To celebrate National Dairy Month, we are highlighting some of the world's most innovative, Non-GMO Project Verified dairy producers These dairy operations offer regenerative and regionally-specific solutions to the most significant issues facing the dairy industry (e.g., animal welfare, soil health and climate change) — all without GMOs!
"We’ve created a new paradigm in dairy that puts sustainability, human health and the environment at the core of nutrition."
Ohio-based milk company ORIGIN is on a mission to rebuild dairy.
ORIGIN consistently exceeds the most rigorous certifications, creating a new standard for excellence in dairy. "We want to look at an approach that is not just sustainable. Because if we are sustaining, we're not doing enough," says CEO and founder Adrian Bota.
ORIGIN meets the highest standard for clean labels, with both Non-GMO Project verification and Regenerative Organic certification. ORIGIN says commitment to supporting small family farms who raise heritage breeds is the reason their milk is richer and healthier than conventionally produced dairy.
By combining the best farming traditions with progressive ideals, ORIGIN is creating a vision for clean dairy that could fix industrial-style dairy's destructive legacy.
Non-GMO and Regenerative Organic
Regenerative Organic is a comparatively new label. It was established in 2017 by a coalition of farmers, business leaders and soil health experts.
Under the Regenerative Organic standard, existing USDA Organic requirements are considered a starting point. Regenerative Organic enhances the wellbeing of the entire ecosystem, while its social and economic impacts extend beyond the farm. According to the Regenerative Organic Alliance, a truly regenerative approach includes all the people and organisms in a farm system, "from the soil microbiome to the animals to the workers."
Regenerative practices can include cover crops, conservation tillage, rotational planting and grazing and avoiding chemical pesticides and fertilizers. For shoppers and eaters, choosing products with the ROC label — including ORIGIN dairy products — means you're making a meaningful contribution to a resilient and sustainable agriculture system.
The origin of taste and health
ORIGIN looks to farmers of heritage cow breeds, such as Guernsey, Jersey, Milking Shorthorn, Dutch-belted, and Brown Swiss, to provide dairy that's unlike anything you've tasted before.
Today, most conventionally-produced milk comes from Holstein cows, the distinctive black-and-white cow famous for producing low-cost and abundant milk. However, the ubiquity of the Holstein cow might be impacting human health — and not for the better.
Over hundreds of generations of breeding, Holsteins have developed a genetic mutation that altered their milk's protein structure. Modern Holsteins generally produce milk with an "A1" protein that is relatively new to human consumption. Milk with A2 proteins — such as the milk produced by many heritage breeds — is more similar to human breast milk, and it may be easier to digest. Studies have shown that an estimated 80% of people who believe they are lactose intolerant are actually intolerant of the A1 protein in conventional dairy. They may be able to consume A2 dairy without adverse effects.
ORIGIN milk's rich, golden hue results from its high beta-carotene, milkfat and protein content. Compared with conventionally produced white milk, ORIGIN milk touts better nutritional profile, claiming:
- 33% more vitamin D
- 25% more vitamin A
- 30% more vitamin K
- 15% more calcium
- 12% more protein
- 300% more omega-3s
- 5% more milkfat
ORIGIN milk combines the strongest dairy traditions with forward-thinking regenerative principles to create a vision for clean-dairy that nourishes people, animals and the land. Cows are pasture-raised on small-scale family farms, making a compelling case that bigger is not necessarily better.
In fact, small looks pretty awesome.
The Non-GMO Project is delighted to partner with ORIGIN Milk during National Dairy Month. To hear more about ORIGIN Milk and the potential of regenerative, organic and non-GMO dairy, watch the seminar, The Whole Truth About Dairy.