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Here are some of the questions we frequently hear from you. Don't see your question? Just ask us.
We make every effort to ensure that Horizon Organic milk products are free of wheat, wheat gluten, rye, oats, barley and malt. While it is virtually impossible to be certain that each carton is 100% free of all gluten, Horizon Organic milk products are suitable for most people with wheat and gluten allergies. People with severe allergies should consult a doctor before introducing a new food.
Horizon adds five live and active cultures to its yogurt: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Streptococcus thermophilus.
Horizon uses natural carotene and/or natural annatto to produce the orange color of our American and Colby cheeses. Annatto is a vegetable coloring made from the seeds of the annatto tree (also known as achiote). Carotene is found in carrots and other yellow and orange fruits and vegetables. Consumers have become accustomed to white Cheddar cheese; however, Colby and American are still recognized by their traditional orange color.
No. All of our cheeses are 100% vegetarian because we use organic-approved microbial enzymes rather than rennet to help form the curds that turn into cheese.
The organic-approved enzymes we use in our cheeses are not genetically engineered. Microbial enzymes are a substitute for calf rennet and serve the function of curdling the milk during the cheese-making process.
Horizon Organic Milk with DHA Omega-3 single serve milk boxes have 32 mg of DHA per 8 oz container. They come in chocolate and vanilla and offer all the nutrition of milk, including 8 grams of protein, vitamins A and D, and calcium, with DHA omega-3 to support brain health. These milk boxes are also shelf-stable, making them ideal for lunch boxes and families (or anyone) looking for on-the-go nutrition.
DHA has been evaluated for more than 15 years in over 100 pre-clinical studies and in over 100 human clinical studies. In total, they create an impressive database that establishes the safety of DHA. A growing body of scientific research suggests that DHA helps support brain, heart and eye health.
No, our milk is not a replacement for breastfeeding or infant formula and should not be used as infant formula. We recommend that you consult your health care provider when you are considering changing any aspect of a child’s diet.
Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids found mainly in fatty fish and vegetable oils. Many food products claim to have Omega-3s, but not all Omega-3s are created equal. Other vegetarian sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, such as walnuts, flaxseed and vegetable oils, are actually sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), not DHA. DHA is one of the omega-3 fatty acids. The body can make DHA from ALA but the process is inefficient.
There is no difference between vegetarian DHA from marine algae and DHA from a fish source. While many people believe that fish produce their own DHA, it’s actually from the marine alga fish eat.
DSM Nutritional Products (the supplier of the DHA used in Horizon Organic products) has gone directly to the source and developed a process that extracts DHA from algae, the fish's original source. This yields a highly purified form of DHA, life'sDHA,™ from algae grown in fermentation tanks, not from fish. It therefore contains no ocean-borne contaminants.
Horizon Organic uses a sustainable, plant-based and vegetarian source of DHA Omega-3 in its products. We believe this is better than sourcing DHA Omega-3 indirectly from fish. Plant-based DHA Omega-3 is free from ocean-borne contaminants, does not contribute to overfishing and is a better option for those following a vegetarian diet. Additionally, the DHA Omega-3 in Horizon Organic products neither contains nor is made with GMOs or with hexane.
Specifically, Horizon Organic sources DHA, called life'sDHA,™ from DSM Nutritional Products.
Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) is a long-chain Omega-3 fatty acid that has been studied for its role in brain, heart and eye health1. Although it is found in most tissues throughout the body, the highest concentrations of DHA are in the brain, the nervous system and the retina of the eye2.
Horizon Organic uses only vegetarian, plant-based, water-extracted DHA Omega-3 from a sustainable source. We believe this is better than sourcing DHA Omega-3 indirectly from fish. Plant-based DHA Omega-3 is free from ocean-borne contaminants, does not contribute to overfishing and is a better option for those following a vegetarian diet. Additionally, the DHA Omega-3 in Horizon Organic products neither contains nor is made with GMOs or with hexane.
Specifically, Horizon Organic sources DHA, called life'sDHA,™ from DSM Nutritional Products.
Horizon Organic sources the DHA in these products, called life'sDHA,™ from DSM Nutritional Products. It is explicitly approved for use in organic foods from USDA’s National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).
Horizon Organic Milk with DHA Omega-3 products have the same fresh, creamy and delicious taste all Horizon Organic milk is known for.
