First things first: there’s absolutely nothing wrong with purchasing and using organic milk brands that aren’t from your neck of the woods! In order to achieve the organic label, all organic dairies must abide by the regulations set forth by the USDA, which includes not treating the animals with rBST or reproductive hormones and ensuring they get at least 30% of their diet from organic grass pastures. That means they must be out on pasture or given dried organic pasture grass at least 120 days per year, while the rest of their diet can be supplemented by organic grains like corn, oats, or barley. Many dairies, including Humboldt Creamery, choose to give their cows even more time on pasture than the 120 day per year minimum.
So, why choose local organic milk brands? What’s the difference?
There are a few reasons to go local. First and foremost, it’s always a good idea to know exactly where your food comes from. Local farms are accessible, and when you live in the same general area, you have a very good idea about the weather and living conditions that the animals are exposed to.
Knowing where your milk comes from brings us to our next point: you have a better idea of whether your local dairy conglomerate is meeting the bare minimum requirements or whether they go above and beyond. Due to the temperate climate of Humboldt County, our cows get to spend plenty of time outdoors when other organic dairy cows have to stay inside because it’s too cold or dangerous for them to be out. This gives our cows even more time to graze on nutrient-rich grass, which improves the richness and flavor of their milk.
Yet another reason to go local is simple economics. Supporting local businesses is not only good for those businesses, it’s good for the communities around them. Smaller local businesses are able to give more individualized attention to their products and services — something you can’t always find in a larger corporation.
Humboldt Creamery is an excellent organic milk brand to choose if you live in California, as well as a strong choice if you live outside the area. Our cows get to enjoy the California weather all year round, and we think that makes a difference.