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Organic Milk Buying Guide

by Rootstock Editor

Jan. 13, 2020

by Rootstock Editor

When it comes to organic milk, you have options galore—type of pasteurization, cream-on-top or not, low-sugar milk, high-protein milk, white vs. chocolate milk, grass-fed milk, numerous organic milk brands, and on and on… Which also means it can be hard to choose.

Well, we’re here to help you avoid milk decision fatigue!

Take a peek at our buying guide to learn more about what we offer and see which Organic Valley milk is the right choice for you and your family.

Across the Board

First, all USDA Certified Organic milks ensure no toxic pesticides, synthetic hormones, antibiotics or GMOs. These are simply not allowed in any certified organic food. Period.

But beyond the USDA Organic baseline, there are other values that matter quite a lot, and that’s where Organic Valley milks shine.

Here’s what we promise about all our organic milk, no matter the type, size or flavor:

  • Always organic. No conflicts of interest here—organic is all we do!
  • Happy, humanely raised cows. Our bovine friends get to spend plenty of time outside eating green pasture and socializing.
  • Quality tested every step from the farm to you. 57—yes, fifty-seven—quality checks ensure your milk arrives tasting fresh and is exactly what you expect.
  • Our farm families are paid a great price for their milk. Since Organic Valley is owned by farmers, they set a fair and stable pay price for their own milk, which allows them to plan for the future, give great care to their animals, protect the environment, and keep doing other great things on their farms.

With these qualities covered, check out the options below to find the best organic milk for you.

Organic Valley Milk displayed on a table.

Pasture-Raised White Milk

Organic Valley Pasture-Raised Milks are what put us on the map. The quality and taste are consistent coast-to-coast, and you can find them pretty much everywhere, from big box stores to small local food co-ops. These are your everyday go-to white milks.

They also give you plenty of options. Our pasture-raised milks come in whole, 2% reduced fat, 1% lowfat, and nonfat—and all of these are available in pasteurized and ultra-pasteurized too. (Pasteurization: What’s the difference?) There are gallons, half gallons, quarts, and even single-serving sizes perfect for quick-grabs and lunchboxes. It also comes in the most amazing 2% chocolate you’ll ever taste.

Perfect for…

  • First-time organic milk drinkers
  • Busy families who care about quality but also want to get in and out of the grocery store quickly
  • Everyone! It’s our go-to choice
Organic Valley Ultra Filtered, High Protein Milk.

Ultra-Filtered Milk

Thanks to ultra-filtration, Organic Valley Ultra™ has 50% more protein and half the sugar as regular white milk, and it’s lactose-free. There’s a reason we call it the milkiest milk in the history of milk. (How does ultra-filtration work?)

Thanks to this innovation, Ultra has 13 grams of protein and only 3 grams of naturally occurring sugar (compared to 8 grams protein and 11 grams sugar for regular whole milk). Plus, the ultra-filtration concentrates the calcium content too, increasing it from 20% to 30% DV!

Ultra comes in whole, 2% reduced fat, skim, and heavenly 2% chocolate. It’s also the only organic ultra-filtered milk out there right now. We love it because it’s even more goodness with the same smooth taste.

Perfect for…

  • Everyone! This is a milk that both kids and adults will love
  • Parents who want to sneak more protein and calcium into their kids’ diets while reducing sugar intake
  • Adults who love the idea of extra protein in their milk
  • Smoothie drinkers
  • Lactose intolerance
Organic Grass Fed Milk

Grassmilk®

All of our milks come from cows that eat a lot of pasture grass, but Organic Valley Grassmilk comes from cows that eat 100% grass and dried forages—no grains—just as nature intended. This high-pasture diet means Grassmilk has higher levels of some fatty acids, like omega-3 and CLA—more than 100% more of each, according to one study!

Grassmilk also has a slightly different flavor from our regular milks, thanks to the huge quantities of grass the cows eat. In summertime, when they’re outside eating more fresh, green pasture, Grassmilk can take on a very slight herbal flavor, and it can have a light golden hue. In the winter, when cows are eating more dried forages, Grassmilk often has a more classic taste and color. These seasonal variations may be very slight (some people don’t even notice them), but it’s one thing we love about our Grassmilk.

