Friday, June 20, 2008

Milk Shopping

My son just turned 1 which means the pediatrician has given us the green light to shift to feeding him cow's milk. Milk is a challenging decision to make as a consumer. At the grocery store there are many options. The store brand milk is the least expensive. Then there is milk from Hood. There is Garelick Farms milk and Stonyfield Farms milk. Then there are Horizon Organic milk and the Organic Cow. This is just a sample of the choices. There are many more. Which should I choose for the little man?

I know I want milk free of artificial growth hormones for my son so that eliminates the store brands. Hood, Garelick, and the organic farms now use hormone free cows. Then there is the decision about buying organic. Here is where the milk industry can be misleading. For example, Horizon milk may be organic but many have criticized the company for running factory farms. I've decided I would rather buy milk from happy farms over organic milk from a factory farm.

I ran to Pemberton Farms this morning in Cambridge and they had Highlawn Farm milk. The manager of the store said it was great because it was creamier, had more protein, and calcium than milk from Holstein cows. I bought the milk over the Hood option because I knew it would support a local farm. I went to farm web page when I got home and the farm seems to be a nice place and they welcome organized visits from groups of children. Factor farms certainly do not open up to groups of children.

Dining Services at Lasell uses Garelick Farms. Garelick has made efforts on their web page to promote the farms that produce the milk they sell. The video clips are well produced and the farms animals appear to be treated well. Garelick is a large operation so I'm sure this is just a small sample of the farms that supply their milk. At first glance, Garelick appears to be conscious of the importance of local farms and of treating animals well. This seems to be a good decision for Lasell but my research on the company is limited.

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