"People are being misled by the healthy halo of food products labeled ‘natural.’ That's why all Stonyfield products are certified organic. Besides knowing your farmer, the certified organic seal is the only way to be absolutely certain what you’re eating."
Co-Founder, Gary Hirshberg
- No Toxic Persistent Pesticides*
- Yogurt With Live Active Cultures
- Only Pasture Raised Milk
*Our products are made without the use of toxic persistent pesticides.” to the “No Toxic Persistent Pesticides
learn Your Organic
Isn’t it the best when something you love turns out to be good for you and good for the planet?
When we started making yogurt back in 1983, today’s definition of organic didn’t even exist yet. We didn’t know a lot, but we were confident in two things: First, yogurt is delicious. Second, that to make it healthy and high quality, we had to be stewards of more than just milk. We needed to take care of people and the planet, too.
Not much has changed in our flavor expectations, but we’ve learned a ton about why choosing organic is so important. It’s about more than just flavor.
A hunch, now backed by science
We knew it back in 1983, and today we have the research to give all organic eaters a high five. Science says that organic milk is more nutritious than its conventional counterpart. Why? Because it comes from cows that are actively grazing on grass, as nature intended. Organically raised cows spend their days outside on pasture so the milk they produce is significantly higher in Omega-3 fatty acids and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), heart-healthy fats that can help lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.
Bonus: There’s also compelling evidence that many organic fruits and veggies are more nutritious, too.
It’s never too early to eat organic
Parents everywhere are in on the science too, and doing their best to feed their kiddos organic food. Why? Take that healthy CLA that’s so abundant in organic milk, for example — CLA levels have been shown to be higher in the breast milk of women who consumed organic dairy. Research has also demonstrated that an organic diet can dramatically reduce pesticide levels in kids’ bodies.
Organic for people and for planet
Eating organic isn’t just good for you and your family, it’s straight up good for other people and the planet. One of the main goals of organic farming practices is to avoid contamination of our precious soil, rivers, drinking water, and air with toxic persistent chemicals. Which also means organic farmers themselves and their neighbors aren’t exposed to potentially carcinogenic herbicides. Organic agriculture not only means less dependence on fossil fuels, it can actually help reduce climate change. It’s estimated that converting all of America’s cropland to organic would have the same carbon-reducing effect as taking 217 million cars off the road.
Yep, the scope of good that organic farming can do for people and planet blows our minds, too.
Please, dig deeper! There is a lot to be learned and said about organic farming, and we hope you will join us in the journey towards better food systems.
DIG DEEPER: The Organic Center
Getting the goods on organic is easy. Why? Because organic means being transparent about the choices that go into making the best possible products for people and the planet. We want our community to understand what organic is, what it isn’t, and how we see it shaping the future of food.
What Organic is not
Want to know what you aren’t paying for when you buy organic? When you see the USDA Organic seal, you’re not dropping dollars on foods made with artificial flavors or preservatives, toxic persistent pesticides, artificial hormones, antibiotics, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
We think that’s a pretty sweet deal.
So, what is organic?
Let’s start with the farmers. Why? Because farms are the hub, home, and heart of organic food.
Organic farmers take a systems-based approach to farming. Meaning that instead of fighting nature with toxic persistent pesticides and artificial hormones, they work with nature to allow the soil, crops, pasture, and products to flourish and reach their full potential, organically. Organic farmers focus on building healthy soil, and utilize crop rotation, cover crops, and natural sources of fertility like compost or manure to enrich the land they farm on. This approach to farming increases biodiversity and future farm health, while also decreasing our environmental impact.
Organic crops are 4X less likely to test positive for pesticide residues.
Organic cows are healthy cows and happy cows. With 120+ days per year in pasture, ready access to clean, temperate shade and shelter, all under the care of organic farmers who often know them by name, organic cows are prized and cared for. Pasture grazing not only improves the quality of their milk, but they also enjoy healthier body weight, hoof, and joint health. Organic cows fertilize their own fields, churn up and aerate pasture with those healthy hooves, and enjoy a major role in the systems-based approach to farming. In organic dairy, healthy, happy cows are the star player.
