The Benefits of Organic Milk
How we farm affects the quality of the food we eat and new research from the British Journal of Nutrition has found significant nutritional differences between organic and non-organic farming.
Unlike many other farming systems, organic cows spend much of their lives outdoors where they can graze naturally on a diet of grass. Animals are raised without the routine, preventative use of antibiotics and wormers and they graze naturally on a GM-free diet.
Organic dairy cows are generally not pushed to their milk producing limits in the same way other cows can be. Hollis Mead cows are milked once a day only. Average yields in organic milk production are around a quarter less than in intensive production.
The difference in Omega 3 is because organic animals have to eat a more natural grass-based diet containing high levels of clover. Clover is used in organic farming to fix nitrogen so that crops and grass grow (instead of manufactured/chemical fertilisers), and this research has found that clover also increases the Omega 3 concentrations in meat and milk. Under organic standards, organic cows must eat a 60% fresh grass based diet or hay/silage (conserved grass).
What makes organic different?
- Free range - By law, cows must be at pasture whenever conditions allow, over 200 days on average
- Fewer pesticides & no artificial fertilisers used on pasture. Hollis Mead uses none whatsoever
- Cows fed a grass-rich 100% organic diet, GM free (minimum 60% grass-based)
- Routine antibiotic usage banned
- No system of farming has milk with higher levels of nutrients, e.g. Omega 3 fatty acids
- No system of farming has higher wildlife benefits
What are the Health & Nutritional Benefits of Organic Milk?
- Organic milk contains around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced products
- Organic milk contains 40% more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)– (CLA has been linked to a range of health benefits including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers and obesity)
- Organic milk and dairy contains slightly higher concentrations of iron, Vitamin E and some carotenoids
- Organic milk contains less iodine than non-organic milk
Credit - Soil Association