We get through a lot of milk in this house – mainly cereal and cups of coffee and occasionally the kids will choose to drink it over squash, knowing that the extra calcium is good for their bones. In the past I guess I haven’t thought too much about the milk we buy – milk is milk right? But more recently I’ve become aware of the need to consider just where the milk comes from. I know this is a subject many people feel really passionate about and there has been some fairly strong campaigning about dairy farming of late.
Regular readers will know that Amy has a bit of a thing for cows and particularly loves to watch them be milked at our favourite farm (in fact we’re going there tomorrow to do just that!). As such I think she has a pretty good grasp on where her milk comes from.
For years we’ve religiously bought free range eggs, but it has never occurred to me to think about the life of the cows who provide our milk until recently. The cows which produce Arla Organic milk are free range, meaning they are grazed outside whenever possible. They are only brought indoors when it would be detrimental to their welfare to be outside, for instance, if weather conditions are poor. Arla don’t specify a set number of grazing days, rather they focus on ensuring animals spend as much time outside as possible meaning that on average their organic cows are outdoors for over 200 days of the year. It stands to reason that cows grazing the fields are going to be happier than ones stuck in sheds for the majority of their lives.
It is possible for milk to be free range without being organic as free range only relates to the ‘grazing’ requirements, to the need for the cows to be free to graze in the fields as much as possible – whereas organically produced milk must adhere to additional standards relating to animal welfare, caring for wildlife, sustainability and production quality. Buying Arla Organic Free Range milk means you’re buying milk produced by cows who have grazed outdoors on grass and clover with no weed killers or artificial fertilizers. As well as being better for the cows and better for you, it’s also better for wider wildlife (including our precious bees).
Aside from being an all round better choice – both for my family and the cows – Arla Organic Free Range milk tastes delicious and will be a regular feature on our breakfast table from now on!
I’m going to be co-hosting a twitter party on Wednesday 19th July at 8pm and I’d love you to join us chatting about family food and Arla Organic Free range milk. Don’t forget to follow @ArlaDairy and use the hashtag #ArlaOrganicFreeRange
Cows which produce Arla Organic milk are outdoors for at least 200 days per year. (Based on a survey of 84 of 87 Arla organic UK farms, May 2017 and Kingshay independent study, [Month] 2015 for OMSCo, based on 85 organic UK herds)