Toxic Persistent Pesticides
Stop the spraying already! Sure, pests can be a problem, but instead of laying blanket after blanket of chemicals down on our fragile and precious farmland, organic farmers opt for sustainable solutions for pest-control. What does that mean?
Non-organic farms spray toxic pesticides and herbicides to keep pests at bay, and these chemicals are proving to be hugely harmful to pollinators and other wildlife, as well as to human health. They break down very slowly, remaining in our soil, water and air. Some can continue to cause damage for decades after they are first used.
Organic farming practices, however, strictly forbids the use of toxic persistent pesticides. This makes for happier bees, happier livestock and wildlife, and safer, more nutritious food for us.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the conventional agricultural toxin, Atrazine, is found in abundance in the majority of America’s surface water and drinking water. This is just one of many pesticides banned in the EU, and yet we’re still battling it here in the U.S.
A recent study by USGS found that 63% of sampled streams were contaminated by neonicotinoid pesticides.
- Tracy Misiewicz, PhD, Associate Director of Science Programs at The Organic Center
Protections from Pesticides in Organic Farming
Organic farmers fight pests a better way.
Our family farmers start by using a combination of farming practices that deter pests. These include crop rotation, starting with pest resistant plant varieties and introducing beneficial organisms like ladybugs that don’t harm the crops while munching away at unwanted critters.
If organic farmers do need to control pests further, they can use a small number of substances that don’t have harmful effects on people or the environment and that don’t persist in our soil, water or air. These natural pesticides, like paper mulch, horticultural oils and hydrated lime, are carefully screened and approved by the USDA for use on organic farms.
Why it matters: The health effects of pesticide exposure
The World Health Organization says Glyphosate—the most commonly-used conventional pesticide, a.k.a., RoundUp—is probably cancer-causing. Pesticide exposure for farmworkers has also been tied to nervous-system and lung damage, cognitive malfunction, depression, and possibly dysfunction of the endocrine and immune systems.
In fact, the 2008-2009 President’s Cancer Panel recommends eating food grown without pesticides to help decrease the risk of contracting cancer.
Parents-to-be have their own specific reasons to stay away from TPP’s. Dietary exposure to pesticides is linked to lower sperm count and quality and a lower chance of pregnancy for those undergoing fertility treatment. But when mom enjoys an organic diet during pregnancy, the risk of certain birth effects is reduced.
So, the adverse health effects of toxic persistent pesticides may be largely avoidable by eating an organic diet. That’s great news!
Protecting your body from pesticides with organic choices
Don’t worry, we have good news! Our collective purchasing choices are making a difference.
We view the supermarket as a voting booth. We see it as a place where you can vote for local or not, organic or not, natural or not, synthetic hormones or not, pesticides or not.
-Gary Hirshberg, Stonyfield Chairman, 1999 National Town Meeting on Sustainability
While the battle against toxic persistent pesticides rages on, we have some important food choices to make. Organic farmers do not use toxic persistent pesticides, period. That means food that limits potentially harmful exposure for our ourselves, for our families, for the farmers, and for the earth.
Antibiotics & Growth Hormones
A healthy diet, a low-stress lifestyle, fresh air, and room to roam. Cows, they’re just like us!
Alright there are a few differences--the four stomachs come to mind--but when it comes to the building blocks of a long and healthy life, cows needs are similar to ours, and organic farmers don’t just understand these principles, they practice them.
We are our most healthy and productive selves when we’re eating well, exercising, getting outside, and just taking good care. Similarly, instead of using antibiotics and artificial growth hormones, organic dairy farmers increase milk production safely and humanely through sound animal husbandry—good animal hygiene, optimal living conditions, and nutritious pasture, hay and feed.
How might the organic approach to healthy cows differ from conventional dairy farming?
Our family farmers like to take the long view. Organic dairy-farming systems promote cow health and longevity by placing less stress on cows and sending them outdoors to enjoy biodiverse forage-based diets, all of which improves their immune system and makes the use of antibiotics unnecessary. As one of our organic family farmers proudly shared with us recently, “Our vet bill is higher for our pet dog each year than it is for our entire herd of 108 cows”.