Perfect for…

  • People looking for 100% grass-fed milk
  • Those who want to get more omega-3 from food
  • If you like more complex flavors that come from grass-feeding
  • Those who care about animal welfare and holistic health
Fortified Organic Milk.

Fortified Milk

Organic Valley Fortified Milk is milk with more milk in it! How is that possible? In short, we add Organic Valley Nonfat Dry Milk Powder to our own organic milk. This boosts the protein to 10 grams for skim and 11 grams for 1%, and increases the calcium per serving from 25% to 30% DV for both. (Here’s more about Organic Valley Fortified Milk.)

Our fortified milk comes in ultra-pasteurized lowfat 1% and skim half-gallons. And as a bonus, the addition of dried milk to the fluid milk makes our fortified milk taste wonderfully creamy, almost like 2% or whole milk without the fat!

Perfect for…

  • People looking for more protein and calcium in their lowfat or fat free milk
  • Those who want the added nutrition from real milk, not from added vitamins
  • If you want lowfat and fat free milk with the creaminess of 2% or whole
Lactose Free Organic Milk.

Lactose-Free Milk

Organic Valley Lactose-free Milk is a staple for those with lactose intolerance. It’s made using the tried and true method of adding the lactase enzyme to convert lactose into simple, digestible sugars. We also test the milk to verify that it’s truly lactose-free. You get all the nutrition of real milk from organic, pasture-raised cows, without the belly trouble!

Our organic lactose-free milk is available just about everywhere in whole, 2% reduced fat, 1% lowfat, and skim half-gallons and quarts. Now you can enjoy milk again! (Cookies optional, but encouraged.)

Perfect for…

  • Lactose intolerance
  • Anyone who wants the nutrition and protein you get from real milk, which you can’t get from nut milks
Omega-3 Organic Milk.

Omega-3 Milk

Omega-3s are important raw materials for the human brain and body, and omega-3 milk contains both DHA and EPA, compared to other organic milk brands out there. So while buying Organic Valley Omega-3 Milk may not make you smarter on its own, adding it to your basket is a pretty good sign you’re one smart cookie.

Our omega-3 milk gets its beneficial fatty acid boost from both the high pasture diet of our cows and fish oil that has been refined to remove any fishy odor. It tastes and smells just like regular milk, so you (or your kids) won’t even realize you’re getting more DHA and EPA omega-3 in every glass.

Organic Valley Omega-3 Milk comes in ultra-pasteurized whole and 2% reduced fat half-gallons.

Perfect for…

  • Young developing children
  • Pregnant and nursing women
  • People looking for more omega-3 in their diet
Organic High Protein Chocolate Milk and Organic Chocolate Milk.

Chocolate Milk

We may be biased, but we think our chocolate milk is the best in the world! Who wouldn’t love the highest quality milk expertly blended with fair trade sugar and rich chocolate?

Organic Valley Chocolate Milk comes in a number of options. Our rich and creamy 2% chocolate milk comes in half-gallons, quarts, and even shelf-stable single-serve packages for kids’ lunch boxes or after school/pre-practice snacks. Chocolate Ultra™ is a fantastic way to sneak in a protein boost with less sugar—great for an adult’s afternoon treat, but especially ideal for picky kids who need organic milk nutrition but won’t drink white milk.

Perfect for…

  • Chocolate lovers!
  • Picky eaters who still want nutrition from organic milk
  • A wholesome sweet snack
Organic Protein Drink, Fuel.

Fuel® Organic Protein Shakes

Although Organic Valley Fuel isn’t technically milk—it’s a protein shake made from milk—we’re including it here because it’s an excellent option for busy and active adults. Fuel has 20 grams of protein, making it a great all-purpose high-protein beverage, whether you’re herding kids to school or practice, rushing off to work, or finishing a killer workout. In addition to protein, it has 40% DV of calcium and 20% DV of vitamin D, and it’s made with fair trade ingredients.

Fuel comes in convenient 11-ounce, single-serving containers that are shelf-stable and don’t require refrigeration, making them even easier to toss in a bag on the go. It’s USDA Organic and comes in chocolate, vanilla and coffee flavors. The coffee version includes 86 mg of caffeine, a little less than a cup of black coffee.

Perfect for…

  • Everyday-active adults
  • On-the-go moms and dads
  • Mid-morning or afternoon pick-me-ups
  • Post-workout recovery