March 24, 2015

Canadian Milk?

I've heard lots of things about milk. And lots of it, I think, is probably true- but is it true in Canada?

Bovine Growth Hormone: Bovine growth hormone increases milk production. It is used in the US on dairy cows, but is illegal for use on cows in Canada.

Antibiotics and Steroids: In Canada, antibiotics and steroids are prescribed by veterinarians for medicinal purposes for dairy cows. However, for the duration of treatment, milk from these cows must be dumped and there is a withdrawal period before which the milk may again be put into production.

When we first became aware of the concerns with milk, we started buying organic. It's very expensive! (Almost $10 for 4 litres verses about $5 for 4 litres for regular milk.) Then we learned the above about Canadian milk and switched back to buying regular milk since Canadian milk is so protected. However, recently I learned that just because you buy milk in Canada does not mean it is Canadian milk! You have to look for the 100% Canadian Milk logo.

We couldn't find any milk in our stores with the 100% Canadian Milk logo. My husband did buy some cheese with the logo. It was $4.19 for 0.15 kg. That's $12.66 per pound in cheese. Cheese is generally expensive here but that's just ridiculous! It's not even organic!

There are a couple of other concerns with regular milk:

Grass-fed vs. Corn: I would be surprised if there was any corn that was not genetically modified (GM) besides organic corn (organic food cannot come from GM seed). So if cows are being fed corn, it is likely GM corn. We were able to order beef from a farm that sells grass-fed beef, but to ensure that you get milk that was not fed GM corn or GM alfalfa, you'd have to buy organic.

Pasteurization: It is illegal to sell unpasteurized milk in Canada. But you are free to drink milk however you like from your own cow. 

Since I am not able to have my own cow, I have to settle for what I can buy in the store. It has to be pasteurized. Maybe I should be thankful that I can't get Canadian milk here because I would probably settle for drinking milk that came from GM corn fed cows just because it's so expensive to buy organic. But now I have to buy either organic or alternate milk because I don't feel that milk is healthy otherwise.

We'll probably be cutting back a bit on our milk intake since it is so expensive, but what we need milk for, it'll be almond milk or organic.

Disclaimer: I'm just a mom who is trying to do research on these things myself. This is just what I've come up with from my own research. I'm not an expert by any means. :)

Comment below if you have anything you can add.

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