I was told by some dear friends that Horizon Organic has been lobbying Congress to reduce the organic practice standard laws in the U.S. Naturally, I was very interested in this information and set out to investigate it personally. It wasn't difficult information to uncover and after a few emails to reputable business persons within the dairy industry, it was confirmed as absolute truth. History: Horizon Organic was bought out by a corporate giant Dean Foods in 2004, and has been spending $$$ to lobby Congress to LOWER organic standards in dairy farms across America. To top it off, Horizon trucks their cows to pasture to meet the pasture time required by law, and then trucks them back to their stalls They don't own any cow farms, they own milk production farms. Dean Food's primary objection is milk production, and allowing cows to graze is an interference. They don't care about the animals or about the quality of the product, they care about the profit they can turn.
Let your voice be heard at your local supermarkets. Tell the store managers that you aren't satisfied with Horizon Organic Dairy products and request a specific brand of organic products to be carried in-store. DO NOT buy Horizon Organic products; opt for other organic brands. It is highly probable that your grocery store's label brand of "organic" comes from some of the same dairies as Horizon's milk, so be cautious. Buying organic is expensive, but as a consumer, I want to make sure that when I am paying that primo price, the product I am getting is truly organic. The brand that I personally trust and am commited to is Organic Valley. They are family-owned and full of integrity. They are based in Wisconsin but partner with high-quality like-minded farms across America to provide the consumers with not only organic products, but LOCAL & ORGANIC products. That is awesome! I know that the Organic Valley products I purchase in Colorado Springs grocery stores are made with milk from an organic dairy farm 50 minutes away in Calhan, CO. That is the kind of organic practice I am proud to support.
What all does Dean Foods own? I'm so glad you asked! If possible, avoid these brands:
Horizon Organic (they also own Berkeley Farms & Garelick Farms if those are familiar to you)
Rachel's Organic/ Rachel's Yogurt (this brand is mostly launched in the UK)
International Delight Coffee Creamers (I can hear the cries now, but trust me, these creamers are HORRIBLE for you!)
Land O' Lakes
They are marketed and sold under more than 50 regional and national labels in grocery stores; including Meadow Gold, Borden, Pet, Nature's Pride, Dean's, Country Fresh, Melody Farms, Broughton, Dairy Fresh, and the list goes on.
For the Non-Organic Reader:
To get an idea of what goes on in a normal, non-organic dairy, watch this video; click here. Warning, it is graphic and I would not recommend eating while watching. We all consume milk in many forms (cheese, yogurt, ice cream, packaged foods, snack foods, cheese powders in mac n' cheese, etc); take a few minutes to watch and understand what some dairies across America are engaging in as "normal" dairy farming. This is just a little urge from me to you, to encourage you to start purchasing organic dairy products, for the safety and health of your family. Actually, it is a gift from me to you. This is your health. It is a big deal, and you have to take control of it for yourself and your family. Consider it an investment in your health, which means less Dr visits and illnesses in the long run. Prevention is key.
Dean Foods, Nasty Corporate Giant beating monopolizing small dairy farms; read here
Learn the dairy brands Dean Foods sells under across America; click here
Chicago Tribune Exposes Dean Foods; read here
Organic Valley's Website; click here
Sign petitions to support the Organic Consumers Association; sign here
I personally like the first one, which is pushing for Whole Foods to sell organic products, no more "natural" products