Most of those that follow me on Instagram, know how much I love Organic Meadow dairy products. I recommend them to everyone I know simply because the quality of these products are absolutely amazing! In today’s post, I am going to share a little bit about why I choose Organic Meadow for my family and some of our favourite products.
Organic Meadow is a 25-year old company which pioneered the organic dairy movement in Canada. 55 different organic dairy farms, who all value animal welfare and eco-friendly practices, contribute milk to the Organic Meadow brand. In compliance with organic certification standards, the cows are kept healthy by minimizing stress and allowing them to express natural behaviours such as grazing in pastures.
The entire line of products are certified organic, which means that they are always free of GMOs (genetically modified organisms). This means that the ingredients in Organic Meadow products and the food that is fed to the cows are not grown from genetically modified seeds or produced with GMO products. Canadian law prohibits the use of hormones in their dairy products, however where organic products differ from non-organic products is in the use of antibiotics. In organic practices, antibiotics are used as a last resort under the supervision of a veterinarian, when natural remedies are not successful. The cow is separated from the herd for the duration of treatment and milk collected from that cow is discarded until testing shows no signs on antibiotics in the milk. Due to the cows’ healthier lifestyle, many organic farmers do not need to use antibiotics at all.
Another major benefit of buying organic dairy products is that under Canadian organic standards, all cows must be fed a minimum 60% grass-fed diet all year round. Organic Meadow grass-fed milk is 75% grass-fed all year round and during May 1st to mid-October all products are 75-100% grass-fed as seen on the little green sticker on all Organic Meadow products. Organic Meadow is proudly the first year-round organic grass-fed milk brand available in Ontario.
Due to Canada’s climate, it is impossible for organic dairy cows to consume a 100% grass-fed diet all year round. During the colder winter months, the cows spend time in and around the barn area. However, they are able to consume a high percentage of grass because farmers grow and cut their own grass during the warmer months and store it for the winter months. During the winter months, the cows’ diet is supplemented with a variety of organically grown grains such as oats, barley, peas, corns, and soybeans, often directly grown on the same farm.
Why is Grass-fed dairy better for you?
All types of milk are equivalent when it comes to calcium and vitamin D, however grass-fed milk has nutritional advantages due to the differences in diet. Organic diary cows consume a high percentage of grass in comparison to conventional dairy cows which primarily consume a grain-based diet on feedlots. The milk produced by grass-fed cows is a significantly better source of healthy fats and quite a variety of antioxidants.
One of my favourite Organic Meadow products is Kefir. Kefir, a fermented milk drink made with kefir grains (a yeast/bacterial starter), contributes to healthy digestive system as well as a strong immune system. It is rich in beneficial bacteria, vitamins, minerals, and proteins, and contains more probiotics than yogurt. Organic Meadow Kefir is made with 10 different bacterial cultures and contains over 2 billion active cultures per serving. Additionally, Organic Meadow organic yogurt is made with four different active bacterial cultures and their Greek yogurt is made with two active bacterial cultures, each which provides more than 1 billion probiotic bacteria per serving.
Another favourite, and quite a unique product, is the Organic Meadow milk box which is shelf-stable meaning it requires no refrigeration until it is opened. This is made possible through a combination of pasteurizing milk at ultra-high temperatures and then packaging it in a specialized Tetra Pak which prevents light, air, and other possible sources of contamination from getting through. This is a great option for school lunchboxes as it requires no refrigeration yet maintains its nutritional integrity without the addition of preservations or additives.
Yet another favourite product of mine worth mentioning, is the Organic Meadow grass-fed butter. Often times butter gets a bad rap, and margarine is deemed as a healthier alternative – In my household, I opt for butter in moderation rather than margarine. Butter, specifically butter made with the milk of grass-fed cows, helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. It is also a good source of these fat-soluble vitamins. Butter also contains the saturated fatty acid, lauric acid, commonly found in breast milk, which possesses antimicrobial, antibacterial, and hormone-balancing properties.
Overall, all the Organic Meadow products that my family has tried has surpassed our expectations. We have tried quite a few different brands of organic milk, and nothing compares to the taste and freshness of the Organic Meadow brand. In addition to taste, just knowing there are dairy farmers dedicated to manufacturing the best dairy products out there while maintaining ethical treatment of their animals is reason enough to choose Organic Meadow each and every time!
Organic Meadow offers both lactose-free and gluten-free products. Organic Meadow is actually Canada’s first and only source of organic 2% lactose-free milk and yogurt. In addition to that, all of the Organic Meadow cheese, minus the marble cheese, is lactose-free. All Organic Meadow products are gluten-free, with the exception of Kefir and ice-cream.