Need recommendation for best organic cow milk

Hi everyone 

We're finally transitioning our 20 months old daughter from formula to drinking cow milk. I've tried researching what's the best organic cow milk out there - without hormones and as "clean" and natural (but pasteurized) as possible but can't really find highly rated, great ratings milk - prefer locally produced brands- (price isn't an issue). Thanks in advance for your recommendations   

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Strauss and Clover are local, and I'm pretty sure Berkeley Farms, Safeway and Lucky are also sourced from local farms.

My two year old drinks Clover organic and Straus. I switch between the two occasionally. They are both from California and operates with sustainability initiatives. Also Straus was the first non-GMO-verified dairy in North America. Personally I like Straus cream top, it tastes great!

Hi M.A.

We love Stauss. For a couple of reasons, it's great tasting (non-homogenized so the cream rises to the top; YUM!), all organic, no hormones. It also comes in glass bottles so no worries on BPA and the glass is reusable. You pay a $2 deposit and get it back when you return the bottle. Most places just give you credit when you return them (deduct $2 from your total bill) but whole foods will give you cash at the costumer service desk.


We drink Straus.  We went camping at Samuel Taylor and did a day trip out to the nearby beach and while driving around, happened upon the Straus Farm.  Our friend, who is a big animal vet casually mentioned that she never has seen dairy cows actually grazing and calves feeding on their mama's so beautifully, naturally and peacefully before.  It really was so beautiful to see such healthy cows amongst the hills and fields of healthy grass everywhere.  Please if you use, then they deliver milk to you in a glass bottle and take it back with your next delivery and reuse the bottle.  Just like the old days...

Strauss cream top IS delicious! But one thing to consider is that their milk isn't vitamin D fortified. (I presume that you probably have the wherewithal to get that vitamin D from other sources, though.)

Straus milk, hands down. They're in Marin and have been producing organic milk for decades, plus most of the bottles (other than gallon size) are glass which you return for re-use. I'd also consider Alexandre A2 whole milk (not local). I am just learning about this but supposedly it is easier to digest.

It's expensive, but I think Saint Benoit is the best quality local milk. It comes in glass bottles, is organic, pasteurized but at a lower temperature, and hormone-free. Also, they use Jersey cows, which supposedly make the best milk. Jersey cows don't produce a high yield so dairy farms don't use them. When I switched my first to whole milk I went with Saint Benoit and continued with it for about year. The reason I switched was because I started having issues with the milk going bad before the expiration date, and when I wrote to the company they never responded. We now use Strauss, which isn't as high a quality as Saint Benoit, but is still high quality and never goes bad before the expiration date. Also, with having two kids I just couldn't keep up with returning the bottles and Stauss now has plastic jugs. For myself, I prefer the taste of Clover Organic to both Strauss and Saint Benoit, but my kids don't seem to have a preference.

We like Whole Foods 365 organic milk. It’s rated a 4, like Strauss and Clover, but is $1 cheaper.

I haven't done any book research, but everyone in my family -- including my 19 month old son --  really likes Clover organic whole milk and Horizon organic whole milk.  Clover might be better from an environmental standpoint because it is local, but they both taste delicious! 

You may want to consider St. Benoit. I don't know much about it, but Jersey cow milk apparently has health advantages and the milk is non-homogenized. It does go bad more quickly, is the disadvantage. We're not milk drinkers, but get their yogurt sometimes, which is amazing.

I buy what's cheapest, haven't found a bad one yet.  Organic milk always tastes better.  By definition, no hormones, better quality feed, etc.  Opt for grass-fed if it's available, but otherwise don't worry about it.

BTW, you'll find that lots of non-organic milk products advertise that they don't use hormones, either.

What probably has the biggest effect on milk quality is the container: gable-top cartons, plastic bottles, or milk.  They all have pros and cons.  The issues are summarized here:

My favorite is Strauss. It comes in glass bottles which are returned for a refund. I get it delivered to my house through Farm Fresh to You.