Is Organic Milk Better? — An Article Review
Is Organic Milk Better? By Joanna Poncavage
Article in the June/July 2014 Mother Earth News online newsletter:
This article will inform you of another way to increase your omega-3 intake.
This article discusses a study by Washington State University that compared the composition of organic milk to conventional milk. This study found that the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids was more heart-healthy in organic milk. The ratio was described as optimal. “A higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids (found in meats and dairy products from grass-fed animals, flaxseed, seafood, walnuts and some leafy greens)” is thought by researchers to reduce “the risk of heart disease and, potentially, cancer by offsetting the too-high intake of omega-6 fatty acids in the contemporary U.S. diet”.
The study found that the improved ratio of omega fatty acids in organic milk was due to the diet of the cows. Conventional dairy cows are fed a diet high in omega-6 fatty acids, including grains such as corn and corn silage, which are high in omega-6 fatty acids. However, organic dairy cows must “spend a minimum of 120 days per year outside on grass pasture and eat forage-based feeds, such as hay, when grass pasture isn’t available” in order to meet standards which are set by the USDA National Organic Program.
The study found that the omega-3 fatty acids contained in organic milk was “62 percent higher than in conventional milk”. The article concluded by saying that both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are contained in the fat portion of the milk, so you need to “choose whole organic milk to get the most benefit from this difference”. You give up “about half of that benefit” by drinking 2 percent milk as compared to whole milk.
By Tia Lee