Why Organic Grass-Fed Dairy Is Good (and Good For You!)

by Rootstock Editor

Feb. 13, 2019

by Rootstock Editor

All of the Organic Valley milk, butter, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products you love are produced from grass-fed cows who spend as much time as possible on pasture, eating grass and doing the things cows like to do. All that extra care and work translates into award-winning, delicious, nutritious milk. Read on to find out more about what makes organic pasture-raised milk and Grassmilk® the best dairy for you and your family.

Two cartons of Organic Valley milk on a table in a field of grass.

Organic Valley Pasture-Raised Milk—Made by Grass-Fed Cows

Our organic pasture-raised milk meets or exceeds USDA Organic standards for time on pasture and for the amount of their diet that comes from grass (fresh or dried). Our farmers maximize their use of pasture, which means that, barring illness, excessive heat or bad weather, every one of our cows spends as much time as possible out in the fields, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine, and eating grass. 

A 2013 peer-reviewed study published in the scientific journal PLOS One concluded that pasture-raised milk has: 

  • 62% higher omega-3 than non-organic milk.
  • 18% higher conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than non-organic milk.

The cows that produce our pasture-raised milk are grass-fed by the definition that the majority of their diet comes from fresh or dried grass, but they are not 100% grass-fed. 

The Certified Grass-Fed Organic milk produced by our 100% grass-fed cows is Grassmilk®.

Two cartons of Organic Valley Grassmilk on an outdoor table.

Grassmilk — Made by 100% Grass-Fed Cows

In addition to being pasture-raised and meeting or exceeding all USDA Organic standards, our Grassmilk dairy comes from 100% grass-fed cows, meaning their diet comes from a diverse blend of grasses, forbs, herbs and broadleaf pasture plants. No grains. Our Grassmilk farms also participate in the third-party verified Certified Grass-Fed Organic Livestock Program, which checks that farms truly are grass-fed. (Here's more about the Certified Grass-Fed Organic Dairy seal.

Because our Grassmilk cows are fed exclusively grass and approved supplements, like molasses, the milk has a creamy texture and a distinctive flavor that many people find sweeter and richer than in other milks. The milk may also have a slightly different color depending on the time of year and what forages the cows are eating.

A 2018 peer-reviewed study published in the Journal of Food Science and Nutrition compared Organic Valley Grassmilk® 100% grass-fed dairy and conventional milk from grain-fed cows and found that Grassmilk dairy has a distinctly different nutritional profile. Researchers found: 

  • 147 percent more omega-3 than conventional whole milk.
  • 125 percent more CLA than conventional whole milk.

Influential to this research was the work of Dr. Artemis Simopolous, a pioneering researcher of omega fatty acids in the human diet, and their long-term health benefits and impacts.  

In short: More grass in the cows’ diet equals more beneficial fatty acids in the milk we drink!

Grass-fed, Organic Valley Grassmilk milk and cheese displayed on a table.

More flavor in Grassmilk means more flavor in Grassmilk cheese too!

Fluid Grassmilk has a full and buttery consistency thanks to the herbs and summer grasses in our 100% grass-fed cows’ diets, and you can taste the flavor even more in our Grassmilk cheeses!

It’s simple: When our cows eat well, you do too!