The 10 Best Organic Dairy Milk

Best organic milk

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Did you know that up to 15% of all dairy products in the U.S. are organic? Many consumers prefer organic milk and other dairy products as it has more nutrients and is free from toxins. Although the best organic milk has the same levels of essential minerals as regular milk, organic offers more benefits to you and the environment. 

Whether you take plant-based or animal-based organic milk, you can avoid growth hormones, pesticides, and antibiotics residue in milk. Here is all you need to know about organic milk. 

How is Organic Milk Different from Regular Milk?

Organic milk offers several advantages over regular milk as follows:

  • Organic milk comes from cows left to graze in open pastures. These cows produce milk with a higher concentration of nutrients. According to studies, milk contains more iron, vitamin E, omega 3, and omega 6. (Amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 are small so we recommend using specific supplements).
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture lays out strict regulations on organic milk production. USDA prohibits antibiotics and inorganic farm products, such as pesticides. If a farmer uses antibiotics to treat a cow, the USDA requires that they sell off the cow to a non-organic farm. Antibiotics, such as beta-lactams, are present in milk once administered to cows.
  • Conventional dairy farms use antibiotics, mainly in the treatment of mastitis. These antibiotics and other drugs are present in milk as residue.
  • Alternative therapies used in treating cows in organic farms do not affect milk’s nutritional profile or leave toxic residue. These methods include vitamin supplements, botanicals, and homeopathic therapy. 
  • Organic milk has a longer shelf life compared to regular milk. You can keep it for up to 60 days unopened. Also, you can leave regular milk only for 17 days after ultra-heat treatment.
  • Studies show that organic milk production involves applying sustainable farming practices. These practices enhance the quality of the soil and ensure there is no loss of nutrients. 

Animal-based milk is common on the market, but you can still go for plant-based organic milk.

Shopping for Plant-Based Organic Milk: Things to Avoid 

  • Thickening Agents: These agents make the milk thick, but they can cause nutritional and gastrointestinal problems. For instance, cereal rice can cause constipation, according to research. Again, the rice cereal also increases the carb quantity in milk, making it less protein-based. To avoid other common thickeners, include xanthan gum, gellan gum, carrageenan, locust bean gum, and guar gum.
  • Artificial Sweeteners: These sweeteners are sugar substitutes for people who need to control weight. However, there are concerns that these sweeteners might cause cancer. On the other hand, natural sweeteners can cause obesity and related health complications. To be safe, choose non-sweetened milk. 
  • Glyphosate: This is one of the most common herbicides. It is a constituent of products, such as PondMaster, Rodeo, and Roundup. According to WebMD, exposure to glyphosate can cause cancer, damage the liver and kidney, and cause reproductive development and health issues. The USDA prohibits the use of glyphosate in organic farms. 
  • GMO: Corn and soybeans are almost always available as genetically modified versions. Safe milk should contain a non-GMO label to show that it is secure. According to research, GMO foods have toxic effects on your reproductive system, kidney, liver, and pancreas. They can also alter your immune health, blood, and other aspects of your health. 
  • Pesticides and Herbicides: The USDA restricts the use of common herbicides and pesticides in organic farms. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, some pesticides are carcinogens while others can alter your body’s hormonal system. Sustainably farmed plants are free of these chemicals, making them safe for you and the environment. 

Benefits of Best Organic Milk

  • Get More Omega 3 Fatty Acids: The body needs Omega-3 fatty acids for immunity. It can help slow down the development of cancer, cardiac disease, and several other conditions. Taking organic milk offers you more Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. 
  • More Linoleic Acid: When supplied in the right amount, conjugated linoleic acid helps the body fight disease and promotes better metabolism and muscle growth. It also helps the body fight cholesterol, thereby reducing the risks of developing obesity. When you take organic milk, you get 500% more conjugated linoleic acid compared to regular milk. 
  • No Toxic Chemicals: The USDA requires that organic farmers not use pesticides, herbicides, inorganic fertilizers, GM feed, hormones, urea, and antibiotics. Further, USDA requires that the cows graze in open fields to be ‘happy.’ 
  • Safe for the Environment: The chemicals used in producing regular milk, such as pesticides and herbicides, are also harmful to some plants, microbes, and the soil. Stopping the use of these chemicals through organic farming practices helps save the environment. 
  • Get Antioxidants: Organic milk provides you with more zeaxanthin and lutein, two antioxidants that promote your eye health and help fight free radicals in the body. 

