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Published February 20 2012

Organic milk drinkers willing to pay more

MOORHEAD – Courtney Ness loves milk.

So when the 22-year-old Moorhead woman developed an adverse reaction to moo juice a few years ago, she grew concerned.

Finally, a friend suggested switching to organic milk.

That was the answer.

“I can drink three glasses in a row and feel perfectly fine and dandy,” says Ness, who believes the additives in conventional dairy milk were the culprit. “I’ll never go back to drinking ‘regular’ milk again.”

Ness is one of several local consumers who say they like the taste and health benefits of organic milk so much they’ll continue to buy it – even as limited supply and increased production costs cause prices to climb.

In the past month, Ness says she’s noticed that grocery stores seem to have a harder time keeping shelves stocked with the organic variety.

“Half the time, there will be a sign that says there’s a shortage due to limited availability,” she says.

Bill Modrich, another organic milk consumer, also has noticed a shortage.

“Two Sundays ago, they were completely out of the 1-percent in the brand I typically buy,” says the south Fargo resident.

Modrich switched to organic after hearing claims that the growth hormones in conventional dairy might trigger early puberty in young children.

So he started buying organic two years ago for his family, which includes two daughters, then 2 and 5.

Although Modrich has noticed a price increase, he believes the brand he buys has a longer shelf life than non-organic.

“For whatever reason, the organic lasts a lot longer, so I don’t feel like I end up spending as much money,” he says. “There’s nothing that makes you feel more like you’re wasting money than when you’re pouring milk down the sink.”

Jodi Baumgartner and her fiancé, Trent Lorenson, are also organic milk converts.

Baumgartner says she grabbed a gallon of organic about six months ago. After trying it, she told Lorenson it seemed to taste better than non-organic milk.

“He tried it and is hooked,” says Baumgartner, who lives in West Fargo. “He says it tastes like he remembers milk tasting growing up.

“The extra cost is worth it.”


Readers can reach Forum reporter Tammy Swift at (701) 241-5525.