Organic standards can be confusing. Generally, organic yogurt comes from animals that have freedom of movement and access to the outdoors, are fed 100 percent organic feed produced without the use of pesticides, insecticides, or genetic engineering, and free from sewage sludge and animal derived proteins. (When cattle eat scraps of cattle—gross--is when mad cow disease becomes a concern.) No antibiotics or added hormones are allowed.
Most conventional dairy cows are administered hormones including rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone, also known as rBST)—to stimulate milk production. rBGH is banned by USDA organic rules. It’s also banned all over the world due to health concerns—the European Union, Japan, Canada, Australia. The Cancer Prevention Coalition, the American Public Health Association, and others are calling for similar hormone bans over links to breast, colon, and prostate cancers.
Studies have shown that organic milk from grass-fed animals has higher levels of vitamins, antioxidants, and healthy fat. But not all organic animals are exclusively on pasture; many also eat grain
Organic yogurt is widely available. Look for respected certified organic labels like USDA (United States), AB (France), APO (Australia), JAS (Japan) . It costs a little more than conventional, but it’s worth it. To cut costs, look for coupons online.
Small cheese shops and farmers’ markets are also a good source for yogurt—cow, sheep, and goat—from small farms or dairies that are either certified organic or raising their animals organically.
Make your own; it's easy!