Yes. Pasteurization is the process of heating milk to make it safe from harmful bacteria and to increase its longevity. For our half gallon and gallon products, Horizon uses both high-temperature short-time (HTST) pasteurization, and ultra-pasteurization (UP). HTST milk is labeled "pasteurized," while UP milk is labeled "ultra-pasteurized." Aside from the fact that UP milk has a longer shelf life, there is no detectable difference between UP and HTST milk; the products taste identical to each other and have the same nutritional value. Our single serve milks are processed using ultra-high temperature (UHT) pasteurization. Also known as aseptic or shelf-stable processing, this method allows our single serve milk to stay fresh without refrigeration for extended periods of time. Pasteurization practices are standardized and regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Homogenized milk can still be organic. Homogenization is simply the process of breaking up and dispersing milkfat, which results in smooth, drinkable milk with a uniform texture. We homogenize our milk so that the butterfat, or cream, does not rest at the top of the milk. The process allows us to offer a variety of fat levels and does not impact the organic qualities of our milk.
The date on the package is called the best-by date. To insure the highest quality and best tasting product, we always recommend using products by the date stamped on the container.
Products opened before the best-by date should be refrigerated at all times and should stay fresh for approximately seven days after opening. Horizon single serve products are specially processed to stay fresh for extended periods without refrigeration. Once opened, single serves must be refrigerated and can be expected to remain fresh for seven days.
We offer both pasteurized and ultra-pasteurized refrigerated milk. Milk labeled "pasteurized" will usually have a sell-by date of one to two weeks away. Milk labeled "ultra-pasteurized" has a longer shelf life, and will usually display a sell-by date of several weeks away. Aside from the fact that ultra-pasteurized milk has a longer shelf life, there is no detectable difference between pasteurized and ultra-pasteurized milk; the products taste identical to each other and have the same nutritional value. Horizon single serves are specially processed to allow them to stay fresh without refrigeration for many months. However, once opened, these products must be refrigerated and should be consumed within a week.
To preserve freshness, milk should be stored between 33˚F and 40˚F, which is typical for a household refrigerator. Milk will spoil more rapidly if unrefrigerated for even a short amount of time. Every hour that milk is above 40˚F will decrease its life by one day.
Freezing is not recommended for fluid milk, half-and-half or cream. Although freezing is unlikely to alter milk's nutrition, it will change its consistency. Milk that has been frozen and thawed in the refrigerator can be used in baking and cooking.
Single serve milk is packaged in individual aseptic containers and will keep at room temperature, unopened, until the date code. This extended shelf life is possible due to ultra-high temperature (UHT) pasteurization. UHT pasteurization and special aseptic packaging keep single serve products fresh and safe without refrigeration. Once opened, the product must be refrigerated and can be expected to remain fresh up to seven days.
Yes. However, because most people are used to drinking refrigerated milk, Horizon single serves should be chilled and shaken before opening for maximum enjoyment. Besides being safe and nutritious, single serve containers are portable and convenient. They are ideal for sending in lunchboxes or toting to soccer practice or swimming lessons.
Removing the pull tab is optional. A pull tab was added to our single serve milk boxes so that you can enjoy the milk via a straw pressed into the opening on the top OR by removing the pull tab and drinking directly from the carton or pouring into a glass.
We changed the formulation to reduce the fat content and also to reduce the sugar content of the flavored varieties. Horizon single serve milks previously contained 2% milk, and they have been reformulated with 1% milk. With the reformulation, the amount of sugar in the chocolate, strawberry and vanilla single serves has also been reduced.
We make every effort to use packaging materials that are safe, responsibly sourced and recyclable. Our half-gallon and quart milk cartons are constructed from recyclable opaque paperboard. The state-of-the-art, chlorine-free process used to whiten the paperboard results in no harmful residues, including dioxins. Our milk cartons do not contain harmful chemicals such as chlorine, and they are printed using food-safe water-based inks. Our shelf-stable single serves are made with Tetra-Pak aseptic technology that allows milk to be stored at room temperature for up to seven months or until the date code. Once opened, they must be refrigerated. These packages are also made of recyclable paperboard. Gallon containers are made of recyclable #2 HDPE plastic. Their opaque white color serves as a barrier to the ultraviolet rays of store lights, protecting the milk's freshness and nutritional value.
Our half gallon cartons, gallon jugs and aseptic single serve containers are all recyclable. The availability of recycling facilities to process these packages varies from one community to another. Please visit Carton Council to learn more about recycling facilities in your area. If our packages are not being recycled in your community, we urge you to encourage and work with your local recycling center to expand their efforts.
