When you choose organic milk in preference to conventional alternatives, not only are you drinking the most nutritious milk available, but you are also supporting an entire farming process which places emphasis on treating animals humanely and with respect; minimizes environmental impact and also reduces the presence of synthetic chemicals in milk and other foods.
What are the benefits of organic milk?
Did you known that drinking about 500mL (1/2 litre) of organic milk a day provides 17.5% of the required intake of vitamin E for women and 14% for men, and as much beta carotene as a portion of some vegetables?
Research has found that organic milk -
- Contains 50% more vitamin E ( protects against damage caused by free radicals which cause ageing);
- 75% more beta carotene (which is converted into Vitamin A in the body. A powerful antioxidant which may reduce the risk of cancer);
- Has a better ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6;
- 71% more Omega 3 essential fatty acids (Omega 3 fatty acids plays an important role in lowering inflammatory health conditions, such as heart disease, joint pain and arthritis). They are also very important for supple and flexible joints, healthy growth and strong bones and teeth and also foetal brain development. Omega 3 fatty acids cannot be made from the body and must be obtained from our food source;
- Contains no pesticides, hormones or antibiotic residues;
- Contains higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) 2 which helps boost the immune system;
- Two to three times higher levels of antioxidant lutein and zeaxanthine.
Conventional farms are usually large and are often extremely overcrowded. They aim to harvest the milk in the most cost effective way and they tend to feed and manage the cows in such a way that they push them into production levels beyond their natural capacity. These unnatural and intensive methods can cause stress to the animals and can also cause health breakdowns.
Organic farming however, follows standards that focus on protecting animals, human health and the environment around us. Cows have access to fresh air and green pastures, they eat a natural diet grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, there is a higher use of fresh grass, clover pasture and grass clover silage and there is no use of artificial hormones.
Pesticides and Organics
- Certified organic farms do not use any artificial pesticides (insecticides, fungicides or herbicides) on pastures where cows graze.
- In 2001 a government report in the UK revealed that a toxic pesticide called Lindane was found in 8% of non-organic milk. Lindane is a hormone disrupter linked to birth-defects, sexual abnormalities, reproductive failure and breast cancer.
- The same report revealed that earlier samples of conventional butter had contained traces of the chemical DDT, which can affect the nervous system and is possibly a cause of cancer in humans. No pesticide residue traces were found in any of the organic dairy samples tested.
- Many believe that the rise in incidents of allergies is due to over exposure to chemicals including pesticides.
- Fertility problems may also be linked to pesticides as the residue is suspected to be a chemical linked to hormone disruption.
- Did you know that our bodies contain traces of at least 300-500 potentially harmful chemicals absorbed from the foods we eat?
Antibiotics and Organics
- Antibiotics are only used on organic farms when it is completely necessary and only after all natural alternatives have been exhausted. The cow is then quarantined for three months before she is allowed to rejoin the herd. If the cow is not responding to treatment she is removed from the herd.
- Conventional farms routinely treat cows with antibiotics as a preventative measure, whether they are sick or not! Could this be a cause for the increased antibiotic resistance in humans?
GMO and Organics
- The feed for organic dairy cows is free from GMOs and solvent extracts and urea.
BSE and Organics
- Organic cows are never given any animal-derivatives in their feed which was thought to be the source of BSE. No case of BSE has ever been found in an organically born and raised dairy cow.
Remember what goes into the cows mouth gets processed into milk. Organic milk may be more expensive but think about the long term health benefits. As soon as these findings are further substantiated, the price of milk will go down because the demand will go up!