) UHT milk is standard. If we believe you people there should have more allergies which I have never heard of.

    Also think about this. The milk is heated to 280F for 2 sec. That kind of temperature is easily reached for an extended period of time when cooking. So even if you get your fresh milk, if you use it to cook something you’ll end up with the same poisonous dead milk.

    January 4th, 2014 1:14 am Reply
    • Laura

      Answer to Skeptic:
      I don’t know where you got this info from…..!
      I used to live in italy and no one there would ever think of drinking UHT there, people mostly drink HTST which is second best, if opened it would last 4days in my fridge, normal right!. It scares me to drink in the US milk that doesn’t go bad….
      The UHT ( not kept in the fridge compartment in italy) is called sterilized milk and the HTST is called pasteurized. No one would like to drink anything sterile.
      Just wanted to point his out.

      June 5th, 2014 11:12 am Reply
      • ummm

        I lived in Germany and none of their milk was refrigerated at all.

        October 7th, 2014 11:52 am Reply
    • Rachael

      I know this is old but I still wanted to comment. :) Cooking with milk isn’t a problem if you consume healthier foods a majority of the time. You just don’t want your dairy consumption to always be these dead foods because we need the probiotics and other nutrients found in fresh dairy. Additionally, there’s more to fresh milk than it being raw. If you’re careful about where you source from you get a much, much cleaner product and from cows that are treated better and that get fresh air, sunlight and are able to forage. When I bake and so forth I always use my raw milk even though I realize it will be heated…

      January 27th, 2015 5:22 pm Reply
      • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

        Also, cooked milk is gently heated to a high temperature unlike violent UHT milk where it is brought to just below boiling within a split second.

        January 27th, 2015 9:02 pm Reply
  • George The VI

    There is Not a single Paper, article, science journal, or proof in this article. Absurd stuff without any scientific proof.

    November 15th, 2013 9:37 am Reply
  • organic chemistry

    Hello, i think that i saw you visited my site so i came to “return the
    favor”.I’m attempting to find things to enhance my web site!I suppose its ok to
    use some of your ideas!!

    October 18th, 2013 3:04 pm Reply
  • Vickie @ Viking Drinking Horns

    This kind of thing has been going on for years in the UK, and is a particular bug-bear of mine.
    It’s kind of heart-breaking when you see how capitalism moves inn on every area of life, to the point where it even controls what once were ‘alternative’ systems.

    Reminds me of that movie The Blob, where the monster just consumes everything and moves on.
    Like I say, heart-breaking, when you think about it.

    October 6th, 2013 10:59 am Reply
  • LL

    I try to avoid UHT when I can (mostly due to the flavor). However, if it’s what I have in the house I do use it to make yogurt and it works just fine!

    August 2nd, 2013 4:33 pm Reply
  • nikiZ

    Read your blog and got freaked out about the Horizon milk I’ve started supplementing with my almost 1 year old’s formula. Thankfully we have this alternative available locally and is even sold at our specialty grocers now too:

    It’s now in the fridge and aside from being a healthy milk for my little guy to drink, I’m hoping it will cure my recent development of lactose intolerance!

    February 4th, 2013 11:50 am Reply
    • Julianne Presson

      You do not develop lactose intolerance, it is genetic. If you are experiencing problems since switching the milk you drink that is the cause of your discomfort. I would NEVER give my child raw milk! It is not advised by any Doctor just as you do not give a baby honey. Raw milk has not been heated to kill bacteria. My grandparents had a dairy in the 50s and they did pasteurize all milk they sold. There is a reason the scientist who invented pasteurization is celebrated.

      May 27th, 2016 3:46 pm Reply
      • Sarah

        Read “The Untold Story of Milk”. Your view of the history of milk and pasteurization is incorrect.

        May 28th, 2016 8:59 pm Reply
  • schlampen

    I have read so many articles or reviews regarding the blogger lovers however this piece of writing is really a pleasant post, keep it up.

    October 14th, 2012 8:57 pm Reply
  • Steven

    I am very displeased with the very dogmatic attitudes presented here towards milk. The author is basically saying that raw milk is the only tolerable milk, which is simply not true. Many people can tolerate UHT and ultrapasturized milk way better than raw milk, let alone regular pasteurized milk. Many people can tolerate raw milk better than pasteurized milk. The point of my argument is to tell the author to stop being so dogmatic and manipulating viewers. We are all bioindividually different, and some people (including myself) are very sensitive to bacteria, which in the case of milk, varies seasonally, and depends on what the cow is eating. People like me tolerate UHT/ultrapasteurized way better than raw. Am I saying that UHT is the only way? NO, because I am not being dogmatic as the author is and making blanket statements about food and people. I tried raw milk only for two years, and my acne and allergies were still present, despite what all the “milk experts” were saying about how raw milk would cure allergies, etc… That’s a very idiotic claim, and people reading and listening to nutrition advice should take it all with a grain of salt. Its our responsibility as consumers to follow advice responsibly.

    October 10th, 2012 4:55 pm Reply
    • Anthony

      No one is stating that everyone’s allergies disappear with raw milk. There have been many cases where that’s true, but it’s not true 100% of the time. I suppose it has to do with the root cause of a person’s allergies, their age, etc. etc. etc.

      Also, I’m not sure people’s bodies tolerate UHT and UP milk better than raw milk. Warped protein enzymes and other missing elements from pasteurized milk can absolutely create a lack of lactase in a person’s digestive system (which is why my wife that absolutely cannot drink pasteurized milk can drink a huge glass of raw milk every day), creating intolerence. It may not be for everyone, but raw milk is certainly a source that can only better the balance within that system.

      January 29th, 2013 11:56 am Reply
      • Linja

        I have many allergies and don’t tolerate cow dairy. We cannot legally buy raw milk in Virginia so I haven’t tried it. I do tolerate goat milk if it is UHT or if it is pasteurized AND then heated to a simmer..

        One author (with a PhD) claims that milk contains bacteria even after pasteurization and should be cooked. I don’t know if this is the issue or it is simply a matter of breaking down the proteins via processing so that they don’t cause bloating.

        October 6th, 2014 12:55 am Reply
        • BeOhBe

          An unstated fact about this is that the FDA rules are that only a percentage, not all, of a batch needs to be pasteurized to qualify. This is to limit, not totally eradicatebacteria. Thus, yes, there may be some, but unless it’s a lot our systems are fine with that, and ruining it with more heat is not a good answer.

