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Driving to the grocery store this past weekend, my husband and I were talking about organic milk.  Our goal is to buy only organic dairy and produce, but we aren’t there yet.  We’ve switched to organic milk, and most of our produce is organic.

(This is the brand we buy-Costco!)

So, he asks, what do they do with all that milk from cows treated with rBST/rBGH?

Most of you are aware of the serious havoc those hormones can wreak, especially in your still growing children.  If not, here’s a little refresher:

  • rBST increases the risk of cancer by elevating levels of another hormone, IGF-1. High levels of IGF-1 can promote breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer.
  • If you have even just subtle amounts of IGF-1, there’s a link to breast, prostate and colon cancer…the endocrine system is so sensitive that subtle effects can make a difference.
  • Cows treated with rBST/rBGH have higher rates of udder infections-when they are treated with antibiotics, resistant bacteria can grow.  People who later eat dairy products from these cows can also build up resistance.
  • People who consume these dairy products could become resistant to antibiotics.

So, our coversation got me thinking.  What about all the cheese we eat??

  I decided to call all the companies that we have regularly bought cheese from, and ask!

Here’s what I found out:

KRAFT Cheese
When I called and asked about their cheese, I was put on hold for 20 minutes.  I got the feeling they hoped I would just hang up!  They finally got back on the line and gave me a long spiel about how rBST/rBGH is safe according to the FDA, etc.

Final Result:  ALL KRAFT Cheese, unless noted in their “organics brand” are made with milk from cows treated with rBST/rBGH.

Great Value brand Cheese (Wal-Mart)
This was probably my best customer service phone call.  Totally shocking!  Wal-Mart buys cheese from different suppliers, and those suppliers vary by region of the country.  My findings are pertinent ONLY to North Texas.  Want to know what’s in your GV Cheese?  Call this number:  1-877-505-2267.

Final Result: Extra Sharp Cheddar, Mild Cheddar, and Colby/Monterrey Jack Blend are rBST/rBGH FREE.  Mozzarella is not.  Very interesting!

Sargento Cheese
This experience was interesting.  According to their customer service, they buy all their cheese from different suppliers, and just put their name on it.  Direct quote: “We are not 100% sure if they use [rBST/rBGH] it or not.  It is up to the farmers we buy it from”.  So, they actually have little quality control over their own product.  They didn’t seem to care too much either.  Very disappointing, considering I’ve always thought of their brand as “better” somehow.

Final Result: More than likely all Sargento cheese is made with milk from rBST/rBGH treated cows.

Kroger Brand Cheese
Their customer service wasn’t exactly friendly, but did answer my questions!

Final Result: ALL Kroger Brand Cheese across the whole USA is rBST/rBGH FREE!

So start thinking more carefully next time you reach for the “name brand” cheeses!