Dairy cows and green pastures seem to go hand in hand, so a “pasture-raised” claim on a carton of milk might not seem significant.

However, it is.

That’s because the majority of lactating dairy cows in the U.S. (80.1%) are housed exclusively indoors, with no access to pastures.

So a “pasture-raised” claim on a carton of milk does, in fact, set the product apart from others. Grazing in a pasture benefits the cows, who prefer it to indoor confinement and are less likely to get sick and need antibiotics when they can graze.

Pasture-raised dairy has nutritional benefits as well, because milk from cows that grazed in a pasture has been found in many studies to be higher in healthy fats and to contain a much more favorable ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids.

For assurance that the “pasture-raised” claim was verified by a third party, look for one of the following seals accompanying the claim:

American Grassfed

PCO Certified 100% Grassfed

Certified Grassfed by AGW