Milk that is labeled “USDA Organic” or “Certified Organic” has been certified as “organic” by the US Department of Agriculture, and is the best kind of milk to buy for the planet. Organic dairy farms are prohibited from over-use of chemical antibiotics and growth hormones on their animals, or from using feed grown with synthetic pesticides. Organic farms are also required to treat their animals more humanely than industrial factory farms. That said, not all certified organic farms are equal, as there are loopholes in organic regulations and some farmers do a better job actually raising cows in a sustainable manner than others. In general, smaller, family-run operations are more likely to be sustainable and to treat their animals well than are larger dairies, even if they are certified. At the very least, though, looking for some kind of USDA Organic label will ensure that the milk you are buying is more sustainable than factory farm milk.
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