If an organic dairy cow does get sick, farmers can choose from a variety of natural treatments including herbal medicine and homeopathic remedies. With patience, these alternative remedies generally cure the problem. In the rare instances when all else fails and the cow’s life is in jeopardy, drugs must be used. Then the cow, having had antibiotics, is no longer considered organic.
Much like us, cows have complex systems. But thanks to the USDA organic prescribed diet and exercise plan, organic dairy cows are not only living their best life, but they’re providing us with the best milk possible.
We believe goodness begins at the source: With the hard-working family farmers who produce milk the way nature intended. It’s why our founders, Samuel and Gary, launched an organic farming school in 1983 to help family farms survive. And why today we are committed to growing the entire organic dairy industry, starting in our own backyard.
We buy our organic milk from small farms rather than corporate farms with large-scale operations—we buy from farmers whom we’ve come to know and trust over the years, many of them just a few hours drive away. They share our passion for healthy foods, healthy people, and a healthy planet; we couldn’t ask for better partners.
In 2014, we launched the Stonyfield Direct Milk Supply program to increase our support of organic dairy farmers in our own backyard-in New Hampshire, Maine, New York and Vermont. Farming isn’t easy, especially in New England, so we work directly with our farmers to ensure they have the resources and customized technical assistance they need to grow and operate their businesses sustainably. And because we all benefit when a family farm thrives, we provide each farm up to $10,000 technical assistance in their first two years with us, tailored to the farms needs.
"The most important thing about our program is we know each farm family, their cows, their commitment to organic dairy, and I love the fact that with each cup of yogurt we further that mission."
-Kyle Thygesen, Director of Milk sourcing and Procurement at Stonyfield Organic.
The rest of our milk comes from the CROPP Cooperative, the oldest and largest farmer-owned cooperative in the nation with over 1800 family farm members. (You may know them as Organic Valley)! CROPP supplies both organic milk for our organic products, as well as all the 100% grassfed milk for our grassfed organic products. With herd sizes that average 72 cows, CROPP shares our vision of producing the best products possible without the use of antibiotics, synthetic hormones, toxic persistent pesticides or GMOs, while being conscientious stewards of the environment.
We believe in sourcing organic ingredients with care and supporting family farms, not just today, but for future generations. To encourage the next crop of young farmers, we’ve partnered with Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment in Maine to launch an organic dairy training program. We believe that buying our organic milk from farmers is more about building long-term relationships, from the ground up, to ensure that what’s on your table comes from a place you can trust.
Our Dairy Sourcing Values
The secret’s in the sourcing! Every spoonful of yogurt, drop of milk, and sip of a Stonyfield Organic smoothie is tied to the places, people, plants, and pasture-happy cows that make it all possible.
We know and trust our family farmers, and partner with them to fully understand where each Stonyfield Organic ingredient we source from them comes from. By sourcing from farmers who use ecologically sustainable practices and treat the animals that provide our products with care, we are able to continually improve and be proud to share our products with you.
The short term benefits of quality sourcing can be tasted in every cup of yogurt, but we also have our sights on the horizon, and it’s dotted with happy, grazing cows.
By investing in long-term partnerships with our family farmers who provide our ingredients, we are working to ensure that Stonyfield Organic farmer partners receive fair economic returns, allowing them to give their own employees a good living wage, and the safe and healthy working environment that every person deserves. Some people call that idyllic. We call it the right thing to do, and are always working to support an increasingly healthy future for our farmer partners.
Responsible ingredient sourcing is the touch point of everything we do here at Stonyfield Organic. It’s been that way since the beginning, because from the founders to the farmers to our sourcing teams, our organic community expects nothing less. We’re committed to providing transparency and continuing to go above and beyond to ensure the integrity of the organic label.
We hope you’ll join us on this journey.
Sourcing Values We Live By
- We support the growth of organic, choosing the best organic ingredients so we can offer you the healthiest food possible.
- We source from family farmers whom we know and trust.
- We make sure to know where each ingredient comes from and are transparent about this to the public.
- We source from farmers who use ecologically sustainable practices for the well-being of the planet—and we strive together for continuous improvement.
- We support the humane treatment of the cows that provide us with milk to make our products.
- We offer fair economic return and seek to create long-term relationships with our farmers and suppliers.
