Organic milk healthier
June 7, 2008
Organic milk is healthier, says a new study from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom. Scientists found that milk from organically farmed cows contained 67 percent more antioxidants than milk from conventionally farmed cows.
The study which analyzed milk from twenty-five farms, found other nutritional differences between organic and non-organic milk. The organic milk contained 39 percent more heart-healthy omega-3 oils and 32 percent less of the less-healthy omega-6 oils. It also had 60 percent more conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, which studies have shown can reduce tumors, and also about 60 percent more of vaccenic acid, which may reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
The researchers found that levels of antioxidants and healthy fatty acids were higher in summer, when cows ate fresh grass. Organically farmed cows get about 80 percent of their diet from grass while cows raised on conventional farms get under 40 percent of their diet from grazing.
Although organic milk is more expensive than regular, experts say that since organic milk is so high in nutrients, customers wouldn’t have to buy as much to get the health benefits.
“This research confirms what organic farmers and consumers have long believed to be true,” said Peter Melchett, from the Soil Association, which advocates using organic farming methods. “This latest research demonstrates that it is the cows’ organic diet that makes their milk healthier.”