The supermarket milk labelled “organic” in supermarkets is more nutritionally beneficial than its chemically fertilised equivalent. Organic milk has reduced saturated fats at 30-50 percent lower than ordinary milk, and the user still gets the same intake of beneficial fatty acids. Omega-3 levels are higher in the organic version, but omega-6 is not, which helps to improve the crucial ratio between the two.
Too understand why this should be, the experts point to the use of nitrogen fertilizers on fields, which are not used on organic farms, producing a less natural pasture with less clover on ordinary (non-organic) milk farms. Organic farms also place more emphasis on grazing their cattle in the fields, which is being said to make a difference to the quality of the milk.
A Newcastle University researcher is report to have said that for individuals, switching to organic milk and dairy products will provide a natural way to increase their intake of nutritionally desirable fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants without increasing intake of less desirable fatty acids.
All this must be very good news for organic milk dairy farms.
Organic milk is produced according to certain strict production standards but those standards are likely to vary between nations, and none of this research necessarily applies outside the United Kingdom.
To qualify as organic however, each farm must be certified, and crops fed to cows must be grown without the use of conventional pesticides and artificial fertilizers, free from contamination by human or industrial waste, and processed without irradiation or food additives.
Organic milk is often treated in higher temperatures than has been the practice for traditionally produced pasteurised milk, to increase its shelf life. According to the producers this has been the practise until now because organic milk needs to stay fresh for longer periods of time because organic milk is not produced throughout the country and journey time to the shelves is longer.
For long it has been assumed that the organic product is better for us. That has a lot to do with the fact that cows have a complex digestive system which enables them to process and absorb nutrients from fibrous plant material like grass, dandelion, and clover. Dairy products obtained from grass fed cows is particularly rich in important vitamins and minerals.
Cows take-in omega-3 fats while grazing on grass. That‘s why organic or grass-fed cow’s milk is naturally higher in omega-3 fatty acids.
The announcement today about the benefits of organic milk builds on the work already done by researchers at the universities of Glasgow and Liverpool, who looked at milk from different types of farms. Over a three-year period they carried out tests which have been broadly confirmed in these recent findings. So, again, it turns out that “you are what you eat” applies not just to humans, but also to cows.