- From the farm to the cup, we work every day to reduce our carbon footprint
In 2013, Stonyfield set out on a mission to see what more we could be doing to increase the amount of organic milk being produced here in northern New England. We didn’t know it at the time, but this was a quest that would take us back to our own roots as an organic farming school. That’s right, Stonyfield didn’t start out in the yogurt business –we got our start in 1983 as an organic farming school in Wilton, NH.
We’ve grown considerably since those early days, as has the number of organic dairy farms. But in recent years we began to look around and notice that here in northern New England, the number of organic dairy farms wasn’t growing anymore. In fact, the population of organic dairy farmers in this region was aging. More and more farmers were getting close to the age of retirement with no plans for who would take over the farm when they retired.
We love our home here in New Hampshire, and we want to get as much of our milk from as close to home as we can. We realized that if we wanted to keep getting our milk from family farms in this region well into the future, we would need to be more proactive about helping the next generation of organic farmers get established.
Fortunately for us, the folks at Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment agreed with us about the importance of sustaining the future of organic dairy. Wolfe’s Neck is a non-profit farm and education center in Freeport, Maine, and they’re on a mission to grow sustainable agriculture in New England. In 2015, we provided Wolfe’s Neck with a grant of $1.6 million to establish a first-of-its-kind residential organic dairy training program.
The goal of the training program is to prepare each Apprentice to become a valuable member of the dairy industry with the knowledge to manage a grazing farm successfully at the conclusion of their two-year apprenticeship. The program will provide a guided pathway to the knowledge, skills, experiences and resources Apprentices need to start their own farm.
Wolfe’s Neck is partnered with the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program, and since launching in 2015 they have been working to recruit additional farms around the Northeast to host more apprentices. Several farms that supply milk to Stonyfield have signed up to host their own apprentices for both short and long term rotations.
Glen Putnam, a farmer with Stonyfield’s direct milk supply program, talks about how the partnership has benefitted his farm: "I run a dairy farm without any full time employees and am in the Naval reserve which can be difficult for a farmer. Working with Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Program allows me to get the time away from the farm I need and know it's in the hands of a qualified person."
We’re excited to see Wolfe’s Neck helping launch the next generation of organic dairy farmers in New England. But don’t just take our word for it –go and see for yourself! Wolfe’s Neck is open to the public year-round, with agricultural education programs for kids and families, and has an incredible campground too. Learn more at their website.
Family farms reconnect us to the land, and to each other. They provide our communities with beautiful open spaces, abundant wildlife habitat, and rural charm. We pick fruit in their fields and pet their cows at county fairs. Family farms remind us where our food comes from —and how good it can taste.
Yet, small family farms go out of business every day. And each empty barn is a piece of cultural history lost. Each piece of farmland that gets developed is a piece of our national food security that is gone forever.
When you buy organic, you are helping to support a fairer, more stable agricultural market, which keeps thousands of small family farms in business and thriving. In fact, organic milk prices are traditionally more stable than the conventional dairy market, so organic farmers often have an easier job of covering production costs. That means they have a better chance of keeping the lights on at the farm and the cows out in the pasture, where they belong.
That’s good for our communities, too. Organic farmers, after all, are our neighbors. Their lands are buffers against development and keep vibrant ecosystems for native plants and animals. As business owners and employers, farmers also support and enhance the local economy. Research shows that, on average, organic farms are 35 percent more profitable than conventional farms. Simply put, organic farmers improve the quality of life for those around them.
This is why we’ve always believed that organic family farms are vital to our health and the health of the planet. And why we ran a nonprofit organic farming school before we became yogurt makers. These days, Stonyfield Organic buys millions of pounds of organic fruit, organic milk, and other organic ingredients each year from hundreds of organic family farmers and growers. And that means hundreds of farms are staying open for business.
When you buy Stonyfield Organic products, you buy them for your family’s health. What you may not think about in the checkout line is how you are also contributing to the health and well-being of our organic farmers, their families and the communities they live in.
Research shows that organic farmers are 35 percent more profitable than the average farm—and a lot more likely to stay in agriculture as a result.