Factors to Consider When Shopping for Natural Milk

  • USDA Certification: Organic milk should have a label showing approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Some milk brands may have other labels, such as a bunny label indicating that it is cruelty-free or a kosher-certified label. The USDA certification label guarantees that milk farmers follow organic farming practices. 
  • Nutritional Profile: The nutritional profile of whole organic milk should be the same across the board. However, the nutritional profile is never the same due to ultra-pasteurization, ultra-filtration, and fortification. Check the list of ingredients and the nutritional facts to know what the milk contains. 
  • Additives: To make the milk thicker, sweeter, and give it a better flavor, some manufacturers may include additives. Some, such as natural sweeteners, can be safe but can increase your risks of developing obesity in the long run. Opt for natural milk without any additives. 
  • Pasteurized or not Pasteurized: Ultra-pasteurization improves the shelf life of milk to have it for a couple of months. Shelf-stable milk does not even need refrigeration after pasteurization. Unpasteurized milk still has the hormones and vitamins available in natural milk. However, you will need to use it fast as it goes bad fast. 
  • Packaging: Some brands offer organic milk in single-serve packages ideal for children’s lunchboxes, snacking, and on-the-go use. For families, you can take the large gallon or more packages. Further, some brands offer recyclable packages that are safe for the environment. 
  • Powder vs. Liquid: Powdered milk is ideal when you need long-lasting milk. However, the milk adds an extra step in preparation. Liquid milk is ready to use, but it has a relatively shorter shelf life. The form does not affect the nutritional profile of the milk. 

Plant vs. Animal Organic Milk: Which is Better?

  • Animal milk comes from cows, goats, and sheep. It is rich in calcium, proteins, minerals, and water. On the other hand, plant milk is a beverage made from plants. Plant milk manufacturers fortify their milk with calcium and vitamins to give it the same nutritional profile as animal milk.
  • Animal milk contains a high calcium concentration, ideal for your bones, teeth, and overall body health. It is also a rich source of vitamins A, B2, B12, and proteins, among other nutrients. Goats and sheep milk contain fewer proteins but are excellent sources of vitamins and calcium.
  • Although animal milk has a rich nutritional profile, people with indigestion problems, diabetes, or lactose intolerance will not benefit. This is where the plant milk alternative comes in. However, such people can go for low-fat or lactose-free animal milk.
  • Plant milk comes from soy, almond, rice, or cocoa. It is advisable to avoid soy milk as soybeans are almost always GMO-based. If you have lactose intolerance, you should go for plant milk as it is also rich in vitamins and minerals. The milk is easy to digest, making it ideal for people with digestive issues.
  • If you find organic soy milk, it will be rich in proteins, vitamins A, D, and B12, and minerals. Also, soy milk has many proteins as cow’s milk. However, milk is not ideal for babies. You can feed babies rice or almond milk.

Best Organic Milk on the Market Today

You can go for cow or goat milk or pick organic plant-based milk. The milk is available in liquid and powder form, whichever you prefer. Here are our top picks. 

#1. Horizon Organic Low-Fat Milk

Horizon Organic Low-Fat Milk
Editor’s Rating: 4.9
Product SKU: B00VTR114C
Product Brand: Horizon Organic
Product Price: 24.99 Product Currency: $
Price Valid Until: 2022-12-31
Product In-Stock: InStock
  • The milk is available in single-serve vanilla boxes that make it easy to pack in your lunch box for snacking.
  • It contains DHA omega-3 and proteins to support your brain, heart, and eye health. You get 30% calcium, 8g protein, and enough vitamin D in each serving.
  • There is a lactose-free version of organic milk for lactose-intolerant people.
  • The milk bears a USDA certification badge. This certifies that it is free from antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides, hormones, and other toxic chemicals.
  • It is non-GMO as the cows graze in open fields where farmers do not use chemicals.
  • Other ingredients available in the milk include DHA algal oil, natural flavor, ascorbic acid, vitamin E, vitamin D3, and vitamin A palmitate.
  • Features:
    • Non-GMO
    • Single-serve packaging
    • USD certified
    Pros
    • Available in chocolate flavor 
    • Rich in nutrients 
    • Packaging ideal for snacking 
    • Sweet taste
    Cons
    • It contains a bit of natural thickener

    #2. Organic Valley Organic Whole Milk

     Organic Valley Organic Whole Milk
    Editor’s Rating: 4.9
  • The milk comes ultra-pasteurized for longer shelf life. This means that it is free from microbes, and you can drink it right after processing for a healthy drink. 
  • It contains more vitamin D than regular milk. It is creamy and delicious and comes from happy cows grazing free in open fields. 
  • Each serving provides you with 8 grams of proteins to boost the development of babies. 
  • Each bottle comes with USDA organic certification to guarantee free from GMOs, synthetic hormones, antibiotics, and any toxic chemicals.
  • The milk is free from sweeteners and flavors, and it has the natural creamy taste of milk from cows. It only contains organic grade A milk from cows and vitamin D3.
  • Features:
    • Ultra-pasteurized 
    • From pasture-raised cows 
    • Free of sweeteners and flavors
    Pros
    • Free of microbes 
    • Longer shelf life 
    • The natural taste of milk 
    • Thick enough 
    Cons
    • No single-serving packaging is available.

