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Hemp, Rice, Raw And More: A Guide To Milk And The Planet (PHOTOS)

Huffington Post     First Posted: 09/08/10 09:17 AM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 06:30 PM ET

For something so traditional, so normal, so American, milk has spurred a huge battle among the food conscious. Choosing your milk has become a statement of your values.

Oh, it's so confusing, all these choices for something so simple as what you pour over your cereal. We've broken it down for you, milk by milk, so you can have a head start next time you go to the grocery store and try to decide:

What milk should I buy?

Conventional Milk
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Let’s start with what takes the lion’s share of the milk market: conventional, a.k.a. factory farmed milk.

Factory farms, or CAFOs, are now one of American’s biggest sources of pollution, as the waste of cows isn’t integrated into the farm system for fertilizer, but dumped into toxic cesspools. (If you have ever had the misfortune of driving past a factory dairy farm, you know all about it.)

Then there is rBGH, bovine growth hormone, being pumped into cows, finding its way into the milk we drink, and raising some nasty questions about its effect on our health.

Finally, cows are treated horribly at CAFOs: shut up in small pens indoors, standing in their own poop…it’s pretty gross.

In short, the pictures on pints of milk of green pastures dotted with cows are grossly misleading.

We will admit that regular milk does have one thing going for it: it’s cheap. But let’s move onto something more pleasant, shall we?
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