In Organic, the price point that organic farmers get paid for their milk is higher than for non-organic milk, and more consistent. This helps farmers budget for the year, as well as plan and invest in their farm.
–Kyle Thygesen, Stonyfield Director of Milk Sourcing and Procurement
These benefits don’t just stay on the farm.
According to the Organic Trade Association and scientists at Penn State University, hundreds of counties in the U.S. have become “organic hot spots”: areas with large concentrations of organic farming activity. And these hot spots are booming, bringing greater prosperity to the people who live there.
Organic farmers in hot spots create jobs, promote economic growth, boost household incomes and reduce poverty levels —at greater rates than general agriculture. In fact, there is now conclusive research that demonstrates that organic agricultural activity actually improves the economic health of a county.
- Median household incomes increase by more than $2,000,
- The poverty rate in a county may decrease by as much as 1.35 percentage points
Once upon a time, agriculture held communities together. Today, organic farming is breathing new life into rural communities at a time when the agricultural economy is otherwise struggling. Organic food and crop production, and the business activities accompanying organic agriculture, don’t just provide your community with locally sourced and healthy ingredients. They create real and long-lasting economic opportunities in communities across America.
Fighting Climate Change
The average age of farmers in the U.S. may steadily be climbing, but there is a new surge of youthful enthusiasm in one key area of agriculture: organic farming.
Many young farmers are returning to their roots, but even more are discovering a love of agriculture for a different reason. They see it as a way to connect with and support the health of the environment. At a time when the symptoms of climate change are becoming more and more real, and the future of stable weather patterns, water temperatures, and other key factors that the success of any farm depend on are increasingly uncertain, young farmers are taking action.
Being part of a group of people around the world that is challenging the status quo to better our environment, health, and food culture is absolutely incredible. Everyday I have an opportunity to make a decision that can impact the environment for either good or bad. Having that influence on my community, environment, and myself is a responsibility that can be both overwhelming and rewarding.
- Haden Gooch, Dairy Grazing Apprentice at Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture & The Environment.
But does agriculture contribute to climate change? Or help mitigate it? The answer is, ‘both’, and it turns out that young organic farmers just might be doing a lot to protect their future--and ours.
Agriculture is responsible for roughly 15% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. But it’s now been shown that organic soil sequesters 26% more carbon than non-organic soil. In other words, organic agriculture has the potential to be part of the solution to climate change, and that’s huge for the future of farming.
How’s that? Carbon is a necessary component of healthy soil, but years of conventional farming practices have severely depleted carbon levels in US farmlands.
New studies show that organic farming methods can restore this element to the soil, where it should be, and removes CO2 from the air, where it is causing rapid climate change. This process is called “soil sequestration” and it is one of the most exciting environmental solutions that organic farming provides.
At Stonyfield Organic, we’ve been supporting soil health for a long time, but now we are increasing our focus on partnering with farms to boost their carbon sequestration potential. Improving soil health is a win-win solution for farmers and the environment - in addition to taking CO2 out of the atmosphere, improving soil health also helps improve a farm’s profitability.
Every farm has the ability to improve soil quality. That’s the reason we’ve partnered with Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment. The center has been busy ushering in the next generation of tools and technology to help farmers maximize their soil health. This increases the ability of organic farmers to combat climate change and make a difference.
How can you help? First, eat organic as much as possible. Then consider supporting programs that provide resources to the new generation of organic farmers. It turns out that they could be our ticket to a healthier future.
The next time you dig into a container of Stonyfield Organic yogurt, pause on that third bite to thank a bee. Actually, thank millions of them. Hard-working honey bees and other pollinators impact one out of every three mouthfuls of food we eat, and that includes more than 100 crops in the U.S. Which makes the next piece of news so alarming:
Bee populations in the U.S. are declining at historically rapid rates. Since 2006, beekeepers have lost one third of their hives, and, more recently, 44 percent of bee colonies collapsed within a single year. Bees are bellwethers, our canaries in the coal mine, and their plight sends ripple effects right up the food chain.
So, what can we do about it? It may come as no surprise that bees thrive on organic farms, which support more pollinators than conventional farms. The reasons are pretty clear.