          August 20th, 2015 2:07 am Reply
    • Rachael

      I’m curious to hear what you mean exactly by stating you tolerate pasteurized better than raw. Were you just disappointed that it didn’t help your allergies or you actually had adverse reactions? I’ve never heard of anyone not tolerating it raw so I’m interested to hear…

      January 27th, 2015 5:31 pm Reply
  • nedlud

    Organic Valley treated us very badly. We joined them in 2000 and sold milk. We are a very small farm and have a tiny yard that slopes toward an old-fashioned bank barn (barn built into the side of a hill). According to OV propaganda, we are among the types of farm they support and give life to–they continue to brag about this to this day. We milked 20 cows.

    In about 2004, they started sending in very LARGE tanker semis to our farm. These semis were a disaster for us. They are enormously heavy and yet because of how they are constructed, have very poor (zero, almost) traction in mud and snow while working on sloping ground. They caused me personally, a great deal of hard work and extreme frustration that was non-existent when smaller trucks with traction were used. The semis ended up doing thousands of dollars in damage to our farm. I complained vehemently about this to Organic Valley and they cancelled our contract, rather than admit to the harm done to us and/or work to correct the problem. We were devastated and forced out of the dairy ‘business’ in 2009 as a result. Maybe many people think small farmers have no right to exist anymore, but I would disagree, I believe we NEED many more small farms. Organic Valley used us. They continue to peddle themselves as family farmer’s friends as part of their promotional gimmickry. It is a lie.

    I have continued, since this disaster, to attempt to collect some sort of compensation from them, but in all correspondence they ignore me.

    I cannot begin to tell you how much I despise Organic Valley and George Siemon, their CEO.


    July 31st, 2012 7:49 pm Reply
    • Margot


      Thank you for sharing your story. There seems to be greed in all industries, including the “organic” industry where conscious (perhaps semi-conscious) consumers are trying to do the right thing for their bodies and the land. I hope that you have in the end found resolve in your circumstance and that hopefully if it is in your path to continue to be a much valued farmer perhaps small scale for those that will appreciate and value your service. I wish that small farmers were honoured in America the way that service people from the military are so revered. To me that would show that the country has it’s priorities in balance (no disrespect to anyone intended), but a commitment to growing sustainable healthy food is the only way we are going to secure the future of all on this planet. I will now have to discontinue Organic Valley from my options.

      January 25th, 2015 10:27 am Reply
  • Krystal

    This is very interesting but very discouraging….my son (3) has a severe dairy allergy, as well as asthma and eczema. Right now he get’s nothing but breastmilk, but once he weans, I will not be able to give him raw milk. I live in Canada and our milk is pretty different than the States: it is illegal to use growth hormone in cows here, so our milk is hormone free, and my organic milk is just pasteurized, rather than ultra-pasteurized, which is the good news. :) However, it is also illegal to buy or sell unpasteurized milk here.

    July 4th, 2012 1:04 am Reply
  • SarahM

    I agree with everything you said here but I would like to point out that your claim that UHT milk cannot be cultured into yogurt is not true. I have done it many times (before I knew better) using both freeze-dried cultures and existing yogurt (several different kinds, so different bacteria were being used). I have even made yogurt out of reconstituted powdered milk.

    March 19th, 2012 11:37 pm Reply
  • Noahla

    Hi Sarah,
    I recently found your site and am trying to incorporate a lot of your ideas into my family’s diet. Thank you!!! I have a question for you. My friend who is a homeopath told me that I should not consider raw cow’s milk as an option because cows have been tampered with so much and even if the cow in question doesn’t get any antibiotics or growth hormones, it’s parents probably did. She also said that over 80% of US cows have bovine AIDS and that the molecules in cow’s milk are too large for our system. She said that goats milk is a better alternative because no one tampers with goats and the molecules in goat’s milk are the right size for our systems. Also, when I told my aunt that we were trying raw milk she was alarmed and told me that the reason for pasteurization was because of TB. Do you know if farms that sell raw cow’s milk have to test for TB or bovine AIDS? Any information you have would be greatly appreciated as I am trying to sort out what is the best for my family!!! I’m very confused! Thank you so much for your time!!!!

    March 7th, 2012 5:58 pm Reply
  • Heather in Oregon

    I’m very late to this discussion but…
    I’m surprised that in so many places the OV milk is ultra pasteurized. Until a couple of months ago we were buying Organic Vally non-homogenized low temp pasteurized whole milk. It was our compromise as we didn’t have a source for raw milk. Then a couple of months ago our local source of the OV non-homogenized stopped carrying it and said that OV was discontinuing it. Since then we’ve been using regular OV which, at least in our area, isn’t ultra pasteurized but still isn’t raw milk. We’re lucky that our OV milk comes from dairies we actually drive by on a regular basis. It’s bottled in Portland which is about 60miles away but we at least know that the cows are outside eating grass most of the time. We did finally find a source for raw milk and will start being able to get a gallon a week from them. We’re really excited! You couldn’t pay me to go back to conventional milk.

    February 18th, 2012 7:02 pm Reply
  • Catrina

    Sarah what is you’re opinion on almond or soy milk as an alternative?

    February 18th, 2012 12:03 am Reply
  • amy

    Oh Sarah….I’m always searching for answers on your blog. My newborn is exclusively breastfeeding and she is 8 weeks old. She is having some reflux issues which I thought was rare with breastfeeding. I DO drink a glass of chocolate milk a day (as a treat for myself). I didn’t realize there is an autoimmune response with the ultra pasteurized milk :( I quit drinking raw milk when I was pregnant because I was so scared something would happen :-/ If I start again, can my newborn get sick if I ingest a bug from the milk?
    Thank you as always Sarah :)

    January 24th, 2012 2:06 pm Reply
  • Pingback: Living Naturally: If I can’t afford organic, where do I start? (part 2) « raising vintage kids in a modern world

  • S.Marie

    My husband works for Organic Valley, and this thought came over me very recently. Im making my bread and butter from milk I wont even feed to my children! The farmers arent the problem, it s the government making the good raw milk they produce illegal. thats lame!

