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Healthy Recipe Doctor

with Elaine Magee, MPH, RD

Elaine Magee's blog has now been retired. We appreciate all the wisdom and support she has brought to the WebMD community throughout the years.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Organic Cows Live Twice As Long?


Photo: Digital Vision.

It all started with seven cows and a passion for organic yogurt. Today, Gary Hirshberg’s company, Stonyfield Farms, tops 380 million in sales.

At a recent lunch seminar with Hirshberg, CEO of Stonyfield Farms, he explained the company’s emphasis on sustainability with programs toward achieving zero waste, reducing emissions and packaging, etc…

But the one thing that stood out to me in a big way was the bombshell statement that organic dairy cows live two times longer than traditional dairy cows.

Not only is that impressive from the standpoint of dairy production, but it begs the question…if living organic doubles the life expectancy of cows, how might it benefit the health of human beings?

The other impressive point Hirshberg made was that cows are herbivores; when they are grass-fed they have a better carbon footprint compared to traditionally corn-fed cattle that burp up more methane gas.

In 2010 Stonyfield spent 0.5% in advertising while Dannon spent 8% and Yoplait spent 10% and yet it’s still the #3 yogurt company in the U.S. One of the reasons why it has a loyal following is due to it being an organic yogurt company. Hirshberg said that the number one reason why people were coming to organic foods and products used to be “having children.”  Now it is because they had a “health event” like a heart attack.

I don’t know about you but I don’t need a “health event” to inspire me to look for ways to include more organic foods in my daily diet. All of the above are enough reasons for me.

Posted by: Elaine Magee, RD at 7:51 am

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