I think of myself as a sensible non-extremist. I don’t dress or wear my hair as a latter day hippie. A part of what I like about gardening and cooking is saving money. I don’t like to pay extra. But my purchase of organic milk would cause some to classify me among the tree-huggers. Why have I started paying extra for organic milk? Why has a man over 50 made a change?
It’s about chemical dependency, health, hidden costs, and a ripple effect. Chemical dependency is best avoided not just for personal health, but for a healthy world. Modern agriculture is chemically dependent. Exposure to agriculture chemicals is linked to shorter life expectancy. I’ve gardened without chemicals for decades. But most food I purchased has not been organic.
Price matters. Last week, I could get conventional milk for $4.00 a gallon or organic milk for $9.00. I use more than a gallon a week and make my own kefir with most of it. But behind the dollar costs are other costs. Organic milk comes from cows that consume food from organic fields. Conventional growers use chemicals like neonicotinoids which kill bees. So cheaper milk has other costs. Organic milk creates demand for more fields free of chemicals. Our purchases create ripple effects and I’ve decided to send more positive ripples with my purchases.
Recent health research provides another reason to choose organic milk. Omega 3 levels of organic milk are higher than conventional. So it all points to a time to follow Granddad’s advice: “Sometimes you’ve got to pay a nickel more and go first class”