    January 15th, 2012 10:00 pm Reply
  • Amanda

    (I’m reposting my question here because this topic seems more applicable)

    I’m probably really late to the conversation here, but I had a question about low-temperature pasteurized (non-homogenized) milk… is it still a big NO-NO? The closest raw milk farms are over an hour one way from where I live, and I’m trying to work out a way to afford buying healthier-than-organic milk without spending a lot on gas too. VERY tight budget these days! Thanks!

    December 8th, 2011 6:58 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I would buy the low temp pasteurized, non homogenized milk and culture into kefir and then drink it. I personally will not drink even low temp pasteurized milk.

      December 8th, 2011 7:48 pm Reply
  • sara in

    In northern california, if you would like a good source of milk for making kefir than check out Strauss creamery website. They offer a pasteurized, non homogenized ‘cream top’ organic milk. I do not drink it alone but use it for making kefir and it turns out well. Lot of info. about their pasturization and raising of their cows on website. Of course also available is Organic Pastures raw milk but you will pay twice the amount. I think $ worth it if you drink it alone or for growing children. Happy culturing!

    October 17th, 2011 11:23 pm Reply
  • Daniel

    Where I live (overseas), I only have the choice of local pasturized milk or non-local UHT milk. Until recently I was using the non-local New Zealand milk and French cream because, even though both are UHT, they are from pastured, grass-fed cows. I always ferment both the milk and the cream with no problem, so I am surprised to read the claim that it cannot be fermented. While I may switch to the local pasturized product, I still wonder whether by fermenting the UHT product, I am avoiding most of the problem, particularly because I have not been able to find out much about the locally produced milk (diet, etc.).

    October 11th, 2011 3:14 am Reply
  • Heather Z. in Cali

    I like articles such as this that give out “information” (quotes because I am only beginning my research and do not take personal articles/stories as fact). What I don’t like about this article is that it is clearly pointed at the authors clear hatred of two companies-Horizon and Organic Valley. Even if all that is said is true, when it comes to something being about one (or two) particular companies vs a whole (and especially when you don’t even do the bare minimum of checking to see what products a company sells and, as you stated, assume they carry only one-UHT milk), I tend to then be skeptic of all “research” and wonder exactly what else was/is assumed. Both companies sell both UHT and regular organic milk. The information about the lack of healthyful benefits of such may or may not be true, but your personal feelings about the two companies came across loud and clear, negating any other facts for me. On to other research….

    August 16th, 2011 5:20 pm Reply
  • Deceived american

    What? Organic milk doesn’t need to be refridgerated?! The news in this article is APPALLING!!! I recently learned and am still learning of the atrocious practices used by food manufacturing companies for the sake of profit. I switched to organic foods believing that there has to be some good in the world and end up coming across information like this. My head is spinning!! The fact that poison is permitted in our food supplies and vaccines and given to our children with fraudulant, minimal or no testing is outrageous. I’m sad. =( I thought we’d come a long way in America and as humans. I can’t believe that raw milk is illegal. I don’t know what to do. All my life I’ve felt sick and lethargic. Allergies, asthma, ibs, lactose intolerance, appendicitis, stunted growth… My whole family is sick with diabetes 2, hypothyroidism, autism, manic depression, alzheimers, etc. We’re a latin family and msg was a huge part of our diets as well. Now it all makes even more sense. Think I’ll go have me one big good cry. It’s all our fault. I guess vigilance is truly a price we all must pay to move forward. There’s no room for lazy-mindedness where health and survival is concerned if we want the best. Thank you for your great insight and educational information. You’ve truly been a blessing.

    July 27th, 2011 12:14 pm Reply
  • Natschultz

    Sadly, Stonyfield milk IS Ultrapasteurized! :( Sad, since they are from the Northeast.

    Unfortunately, if you live in any urban / suburban area of the US your are basically being force-fed POISON due to government regulations / Big Ag lobbying efforts.

    I live on Long Island, NY and in NY Raw Milk is ILLEGAL! So illegal that buying Heroin is easier than finding Raw Milk! (Sadly, I’m NOT kidding).

    My local Target has a new “Fresh food market” and their prices are HALF that of the grocery store right next to it. They carry a LARGE assortment of milk – both regular and organic, as well as Rice, Soy, Almond and Coconut. Annoyingly, they sell-out of ALL their Half-and-Half and Organic Milk EVERY DAY! They carry Horizon, but also their own brand of Organic Milk, both regular and with added DHA (Do NOT use the added Omega-3 products – it is made with chemically processed algae).

    Honestly, I didn’t look at if their Organic Whole Milk was Ultrapasteurized or not, but based on the use-by date (about a week from purchase), I doubt it. I ran out and they are usually sold out when I get there :( My mother shops at BJ’s Wholesale Club, and normally buys Land-O-Lakes 2% milk and Half-and-Half. L-O-L is LOADED with antibiotics and hormones!!! She has been having sertious heart problems lately, so I convinced her to start eating like me – whole eggs and WHOLE milk, so the other day she purchased “Organic” Whole milk at BJ’s by Earth’s Pride. At first I was excited (no need for separate milk containers in the fridge), but then I saw ULTRApasteurized! EEK!!! It was purchased July 14, and the use-by date is Sept. 3. My NON-Organic Tuscan Whole Milk (made from cows NOT treated with growth hormones / antibiotics) is good until July 19 (purchased July 7).

    So, if you live in the Northeast, I have some advice – if you CANNOT get RAW Milk, purchase milk from a LOCAL Northeast Dairy Co-op that says NOT TREATED with Artificial Growth Hormones. Tuscan Dairy Farmers DO NOT use these hormones! Also, Chobani Greek Yogurt comes from Upstate NY dairy cows NOT TREATED with rBST. If there is an FDA disclaimer on the product that says “No significant difference has been found between milk derived from rBST-treated and non-rBST-treated cows” then the product is PROBABLY safe. The FDA is nothing more than a propaganda arm of Big Ag – the FDA has MANDATED that NATURAL products must include a disclaimer that GMO and drugged products are “Not bad.” This is a direct violation of the First Amendment, but Big Ag (Monsanto in particular) has bankrupted MANY farmers and sued states like Vermont and Pennsylvania for trying to regulate and label products containing GMO seeds and hormones / antibiotics.