    #3. Prescribed for Life Organic Dry Milk Powder

    Prescribed for Life Organic Dry Milk Powder
    Editor’s Rating: 4,8
  • The milk is available in different packages, ideal for different snacking and home-use needs. 
  • It bears USDA certification badge as a guarantee that it is free from hormones, gluten, GMOs, pesticides, and any other chemicals,
  • The grade A whole milk is safe for babies and pregnant and nursing mothers. It provides calcium and lots of essential amino acids. 
  • It is easy to mix with – add a cup of milk powder into four cups of water. You can use a blender for even mixing. 
  • This milk powder comes in handy for baking recipes as it gives your baked food flavor and tenderness. 
  • It has a longer shelf life compared to milk in liquid form. 
  • Features:
    • Powder form 
    • Available in different packages 
    • USDA certified organic 
    Pros
    • Great taste
    • Easy to mix 
    • Long shelf life 
    • Ideal for baking 
    Cons
    • Relatively pricey

    #4. 365 by Whole Foods Market Organic Whole Milk

    365 by Whole Foods Market Organic Whole Milk
    Editor’s Rating: 4,8
  • 365 by Whole Foods Market is one of the top organic foods brands, and their grade A organic whole milk is high quality. 
  • The whole milk bears USDA organic certification. This shows it is free from gluten, antibiotics, pesticides, and herbicides and is non-GMO. 
  • It comes from happy cows that graze in open fields, making it animal-cruelty free. 
  • Milk is a rich source of calcium, vitamin D, potassium, vitamin A, and proteins. Further, the manufacturer fortifies it with several vitamins and minerals. 
  • The manufacturer does not use ultra-pasteurization to retain each carton’s flavor and nutritional profile. 
  • Features 
  • Features:
    • USDA certified organic 
    • Rich in vitamins and minerals
    • Grade A whole milk 
    Pros
    • The natural flavor of milk 
    • Fortified with minerals and vitamins 
    • Hygienic processing and packaging
    • Available in different package sizes 
    Cons
    • Relatively shorter shelf life 

    #5. Horizon Organic Store Whole Milk

    Horizon Organic Store Whole Milk
    Editor’s Rating: 4,5
  • The milk is creamy and tasty with the natural flavor of milk.
  • It contains 32 mg of DHA omega-3 per serving to promote your brain, eye, and heart health. 
  • Each package is USDA-certified organic and comes from happy pasture-raised cows. The milk comes from farms that do not use antibiotics, artificial hormones, pesticides, and herbicides and are non-GMO. 
  • The milk is rich in calcium, vitamin A, proteins, vitamin D, and calories. 
  • Horizon Organic uses ultra-pasteurization treatment to give the milk a longer shelf life and make it free of microbes for safe drinking right off the package. 
  • DHA algal oil enriches organic milk, making it better for your health. 
  • It is free from artificial or natural sweeteners and flavors. 
  • Features:
    • USDA certified organic 
    • Ultra-pasteurized 
    • Liquid form 
    Pros
    • Sourced from pasture-raised cows 
    • Delicious taste 
    • Long shelf life
    • Non-GMO
    Cons
    • It contains additives that may alter its natural taste

    #6. Maple Hill Creamery Grass-Fed Organic Whole Milk

    Maple Hill Creamery Grass-Fed Organic Whole Milk
    Editor’s Rating: 4,3
  • This milk is 100% natural without any additives or fortification. It is free of flavors and sweeteners to retain the creamy taste of raw milk. 
  • Each pack comes with USDA certification, guaranteeing that it contains no antibiotics, artificial hormones, or additives. It retains a natural nutritional profile. 
  • Maple Hill Creamery works with farmers to ensure every gallon of milk is 100% natural and safe for you and your family.  
  • The milk is grade A whole milk, kosher certified, and gluten-free. 
  • It comes from pasture-raised, grass-fed cows that live happily in the fields. Each box is cruelty-free and safe for the environment. 
  • Features:
    • Gluten-free
    • Non-GMO
    • USDA certified organic 
    • Free of any additives 
    Pros
    • Kosher certified 
    • Long shelf life
    • Safe to drink out of the package 
    • It contains no additives for natural taste
    Cons
    • Ultra-pasteurization destroys some nutrients 

