Thursday, September 6, 2012

Is Organic Milk the Better Option?

A study published by scientists at Stanford University has pushed the debate on whether or not organic foods are more nutritious than foods grown conventionally. In short, they say no. There is one exception though: organic milk.

A few years ago media focused on a growing concern on childhood puberty. On average, it appeared that girls were reaching puberty at a much earlier age while boys were reaching their stage of puberty at a slower than normal one.  This gave rise to growing concerns over bovine growth hormone.

BGH is commonly used to stimulate milk production on conventional dairy farms. Because the hormone occurs naturally in cows, and the Food and Drug Administration has argued that the additional BGH injected into cows does not change the milk. However, this is debatable.

To maintain milk’s “organic status,” organic dairy farms are required to allow their cows to spend a certain amount of time grazing on natural grasses. It is believed that this in combination with limited grain feed in the bovine diet (or eliminating it entirely), and refraining from BGH injections result in a noticeably beneficial balance on the fatty acids in the milk.

An excerpt from Kenneth Chang's New York Times article explains: “Compared with conventional milk, organic milk has lower levels of omega-6 fatty acids, which are believed to be unhealthy for the heart in high concentrations, and higher levels of healthful omega-3 fatty acids. The Stanford researchers noted that organic milk does have modestly higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, based on a few small studies included in the analysis.

Organic Valley, a cooperative of organic farmers, says its organic milk shows omega-3 levels that are 79 percent higher than those in conventional milk, as well as much lower levels of omega-6.”

As Always - Enjoy Your Life!

John Aaron Villarreal

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