    I’m from the Northeast, and I can assure you that there are VERY FEW INDUSTRIAL FARMS around here! Although the USDA has DECIMATED many rural communities over the past 50 years by “Buying out” local farmers so they would not compete against Big Ag, the few farms still remaining are mostly FAMILY farms that have been in the same families for generations. Just drive around Upstate NY, Vermont, NH and Maine and you will be hard-pressed to find a dairy farm bigger than 250 acres (mostly wooded) and most farmers average about 100 cows – and you can see those cows roaming the pastures EVERY SINGLE DAY! Honestly, the high cost of real estate and extremely HIGH TAXES has actually helped to preserve traditional ways of farming up here – the farmers barely break even, the barns average 200+ years old and many are in poor condition – the farmers survive by joining co-ops with other small farmers and their milk is pooled and distributed throughout the Northeast. Most farmers could never afford to convert their pastures into concrete industrial wastelands and pump the cows full of drugs. It’s more economical for them to keep doing things the way they have been done since before the American Revolution! And, now that people are realizing the negative effects of Factory Faming, I cannot see how the FDA / USDA is going to convince many of these farmers to go the way of Big Ag. Also, under Governor Pataki, a LOT of farmland has been saved and preserved via legislation and tax breaks and such farms must follow very strict environmental regulations, so it doesn’t make sense to go the GMO, polluting direction.

    Of course, this ONLY applies to farms in the Northeast, as this land was subdivided and cleared during colonial times (my old house actually had the original stone wall from an old farm running through the woods). Most farmland has now been turned into cookie-cutter developments, but the few farms that remain are still on the same land cleared by the original Settlers. Most Milk from the Midwest (Land-O-Lakes) and California is a WHOLE OTHER STORY! Those farms are giant INDUSTRIAL WASTELANDS as far as “Agriculture” goes! The good thing out West though, is that there are still some small farms, and the laws regarding RAW Milk are not nearly as INSANE as here in NY, so you will have a much easier time getting milk direct from a small farmer out west than if you live in Downstate NY.

    July 15th, 2011 5:49 pm Reply
  • Janet Bravo

    I have Eczema and I am running to the store now to buy raw milk. I’ve always known that food was a direct correlation to my symptoms but I never knew what to eat or how to replace foods. Thanks for “showing me the way” regarding milk.

    June 13th, 2011 12:36 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Hi Janet … you are very welcome! We all have to hang together and help each other as individuals as this stuff is never going to be covered in health magazines or on TV that’s for sure! There’s way too much money to be made with these processed foods!

      June 13th, 2011 2:08 pm Reply
  • Hilda

    We’ve been buying the Organic whole milk for our kids, but it’s Naturally Preferred brand and just pasteurized. Is that ok or should I be looking for something better?

    June 1st, 2011 10:23 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Plain pasteurized is certainly much much better than ultra-pasteurized … try to find some that is also nonhomogenized and that would be an acceptable compromise.

      June 1st, 2011 10:25 pm Reply
      • Hilda

        Thank you for the prompt reply!

        June 1st, 2011 10:56 pm Reply
  • erica

    Richard, I live in upstate NY and there is a farm nearby, Ronnybrook Farm, that sells unhomoginized, low temp pasteurized milk locally. They are supplied in 1 qt glass bottles. I know they sell in NYC at farmer’s markets year round, not sure where, but check their website out: Best milk I’ve EVER had!

    May 29th, 2011 9:31 am Reply
  • Sarah in Portland

    Hi Sarah,
    Thank you so much for this article. I am one of those mom’s who buys the refrigerated organic milk at costco. I just checked it & yes indeed it is ultrapasteurized. I know a great source for raw milk – but this is my thing – and please help me out with some advice…. I am a single mom of one & we RARELY drink milk. I personally don’t like the thickness of milk – never had. Within the last couple months, I went to my friends farm & bought a half gallon of raw milk. Our problem was, we didn’t even make it through a 1/3 of it by the time it started turning sour. What would you recommend the best option be for people like us?…
    Sarah in Portland

    May 24th, 2011 2:31 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi Sarah, buy the raw milk and put into smaller containers and freeze what you won’t use before it sours. Raw milk is fine frozen and then thawed.

      May 24th, 2011 6:58 pm Reply
  • carrie

    Thanks for the information! Our 1 year old has a dairy allergy and I’m thinking it is likely correlated to how much milk I had while pregnant (and continue to drink while nursin her). We are planning to try raw milk and I just found a store that provides it. However, in the meantime, I’m wondering if you can comment on Grass Point Farms dairy products from Wisconsin. They are strong about their cows being grass fed, yet I think it has a long shelf life. Please let me know if you have any thoughts.

    May 19th, 2011 1:59 pm Reply
  • Rachel

    Canada is great for store bought milk if that is your only option. However, there is no raw milk here as it is illegal. No cow shares allowed either. It is fairly easy for me to get pasteurized non-homogonized grass fed cow milk though. But it costs $12 for 3L as opposed to $4 for the regular kind. In Canada antibiotics in milk is screened and milk containing it can not be sold. Same with growth hormones. There is less estrogen in our milk than in a head of cabbage. I don’t believe many brands are ultra-pasteurized either…

    I am curious though, about potential illnesses caused by raw milk and whether the risks outweigh the benefits? Especially if you get grass fed, pasteurized milk?

    May 12th, 2011 7:54 pm Reply
  • michael

    I didn’t notice any references for this article?

    April 22nd, 2011 8:24 am Reply
  • Richard

    Living in NYC…what’s a guy to do? My neighbor’s don’t have cows….and raw milk isn’t available in health stores….so I guess no milk for me.

    April 20th, 2011 11:00 am Reply
  • Ron

    I think you should visit a real dairy before you make the comment about sick cows living a year and a half. IT’s just a bald faced lie. Which would I rather have–Rush Limbaugh and Fox News or
    articles not researched by people that have never been on a farm.. Death by firing squad–I hope that’s your choice.

    April 19th, 2011 9:33 pm Reply
  • Amber

    Where can I get raw milk? My parents used to buy directly from a church member when we were kids but I don’t know any dairy farmers.

    March 29th, 2011 9:10 pm Reply
  • Nelly

    Thanks. One more thing — does freezing change the milk? Will the flavor be the same?

    March 20th, 2011 2:05 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      The flavor is the same if you freeze/thaw milk. You should shake it up really well before putting in the freezer to mix the cream up well. Sometimes the cream will not thaw perfectly smooth, but the flavor is most definitely the same.

      March 20th, 2011 2:31 pm Reply
  • Nelly

    I just discovered this blog and LOVE IT! In our house my husband and I have always been die-hard butter, whole milk, and lard eaters, no apologies. We didn’t know the research, but just felt instinctually that real foods were better than fake foods.

