If youâ€™ve read about recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) and want to avoid it in your kids’ diets, here is some information about companies and brands without milk from cows given rBGH.
The good think is many products are now labeled as rBGH-free. For example, Polly-O string cheese in the smaller size is labeled rBGH-free (although the giant bulk pack from Costco is not).
Any dairy product labeled as organic cannot, by definition, contain rBGH.
Whole Foods Market confirmed to me that 365 Brand products do not contain milk from cows given rBGH.
Stonyfield Farms also confirmed to me that none of their products contain milk from cows given rBGH.
Starbucks uses rBGH-free dairy in all beverages.
All of the following companies sell rBGH-free milk. This information came from Wikipedia, each with a citation, and appears accurate.
Winder Farms (a home delivery dairy and grocer in Utah and Nevada)
Safeway in the northwestern U.S.
Wal-Mart and Samâ€™s Club â€œGreat Valueâ€ brand milk is rBGH-free but may not be labeled as such.
With regard to ice cream, Ben and Jerryâ€™s, Whole Foods 365, and Stonyfield are all rBGH-free (confirmed directly to me). Trader Joeâ€™s has some ice cream products labeled rBGH-free.
However, Breyers, Dreyers, Edys, Good Humor, Popsicle, Hagan Daaz, and Hersheyâ€™s all contain milk from cows given rBGH. Turkey Hill was less clear: they request farmers donâ€™t use rBGH, but canâ€™t say for sure whether farmers comply. (I talked to Hershey Dairy and Turkey Hill. The other companies were noted by the Huffington Post inÂ this article.)
Dannon is 80% rBGH-free. Yoplait appears to be rBGH-free. Whole Foods 365 Brand, Stonyfield, and all organic yogurt is rBGH-free. Iâ€™ve read that, in the northeast, Trade Joeâ€™s yogurt is from Stonyfield, which would make it rBGH-free, but I have no confirmation on this from the company.
Chipotle Mexican Grill serves rBST-free sour cream at its restaurants.
Another great list of rBGH-free companies and processors can be found at the Organic Consumers Association web site.
THE BOTTOM LINE
If your concerned about you or your family ingesting additional hormones, use this list as a guide and check labels.
For products you really want to know about, pick up the phone and call the company (or tweet at them â€“ most companies are very responsive on Twitter.) If you donâ€™t have time, let me know and Iâ€™ll do it for you. And if you know of any rBGH-free products not mentioned, please leave a comment letting us all know.