Horizon believes in bringing the very best in organic ingredients, which is why we now offer Certified Organic and Made with Organic products. Certified Organic products have at least 95% organic ingredients and can show the USDA organic seal. Made with Organic products have at least 70% organic ingredients and call out the main organic ingredients on pack. All products that carry any organic labeling are carefully regulated by the USDA's National Organic Program. Many Horizon pantry staples are Made with Organic (70+%) and have a special label to distinguish them from our Certified Organic products.
Since October 21, 2002, all organic food must be certified to a single, unified national standard by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA organic seal assures consumers of the quality and integrity of organic products. Organic-certified operations must have an organic system plan and records verifying compliance with that plan. These operations are subject to an annual inspection and spot checks to ensure they continue to meet strict standards.
Yes, we work with approximately 40 certified organic processing and handling operations to manufacture and package our products. Each one is audited at least annually during an onsite organic inspection conducted by USDA-accredited certifying agent representatives or independent inspectors. Additionally, they regularly review site-specific organic certifications, policies and procedures.
Horizon organic milk comes from nearly 700 certified organic family farms in 23 states. Our family farmer partners supply 99% of our milk. Horizon also owns and operates a farm in Maryland that supplies 1% of our milk. Learn more.
The farms that provide our milk come in all shapes and sizes from every region of the country. But they all share the belief that organic milk makes sense for healthy families and a healthy planet. The average herd size of a Horizon partner farm is 90 cows. Learn more about Our Farms.
Each farm is required to demonstrate compliance with a site-specific organic system plan and National Organic Program standards. This is done via onsite monitoring, annual organic inspections by USDA-accredited certifying agent representatives or independent inspectors, and routine visits from Horizon field personnel. The same is true for our company-owned farm in Maryland.
All organic farms must be certified by an independent, third-party certifier to ensure stringent USDA organic standards are met. Organic certification includes annual inspections and spot checks. Our farmer partners may choose from USDA accredited certifiers. Quality Assurance International (QAI) certifies Horizon's company-owned farm. To learn more, visit Our Farms.
We raise our own organic calves from birth on our company-owned farm, as do our family farmer partners.
All Horizon cows graze on certified organic pasture. When they are not on pasture, they are fed only organic, vegetarian feed that has been produced without the use of genetically modified grains or the use of persistent herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers.
In compliance with USDA Organic Regulations, all Horizon cows must graze on pasture for at least four months of the year. The grazing season varies depending on geographic region. Cows are required to have year-round access to the outdoors, shade, shelter, exercise areas and direct sunlight. Fresh air and exercise are considered vital to a cow's health even in the non-pasture season. Every farmer is responsible for creating and adhering to a pasture management plan that must be updated annually.
The use of antibiotics is strictly prohibited in organic dairy animals, including calves, at all stages of life. The first and best defense against illness is prevention. But when a calf or cow does become ill, we rely on natural and alternative methods as our preferred treatment. If a sick animal cannot be restored to full health with organic-approved treatments, we may administer antibiotics or other prescribed synthetic medicines to return a calf or cow to good health. However, when antibiotics or other prohibited materials are administered, the animal is no longer considered organic and is permanently removed from the herd. We always consider the well-being of our animals first and never allow an animal to suffer. The use of added growth hormones rBST and rBGH is strictly prohibited on Horizon farms. The use of these substances is not allowed in any organic dairy; however, no significant difference has been shown between milk from rBST-treated and non rBST-treated cows.
The first and best defense against illness is prevention. Quality pasture, high-forage diets, low-stress birthing, regular veterinary checkups, freedom of movement and clean living conditions all contribute to preventive health care. When a calf or cow does become ill, we rely on natural and alternative methods as our preferred treatment. The use of antibiotics is strictly prohibited. If a sick animal cannot be restored to full health with organic-approved treatments, we may administer antibiotics or other prescribed synthetic medicines. However, when antibiotics or other prohibited materials are administered, the animal is no longer considered organic and is permanently removed from the herd. We always consider the well-being of our animals first and never allow an animal to suffer.
No, cloned animals cannot be considered organic under National Organic Program regulations. Horizon does not allow cloned animals on its partner or company-owned farm.
The company got its start in Boulder, Colorado, in 1991. Our headquarters is now located just a few miles from Boulder in Broomfield, Colorado. Horizon organic milk comes from nearly 700 certified organic family farms in approximately 23 states. Our family farmer partners supply 99% of our milk. Horizon also owns and operates a farm in Maryland that supplies 1% of our milk.