    We have been drinking Horizon whole milk for about 10 years. My husband does have a much easier time digesting it than conventional milk. But I am unclear about Horizon being ultrapasturized. My gallon jug says “pasturized.” So am I hurting my family by buying Horizon?

    We live two hours away from the nearest health food store, and I simply don’t have access to the natural grass-fed meat, milk etc. that you talk about. My local grocery store has only a few organic products. (I buy them all.) I long for my own milk cow, but farm animals are not allowed in my town:) Sigh. Keep up the great work.

    March 18th, 2011 1:49 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi Nelly, you may have some milk that is not ultrapasteurized . . I was under the impression that all Horizon organic milk was ultrapasteurized but perhaps they do have a line that is regular pasteurized .. I would call the company to find out.

      Even if it is regular pasteurized, it is still homogenized and homogenization oxidizes the cholesterol in the milkfats and oxidized cholesterol is the baddie that is linked to heart disease. I would not drink the Horizon milk regardless. Try to find low temp pasteurized, nonhomogenized milk in your area and ask for your store to order some in if you can’t get it elsewhere. You can always offer to buy the whole case and then freeze it at home. If you offer to buy the whole case, most stores are find with special orders.

      March 18th, 2011 9:39 am Reply
  • Brittany Lane

    I just looked for raw milk in my area of TN, but have had no luck. I did find two local farms that sell organic free range meat and egss, but at $6 a lb for lean ground beef we cant afford that. :( Really disapointed. I am a stay at home mom so my family lives on one income and this is not affordable for us. I had been giving my son Horizon milk because I was worried about antibiotics, steriods, and the animals being abused. Too bad the milk turns out to be worthless! Now I guess my only option is to decide which horrible milk I want my kid to drink?!? This is so ridicolous that the value and nutritonal content of our food has diminshed to nothing. Very disapointed right now.

    March 15th, 2011 1:13 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi Brittany, go through your pantry and figure out where you can cut to afford the good quality dairy and beef. It is worth it!!! You will reap the benefits in way lower medical bills and no need for antibiotics as you and your family will be strong enough to get well with no drugs when you get sick. Get rid of all the processed foods that are in boxes and you will be amazed at what you can save and put toward the great food!

      March 15th, 2011 2:29 pm Reply
  • Andree

    I will be weening my 11 month old off of breast milk next month. Would you recommend raw goat’s milk or cow’s milk to take my place? Why? Thanks so much.

    January 24th, 2011 10:09 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      I prefer cow’s milk to goat’s milk as goat milk is low in B12 and lacks folic acid. Some say that goat’s milk is easier to digest, but I have not found this to be the case for most people.

      January 24th, 2011 10:21 pm Reply
  • linda

    I live in Japan and have searched and searched for healthy milk. These are the best ones I have found:
    1. Raw milk from almost 100% pasture-fed Holsteins — $10 for 720ml (about 3 cups!)
    2. Milk from Brown Swiss cows grazed on non-sprayed pasture, pasteurized at 75C (higher than Vat. Pasteurization) — $5 for 1L (4 cups)
    3. Milk from Holsteins, partially pastured + fed non GMO grains (not organic though), vat pasteurized at 65C for 30 minutes –$3 for 1 L

    I truly can’t afford the raw milk. :( Bought it for my son for a year when he was 2, but had to give it up after cleaning out my bank account! The Brown Swiss milk is almost 100% pastured, but the pasteurization temperature is higher than the Holstein milk, which is only partially pastured. Sigh! WWYD? Giving up milk is out of the question!

    January 13th, 2011 12:08 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi Linda, Japan is indeed very expensive. I traveled there back in the late 80’s when the exchange rate was something like 200 yen to one US dollar. Do the best you can … cut out every single junk food item in your pantry. An alternative is coconut milk tonic .. 1 quart filtered water, 14 oz whole coconut milk, 1 tsp vanilla, 1-3 TBL maple syrup or coconut sugar. I know you can get whole coconut milk pretty reasonably in Japan so perhaps this would be a way to go some of the time.

      January 13th, 2011 8:31 am Reply
  • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Michelle, your parents are in no way the problem. Hard working families like yours are to be commended and are worthy of great respect. Let’s put the blame where it belongs: with the Organic Valley ultrapasteurization processing. This is what turns the milk from your parent’s farm into such an indigestible allergenic food. Processing is the problem, not the milk from your parent’s farm!

    January 11th, 2011 5:49 pm Reply
  • Michelle

    It’s sad to hear what my parents do so often misrepresented: my parents own a small dairy farm, and they raise their animals conventionally.

    There are twenty-four stalls in their barn and another handful of heifers and dry cows running around in the pasture. Yes, I said pasture. Milk from the store sometimes comes from cows who have seen grass. Apparently, this is shocking news.

    Our cows all have names. They all have personalities; we know the personalities because we work with, pet, feed, and even play with these animals on a daily basis. And the oldest in the barn is over twelve with several right behind her.

    And yes, they occasionally get treated with antibiotics. Then again, when my aunt was breastfeeding and got mastitis, she got treated with antibiotics, too, because the pain was horrible and the issue needed to be resolved. Surely no one would begrudge her for doing so, but if a cow is treated and her milk is kept from the milk supply, she’s still labeled as a bad, conventional, out-to-kill-small-children cow, just like her owners.

    Oh, and one more thing: my parents both work full-time off the farm so that they can afford to run the farm. Which runs at a loss every year. But they–and every other farm family I know–do it because they love it and they believe in the product that they produce.

    But thanks for making us look like monsters.

    January 11th, 2011 5:27 pm Reply
    • Anasthasia

      I don’t think they are attacking small dairy farms like the one you speak of.
      The ones we are trying to avoid are the huge cafo like places that treat the cows badly , where cows don’t see grass, where they stand in their own feces etc. Milk does not need to be ultra pasteurized. That must be a marketing thing b/c I can’t think of why else they would do that.

      April 26th, 2011 3:14 am Reply
      • Jodee


        Please educate yourself. Many large dairies are just as safe and healthy for people and animals and are conventionally run. Our society has removed itself so much from the farm that many people that comment on stories like this only believe and know what has been force-fed to them by media extremists.

