Your Organic Milk Might Not Actually Be Organic

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Bad news, milk drinkers!

The Washington Post is reporting that milk that's been given the organic label might not actually be organic because of the "unorthodox inspection system" used by the USDA.

According to the news outlet, in order for milk to have an "organic" label, cows must graze daily throughout their growing season, whihc means no pens or feed lots.

However, the USDA allows farmers to hire their own inspectors from an approved list. Although those in the organic dairy industry insist regulation is strict, the reporter found that actual open grazing wasn't as widespread as consumers think.

During a visit to Aurora Organic Dairy — which supplies organic milk to superstores like Costco and Walmart — only about 10 percent of cows were grazing at any time.

An Aurora spokesperson said the observations were "flukes" and insisted cows are out to pasture day and night.

The paper also noted that inspections occur in November, well past general grazing season, which is a breach of USDA rules.

MORE: Student Accused of Stealing 65-Cent Milk at School to Stand Trial

"About half of the organic milk sold in the U.S. is coming from very large factory farms that have no intention of living up to organic principles," said Mark Kastel, cofounder of a nonprofit that represents organic farmers.

"Thousands of small organic farmers across the United States depend on the USDA organic system working. Unfortunately, right now, it's not working for small farmers or for consumers," he added.

Considering that consumers pay almost double for organic milk, it's unfortunate that many consumers still aren't sure what "organic" really entails and what they're paying for.

[H/T Twitter / @businessinsider]


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Olivia Rowe |

Olivia hails from small town Pennsylvania and is appropriately obsessed with summer thunderstorms and wintry Christmases. She is fluent in sarcasm and television dialogue and can often be heard singing the praises of her lady heroes, Taylor Swift and Mariska Hargitay.