- Organic farms do not use toxic synthetic pesticides like neonicotinoids, a class of insecticide found by studies to be particularly harmful to bees. Research suggests pesticide use is a contributing factor to the rise in colony collapse disorder around the country.
- Bee colonies on organic farms have greater access to native habitats with more biodiversity and flowering plants. So bees collect enough nourishing pollen and nectar to sustain and grow their hives. They are healthier on a diet that nature intended. Just like us! This helps ward off disease and stress, two other factors associated with bee die-off.
Organic family farms play a critical role in the survival of the honey bee and the long-term health and well-being of our families, and our planet. Because toxic pesticides and less wholesome foods really aren’t good for anyone —bees or people.
Babies, Kids, and Organic
Made without the use of persistent pesticides, synthetic growth hormones, and antibiotics, organic food is good news for your health and for the planet. But when it comes to pesticide exposure, organic is especially good for babies, toddlers, and kids.
There are lots of reasons to be wary of toxic persistent pesticides, which is why we’ve decided to do without them altogether, providing a reliably safe option for grownups and kiddos alike.
Unfortunately, toxic persistent pesticides are prevalent in non-organic food systems, and avoiding them can still be tricky.
What are Toxic Persistent Pesticides?
A pesticide could be any kind of substance used to keep pests away, but not all pesticides are created equal. Toxic persistent pesticides aren’t allowed in organic farming because they can be harmful to our health and the environment and they break down very slowly, remaining in our soil, water and air. Some can continue to cause damage for decades after they are first used.
What’s to worry about?
We always prefer to look on the bright side, but when it comes to toxic persistent pesticides, our mama and papa-bear instincts kick into high gear. Babies, toddlers, and kids are more vulnerable than adults to pesticide exposure. Young digestive tracts absorb toxins more readily than adults’, and young kidneys don’t detoxify as efficiently as adult kidneys. As a result, these toxins circulate longer in babies’ bodies.
Children are absorbing higher levels of pesticides when their bodies are least able to protect against them.
-Tracy Misiewicz, PhD, Associate Director of Science Programs at The Organic Center
The stakes are high when it comes to pesticide exposure in our kids. Research has shown pesticide exposure may heighten the risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obesity and metabolic disorders, tremors, low IQ, and impaired respiratory function. The risk of low IQ is particularly high for children whose mothers were exposed while they were in utero. These mothers may be farm workers or have been exposed simply by living next door to farms where toxic persistent pesticides are being sprayed.
But there is good news.
Organic: the quick fix and a plan forward
The good news is that *research also shows you can immediately and dramatically reduce the pesticide content in a child’s body by switching to organic foods. Researchers at the University of Washington found that by putting children on a mostly organic diet for just five days, they could “virtually eliminate exposures to a dangerous class of insecticides known to disrupt neurological development in infants and children.”
Furthermore, you don’t even need to switch your child’s entire diet to make a difference to their health. Studies show that by choosing organic foods occasionally, lower residues of pesticides were found.
Thanks to organic farmers not using toxic persistent pesticides, we get to choose foods produced without them. That limits potentially harmful exposure for our kids, for our families, for the farmers, and for the earth.
*Lu C, Toepel RI, Fenske R, Barr D, Bravo R. Organic diets significantly lower childrens’ dietary exposure to Organophosphorous Pesticides. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2006 Feb;114(2):260-3.
Non-GMODo you know what character trait we love sharing with our crew of organic eaters? That insatiable need to want to know more about where food comes from, how it’s produced, how it affects our health, and if it’s hurting or helping our planet. It’s this curiosity and drive to make sure that our food systems are doing their best for us and for the health of the environment that spurs Stonyfield Organic on in the fight against GMOs. USDA organic regulations prohibit the use of GMOs, so all certified organic products are always non-GMO. Are you concerned about whether GMOs are in your food? Here’s some info that has helped us make our decision to leave GMOs where they belong -- far away from our food.
What are GMOs?GMOs are Genetically Modified Organisms. This refers to a plant, animal, or organism whose genetic makeup has been altered in a laboratory in a way that wouldn’t happen in nature. When it comes to your food that usually means they’re plants that scientists figured out how to manipulate at the genetic level to do things like resist damage from pesticides. Plants like corn, soy and alfalfa hay that are used for cow feed.