        Conventional milk and food products are safe and healthy, and the animals are treated very well. It’s always the few “bad apples” that get the majority of press coverage, so consumers tend to automatically group those into a category that covers all conventional production.

        And FYI, organic, large or small, confined or allowed to roam anywhere, cows are cows. They don’t care about walking in feces. They are ANIMALS and it’s NATURE. Animals are not human, nor should they be treated as such.

        Take a look:

        May 30th, 2012 12:31 pm Reply
  • David
    ” Kalona SuperNaturalâ„¢ uses a process called VAT pasteurization, where a fixed volume of milk in a vat is slowly agitated at 145 degrees Fahrenheit–this process has a uniquely negligible effect on the pure flavor of the milk. Our end product is as close as pasteurized milk can get to farm fresh flavor. “

    December 15th, 2010 11:55 am Reply
  • Melanie

    Wow – this answers I question I have been wondering for for months! I noticed in the grocery store that the organic half & half has a sell by date is six weeks out, whereas the regular half & half ‘s sell by date is only 10 days out. I tried searching online to figure out why, but I couldn’t find anything. Thank you!!

    December 11th, 2010 1:21 am Reply
  • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

    HI Sarah, can you ask your local healthfood store to order Natural by Nature nonhomogenized, low temp pasteurized whole milk in glass bottles? Usually, if you make a request, they will honor it particularly if you have several families that all ask together and the store knows there is a ready market for this product and it won’t sit on the shelves unsold.

    December 9th, 2010 5:02 pm Reply
  • Sarah

    This is so frustrating. I have been searching for a healthier milk for my family. I want the best for my 4 and 1 year old. Raw milk is illegal in Wyoming, so my choices are limited. There are some locals trying to get cow shares but the ranch is 1.5 hours away. In the winter especially it is not a good choice. Not sure what to do. I don’t like the feeling I’m poisoning us every time I pour a glass of milk.

    December 9th, 2010 4:58 pm Reply
  • sara

    There is a brand that our local vegetarian store stocks called KAlona supernatural. I have tried the milk (low-temp pasteurized non-homogenized) and they make an awesome yogurt!

    December 4th, 2010 4:11 am Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Organic butter should be ok .. I still do not buy Organic Valley or Horizon butter though just for the sake of principle, though.

    November 1st, 2010 1:28 am Reply
  • Anonymous

    Does these same issues occur with organic butter? Thanks for any info you can give on that.

    October 31st, 2010 8:45 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    There are enough really good food clubs now in most cities that deliver fresh (raw) milk weekly. If you really dig in to the bowels of research on milk v. pasteurization and how it got started (by the New York City Sanitation Dept.), you will see that it was never justified but something that the Powers that Be simply wanted done. Any pasteurization kills almost all of the good health providing agents in milk…….ultra-pasteurization is even worse. Not only, industrial milk is deleterious to your health due to all of the bad things they add. So none is better. Drink raw, or not at all. If I run out of milk, I use coconut milk. – MM

    October 19th, 2010 11:49 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    Also, Organic Valley just stopped allowing farmers who believe in raw milk into their consortium. That's sick, IMHO! Raw milk from grass fed cows is the only cow milk that is safe to drink. Otherwise, it's raw goat milk or raw sheep's milk from grass fed goats and sheep.

    As much as I like almond milk and coconut milk, they just don't make hot drinks like organic decaf look like it has cream in it.

    September 26th, 2010 10:31 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Beth, of course you can recover from allergies and yes they indicate gut based immune disfunction. My husband used to be allergic to everything and has the allergy tests from the doctor taken years ago to prove it. He is now allergic to nothing .. how did he heal? Traditional eating for nearly 10 years now and his allergies disappeared one by one until they are now all gone!

    September 19th, 2010 12:42 am Reply
    • Steph

      Hey Sarah thank you so much for that inspiring story about your husband. My three kids have severe food allergies and my husband and I have been trying for yrs to help their bodies heal.
      What did you mean by traditional eating? Also..did he take a probiotic or just drink raw milk? Do you have suggestions for me? Thank you.

      January 8th, 2011 2:16 pm Reply
      • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

        Hi Steph, pick up a copy of Nourishing Traditions cookbook. It is a mandatory primer for anyone wanting to learn the traditional preparation methods for cooking. WHOLE FOODS EATING IS NOT ENOUGH. You must prepare your foods traditionally too. Selecting the right food and preparing it wrong (like with grains) can be just as harmful as picking the wrong food from the get go. A probiotic is a great way to go. Our favorite most reliable supplier of BioKult is under the Resources tab at the top of the blog.

        Here’s the link to the book:

        January 8th, 2011 2:34 pm Reply
        • Steph

          Thank you so much! I really appreciate it.

          January 8th, 2011 4:03 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    KELSEY, can you give us an update as to how you're doing with raw milk? I know someone with a lifelong dairy allergy as severe as yours (throwing up, hives, potential for throat swelling), and would love to know if there is any hope.

    Also, if it's true that any person with allergies has gut dysbiosis, leading to leaky gut syndrome and all the issues that result from that, I wonder if a diligent program of gut healing would ever eliminate a severe dairy allergy. I'm referring to the type of gut healing with GAPS, Body Ecology, etc., with plenty of lacto-fermented foods, bone broth, easily digestible foods, protective fats, and, eventually, ghee or cultured dairy such as kefir.

    Is this possible??


    September 18th, 2010 4:24 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    I used to make yogurt with Horizon's ultra pasteurized 1/2 and 1/2 and never had a problem with it turning into super thick yogurt. However, I've read enough bad about Horizon that I made the switch to Trader Joe's organic milk and 1/2 and 1/2.

    August 24th, 2010 5:26 am Reply
  • Anonymous

    I consistently find ultra pasteurized to go bad extremely quickly. I noticed quickly what the issue was so I quit buying it. I wondered about these choices myself and had come to the same conclusions. Great blogs and site!

    August 19th, 2010 3:39 am Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Try to get low temp pasteurized/nonhomogenized whole milk from Natural by Nature if you don't have access to fresh from the farm. Healthfood stores will order Natural by Nature for you if you ask.

    June 30th, 2010 9:04 pm Reply
  • Andrea

    Does anyone have any ideas for a milk replacement for my 16 month old? I have had a hard time getting him to gain weight and there are few things he will het, milk being one thing he really loves. We purchase horizon and shamrock organic milk now.