    #7. Stonyfield Organic Whole Milk

    Stonyfield Organic Whole Milk
    Editor’s Rating: 4
  • Stoneyfield uses ultra-pasteurization to treat their milk, making it last longer on the shelves. 
  • The milk comes from pasture-raised grass-fed cows in a field that follows the strict regulations set by the USDA. 
  • Each package is free from antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides, GMOs, and any chemicals affecting your health. 
  • It is rich in vitamin A and D, giving you the extra nutrients. 
  • The milk is free of any additives, such as sweeteners and flavors, which means it retains a natural nutritional profile and retains the natural creamy taste of milk. 
  • You can enjoy the milk right from the package. 
  • Features 
  • Features:
    • USDA certified organic 
    • Free of additives 
    • Gluten-free
    Pros
    • Grade A whole milk 
    • Natural creamy taste 
    • It comes from pasture-raised cows 
    • Rich in vitamin A and C
    Cons
    • Ultra-pasteurization destroys enzymes in milk

    #8. Organic Valley Ultra-Filtered Organic Whole Milk

    Organic Valley Ultra-Filtered Organic Whole Milk
    Editor’s Rating: 4
  • The milk is ultra-filtered to make it safe for drinking right off the package. It still contains a high protein content even after filtration. 
  • It is lactose-free, making it safe for lactose-intolerant people. Removal of lactose increases the protein content of the milk. 
  • It has the same rich and creamy taste as milk with lactose. You can add it to your food or take it right off the carton. 
  • The high protein content makes it ideal for smoothies and several other recipes. 
  • Each pack bears USDA certification, showing that it is free from antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides, artificial hormones, and any toxic chemicals that can affect your health. 
  • Features:
    • USDA certified organic 
    • Lactose free 
    • Ultra-filtered 
    Pros
    • Ultra-filtered for safety 
    • Safe for lactose-intolerant people 
    • It contains a high-protein content 
    • Natural creamy taste
    Cons
    • Relatively thin profile 

    #9. Organic Valley Healthy Organic Whole Milk Boxes

    Organic Valley Healthy Organic Whole Milk Boxes
    Editor’s Rating: 4
  • These boxes are shelf-stable, giving you a long shelf life to use them for a long time. 
  • It is rich in natural CLA and Omega-3, which improve your heart, eye, and brain health. The milk is safe for babies and pregnant and lactating women. 
  • Each package comes from pasture-raised grass-fed cows on open fields. It is cruelty-free and safe for the environment. 
  • It has a USDA certification label to guarantee free from antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides, and any harmful chemicals.
  • You can add it to any recipe or drink it right from the box. Ultra-pasteurization and filtration make the milk safe for all. 
  • There are single-serve packages available for kids’ snacking. They can have these in their lunchboxes or drink them on the go. 
  • Features:
    • Single-serve packaging 
    • USDA certified organic 
    • UHT whole milk 
    Pros
    • Grade A milk 
    • Filtered and ultra-heat treated for safety
    • Rich nutrient profile 
    • Free of any additives 
    Cons
    • Relatively thin

    #10. Maple Hill Shelf Stable Organic Whole Milk

    Maple Hill Shelf Stable Organic Whole Milk
    Editor’s Rating: $16.99
  • You do not need to refrigerate the milk as it is shelf-stable. You can use it for a long time, so buying several boxes will not waste. 
  • The milk comes from organic farms where cows feed on the grass in open fields.
  • Maple Hill sustainably packages its milk. There is no straw, and users can recycle the packaging boxes.
  • Maple Hill allows its cows to graze free in open fields every day of the year. The cows feed exclusively on grass. These are happy cows, making the milk cruelty-free.
  • The use of regenerative agriculture makes milk safe for the environment.
  • The USDA certification shows that the milk is safe for human consumption as it contains no antibiotics, no pesticides, herbicides, hormones, and anything else that can harm your health.
  • Features:
    • 100% organic  
    • Shelf-stable 
    • Non-GMO
    Pros
    • Longer shelf life 
    • Safe for instant use 
    • Safe for the environment 
    • Ideal for all milk recipes 
    Cons
    • Relatively pricey 

    Conclusion 

    The nutritional profile of milk as listed on the package should guide you on which brand to buy. Avoid milk with harmful additives and instead, go for 100% natural milk. This milk will have a rich, creamy taste and offer you all the nutrients you need. You can try using milk together with meal replacement powder.

    Our top choice is the Horizon Organic Low-Fat Milk. It offers you all the nutrients you need without adding unnecessary fat to your diet. It is available in different natural flavors, making it ready to drink out of the box. In addition, it fits the complete USDA organic milk profile.

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