GMOs and Toxic Persistent PesticidesGMOs are leading to an increase in the use of toxic persistent pesticides. More than 80% of all GMO crops grown worldwide have been engineered for herbicide tolerance. As a result, the use of toxic herbicides, such as Roundup®, has increased since GMOs were first introduced. That means more pesticides in our air, water, soil and food. While the crops have been genetically modified to survive toxic pesticides, you and your family haven’t. Many pesticides are dangerous for farm workers and their families, and have been proven to cause reproductive and developmental effects, especially in young children. In short, most GMOs are helping to introduce more and more pesticides and herbicides into our air, groundwater, soil, and bodies. This is a huge threat to our own health and ecosystems.
Taking action-Just Label ItStonyfield Organic is committed to producing foods without GMOs as part of our commitment to choosing the best organic ingredients. We start by making sure our products are certified organic, but we don’t stop there! Stonyfield Organic strongly supports the right to know what's in the food we eat, including whether or not it's made with GMO ingredients. This is why we helped to launch the Just Label It campaign--with Gary Hirshberg, our co-founder, as its chairman--and why we’ve been big supporters of state GMO labeling campaigns as well. Since 2011, we’ve donated over $650,000 (and countless hours) to state labeling campaigns and the national efforts of Just Label It. Now that we have a federal labeling law, we’re working hard with our friends at Just Label It to make sure that USDA creates meaningful labeling regulations that will require companies to clearly disclose the presence of GMOs in food.
Want to avoid GMOs in your food?Eating organic is your best bet.The USDA requires organic farms and products to be made without GMOs. Stonyfield is no exception: not only are all of our fresh milk dairy yogurt products made without the use of GMOs or toxic persistent pesticides, we’ve gone the extra mile to make sure all Stonyfield fresh milk dairy yogurt products are Non-GMO Project Verified.
Dig DeeperThere is so much more to know about GMOs, so please continue to learn about and advocate for stronger regulations and improved transparency. Discover information and easy ways to be heard and make a difference at The Action Center at justlabelit.org.
ORGANIC HUMANE ANIMAL TREATMENT
We often get asked if our cows are treated humanely. And we always answer with a resounding, “YES!” Our family farmers work hard because they really love their animals and care for them accordingly. And who can blame them? It’s hard to resist the soft gazes and wet nuzzles from a herd of Holsteins.
The USDA’s National Organic Standards also designate how organic dairy herds should be managed, and those rules are meant to support a simple principle: let cows be cows.
On an organic dairy farm, you can expect:
- Cows will have access to the outdoors every day that weather permits, even when their pasture is not growing. They will also enjoy shade, shelter, exercise areas, fresh air and direct sunlight. Who wouldn’t love that?
- Most of the cows’ diet will come from grazing on pasture during the grazing season, which must be at least 120 days per year.
- Living space that any cow would find comfortable, including:
- clean, dry bedding
- suitable temperatures, ventilation and air circulation
- opportunity for exercise and natural behavior (cows being cows)
- a reduction in the risk of injury to any animal
- Zero use of antibiotics, unless a cow’s life is in jeopardy requiring drug intervention, and that cow then leaves the organic herd
- Zero use of synthetic growth hormones like rBGH, which is used in some general farming practices to boost milk production.
All of our organic dairy farmers also participate in the National Dairy FARM Program (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management), begun in 2009 by the National Milk Producers Federation. The program asks dairy farmers to adhere to a set of best management practices for animal care and then conducts an external review of each farm a minimum of once every three years. Farmers can also work with FARM trained professionals to identify additional opportunities within their farming practices to ensure their herds are the happiest and healthiest they can be.
Stonyfield Organic has a dedicated farm team that is also on our supplier farms every quarter checking in with our producers, their cows, and facilities to support them and help guide the investments we make for our technical assistance program.
The dairy farmers we partner with lead with their heart and put a lot of energy into doing what’s best for their cows, not what makes the job easiest for them. So, the next time you pick up a container of Stonyfield Organic yogurt, it’s OK to imagine a happy cow munching on a field of grass, because that’s just how it happens.