    June 30th, 2010 5:26 am Reply
  • Kelsey

    I whole-heartedly agree with this post, although I'm a little dismayed at how unhealthy even organic milk is! I knew it wasn't optimal, and we've been trying to purchase a goat share from a local farmer but it's taking longer than I had hoped, so I thought drinking organic milk in the meantime was okay but I guess I was wrong! We've been purchasing Organic Valley whole milk, and I will stop doing that now and look for a better alternative. I have never been a milk drinker, because since I was an infant I haven't been able to tolerate it, not even my mother's milk. So I grew up not drinking it and not being much of a dairy fan in general, and then when I got married I started cooking with cheese a lot more because of my husband and quickly developed an allergy, which spread to all dairy products! So now unfortunately I am unable to eat much dairy at all (I get hives and with some things my throat swells – yikes!), which led me to my search for raw milk. I hope to start being able to consume it soon and make homemade kefir and yogurt – for now I guess I'll just try to find the least harmful alternative. Thanks so much for all the info on your blog! – Kelsey

    June 29th, 2010 11:46 pm Reply
  • Jaime Kae

    Organic Valley offers traditionally-pasteurized milk, but stores seem to stock only the UHT version, probably due to shelf life/consumer demand.

    All of Organic Valley one-gallon containers of milk are non-UHT, and they also have half-gallon non-UHT milk. In one part of the country, they sell non-homogenized milk as well.

    If you can find full gallon sizes of organic milk brands, they are likely to be traditionally-pasteurized. It seems the half-gallon cartons and single-serve ones are the main culprits.

    June 8th, 2010 4:57 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    I love informing the public on the government's lack of caring when it comes to food. Another part of the equation is what the cows are feed. I have been looking into milk products for over 1 year because my son has a high gluten intolerance. The cows in the commercial farms are all grain feed and it seems as if those grains are getting into the milk making him sick. Almost 1 out of 100 Americans have a gluten intolerance and don't know it. The gluten intolerance leads to the leaky gut unless they are allergic to the milk itself from the start. Certified organic milk only needs to be 10% grass feed which in turn causes a problem that there is no regulation on how much grain the cows get leading to gluten in the milk making it unhealthy.
    That being said my son is highly intolerant to all grains and the only milk he can tolerate is Horizon 2% from our local market because their processing and feeding seem to be totally grain free.
    One final comment is I am not sure what you mean by aseptic containers since the word aseptic means to be germ and contaminate free. I am sure the local farmer cleans his containers by placing boiling water in and around them 100 °C (212 °F) which in Fahrenheit is only a few degrees shy of what you said the pasteurization process is.

    May 27th, 2010 2:56 am Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Sam, you can test the deadness of ultrapasteurized milk in your own kitchen. Try culturing it into yogurt with a basic yogurt machine. It doesn't work. If the beneficial cultures in yogurt starter can't do anything with the ultrapasteurized milk to ferment it into yogurt then your body most certainly can't digest it either.

    May 26th, 2010 4:29 pm Reply
    • esther

      I don’t disagree with you that farm fresh is the way to go, but that’s not an option where I live and I make yogurt with organic ultra-pasteurized milk all the time and it turns out great.

      May 6th, 2012 11:10 pm Reply
    • Nicole

      Hi Sarah! I too loved your article, but I would like hard facts. You wrote that our bodies have a hard time with the proteins in the ultra pasteurized milk. Do you have a link to any studies for that? Where did you get this information?

      April 5th, 2013 11:59 am Reply
  • Sam

    This is my first time reading your blog and I find this post very interesting and disappointing since my toddler loves his milk.
    We use Meyenberg Goats Milk so taking this away from my 2 year old who drinks two bottles a day will be tough. However it is ultra pasteurized. Would you provide links to research and studies that have shown that pasteurization renders foods dead and has adverse health effects? It seems to make sense but I'd like to read up on this myself to get fully education in my choices for my family. It's such a complex info landscape out here in blog-world. Thank you!

    May 26th, 2010 3:00 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Yes, yes, yes, Danielle. What you are buying from the farm is infinitely better than Horizon. Probably your farmer is low temp pasteurizing (vat pasteurizing) which is much less damaging to the fragile milk proteins than even regular pasteurization.

    May 26th, 2010 1:36 pm Reply
  • danielle

    Hi there, this is my first time reading your blogs
    We buy milk from a local dairy that is pasturized but not homogonized grassfed cows. It's not "certified" organic b/c the people that run the place said the process the government make you go through to get "certified" is long and expensive. The cows graze – you can see them when you drive to the dairy and the milk is in glass bottles. Even my husband, a skepic of "natural" "organic", etc said it's the best milk he's tasted in years – since childhood.
    We drink the 1 1/2% variety, mainly b/c I cannot stomach whole milk. Is that better than the Horion brand from the store?

    May 26th, 2010 1:34 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    Hi Sarah, how do you make yogurt at home using raw milk? I have a little yogurt maker… Thanks!

    May 22nd, 2010 9:05 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    If ultrapasteurized is the only thing you can get, then yes, it is better to not drink milk! Do you have a healthfood store in your area? Then, ask them to start stocking Natural by Nature low temp pasteurized, nonhomogenized grassfed whole milk. You can also mail order Organic Pastures raw milk from CA. It is quite pricey, to do this, so it would be best to get your local healthfood store to stock a decent alternative.

    May 22nd, 2010 1:13 am Reply
  • chaylife

    Ultra Pasturized is the ONLY option we have in this area. I was one of those who bought Horizons and Organic Valley because they were "organic". I guess I'll just quit buying milk . . . Not sure what else to do.

    May 22nd, 2010 12:46 am Reply
  • Anonymous

    Trader Joe's organic milk is not ultrapasteurized, and I think same can be said of Whole Food's milk. Thank you for your post! It explains why I have problems every time I run out of milk and use the parmalat I keep in cupboard as backup (no longer). Very useful information.

    May 21st, 2010 3:23 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    That is great to know that some Organic Valley milk is regular pasteurized now. Perhaps the company is responding to consumer pressure? One can always hope! Thanks for sharing this information.

    May 20th, 2010 6:11 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    Not all Organic Valley milk is ultra-pasteurized. In our area, the half gallon cartons are, but the gallon bottles are pasteurized. It might be a good idea to check with the company to understand their distribution decisions and look carefully at the labeling before deciding not to drink their milk. We have started to incorporate raw milk from a local dairy into our household, but not all family members are willing to go that route and we rely on Organic Valley to fill in the gaps.

