What Makes Organic Cheese Organic?

by Leila Goldstein

Picking up an organic cheese at the store might give you that warm and fuzzy feeling inside – you’re doing right by your body and the environment. But what exactly makes an organic cheese organic?


First, the process starts with certified organic cows. These cows graze on organic pastures and are not given antibiotics or growth hormones. If a cow gets sick and requires antibiotics, the milk from that cow can no longer be labeled as organic.

The milk from an organic farm must then be processed at a facility that follows USDA organic regulations. These facilities are inspected at least once a year by a National Organic Program-accredited certifying agent. Each cheese facility must have an organic handling plan that lays out how the ingredients are sourced and how equipment is cleaned. This is especially important at facilities where both organic and non-organic cheeses are produced, like Roth’s cheese production facilities in Wisconsin.

In January 2017, Roth launched its line of organics cheeses, including Roth Organic Grand Cru, Roth Organic Gouda, Roth Organic Havarti and Roth Organic Sharp Cheddar. Check out this clip of HRN’s Jack Inslee talking about visiting Roth’s facilities and learning about their transition to organic cheese production.

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You can hear the whole episode of Cutting the Curd focusing on Wisconsin cheese here. And learn more about Roth Organics at rothcheese.com.


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