    May 20th, 2010 4:12 pm Reply
  • kitchenkungfu

    I can't even buy regular pasteurized milk at my local grocery store. Everything is ultrapasteurized. Luckily, I have a source for real milk and can avoid the whole grocery store milk issue!

    May 20th, 2010 1:46 am Reply
  • lou

    ahem sister! great post! it drives me crazy when i see people buying horizon milk at target and think their getting something healthful. you can't trust your government with your health. you must research yourself… ALWAYS. as i heard once…. "uncle sam is not your uncle" :)

    May 19th, 2010 7:13 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Cynthia, thanks so much for commenting! Yes, this ultrapasteurization thing is so infuriating and so many people have been caught in its web of deception. Hope you can use some of this info with your gang down south of the Bay!

    May 19th, 2010 5:21 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Lana, the healthfood stores in my area do not carry Stonyfield organic milk .. Horizon and Organic Valley have most of the market share for this type of product. If the Stonyfield organic milk is ultrapasteurized, then yes, avoid it like the plague. Their yogurt is ok .. not as good as what you would make yourself at home with fresh from the farm, grassfed milk but something ok to use in a pinch.

    May 19th, 2010 4:43 pm Reply
  • Lana

    You only mentioned Organic Valley and Horizon Organic milk… what about Stonyfield Organic milk?

    And for that matter their yogurt, etc.?

    May 19th, 2010 4:37 pm Reply
  • Rick

    GREAT write-up Sarah!!

    May 19th, 2010 4:37 pm Reply
  • Cynthia’s Traditionals

    This a great story to SCREAM from the mountaintops. Thank you for making it so clear. I always advise to avoid store milk if fresh, raw is not available. Now I can explain it so much better. Well written with facts and not too much emotion which I know is so hard to do.
    Thanks again,
    Cynthia in Sarasota

    May 19th, 2010 3:36 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    Hi Sarah! I am really enjoying your blog! What do you do if you run out of raw milk for your milk kefir grains? Would you ever use pasturized milk to keep them going until you can get more raw? I have access to a biweekly delivery of raw milk, but often we run out a few days before the next shipment. I often wonder if using store bought milk will compromise my kefir grains. What are your thoughts? Thanks so much! -Clare S.

    May 19th, 2010 2:59 pm Reply
    • SM

      I have sucessfully made Kefir many times from pasteurized milk- both the cheap stuff and the organic variety. All I used was the kefir grains and the so called “dead” milk. It tasted fabulous also. I assume the author has never actually attempted to make kefir from pasteurized milk to make the false statement.

      February 19th, 2012 1:22 pm Reply
      • KW

        The author was clearly talking about ULTRAPASTURIZED milk, not PASTURIZED milk. You are the one who should check your facts.

        February 28th, 2012 2:56 pm Reply
        • SKY

          Being unable to obtain raw, organic milk in my area, I have cultured and am culturing yogurt and kefir on a daily basis using UHT Milk. It has been and is still providing consistently good results.

          February 15th, 2013 1:56 pm Reply
          • Sean

            I’ve used Stonyfield organic whole-milk, which is UHT, to make kefir for 3 years. It makes great kefir. But my kefir grains do not themselves grow in size, as they used to when I lived elsewhere and bought non-UHT milk.

            I don’t know for sure that UHT milk is causing my non-growing-grains issue, but it’s worth thinking about for kefir makers, esp. if you also have access to non-UHT milk.


            September 30th, 2013 11:51 am
  • Anonymous

    My kids are living proof that raw whole milk from grass fed cows is much better for you than the junk sold in stores. All my life I was told I had a milk allergy. Asthma and allergies run in my husband's family. I thought for sure my kids were doomed by genetics. I found out about raw milk when my boys were still babies so once they were weaned off breastmilk that is the only kind of milk they have ever had. No sign of asthma or ANY type of allergies even though it supposedly runs in the family. In fact they have never even had an ear infection. All of my brother's and sister's kids, on the other hand, who drink gallons of pasteurized milk because "milk does a body good" have constant problems with asthma, seasonal allergies, eczma, and ear infections.

    May 19th, 2010 1:02 pm Reply
    • Drema

      I read your post to this article about raw grass fed milk in earnest. I was a healthy child & got asthma and allergies at 13 yrs old, I live in N.C. which doesn’t have raw milk, but I can drive an hour to get it in another state.

      I was curious did your asthma and allergies improve when you started drinking the raw grass fed milk by chance? I just started my research so I don’t know if it could close up my Leaky Gut while I change everything to non-GMO Organic, veggies and grass fed beef and wild caught salmon and some fruits that I don’t react to. Thank you for any tip

      December 11th, 2013 1:34 am Reply
      • Julianne Presson

        You live in NC which has very high humidity, have you had your home checked for mold???

        May 27th, 2016 3:49 pm Reply
    • ankara

      By drinking milk from grass-fed cows, your children have probably become immunized to the various grasses, flowers, pollen, and other sources of allergens that the cows have ingested. This is probably an analogous immunizing effect as that produced when people eat different types of honey, also produced from various pollens. The amount ingested when drinking the milk or eating the honey is low enough not to produce an allergic reaction but enough to produce immunization over time. So, yes, grass-fed milk is probably a very good thing, especially for growing children. They immunization will last, even if they choose to stop drinking milk as adults.

      By the way, although homemade non-dairy milks (with only almonds, quinoa, etc. and water) are very good tasting and very good for you, commercial non-dairy milk have a panoply of other ingredients that ought to make us skeptical. Soy milk has other issues as well, but even almond, etc. commercial milks have carageenan, for example. If you look it up, you will see that it is something that is added as a thickener to make these milks more palatable to the average consumer. Although it is a natural ingredient, hat doesn’t mean it should be a regular part of our diet. Some people (like me) do not tolerate it in our GI system. It can either cause or aggravate IBS something fierce.

      Carageenan was never a part of the human food supply, until commercial non-dairy milk producers began adding it to those products, and now many people ingest it everyday, without knowing it, thinking that they are doing something healthy. For those who believe that drinking ‘breast’ milk from other mammals is unnatural, I would ask if ingesting carageenan every day, sometimes in large doses, is what they recommend.

      March 9th, 2015 12:55 pm Reply

Leave a Comment