Is Organic Milk Better Than Regular Milk?

Is Organic Milk Truly Better for You Than Regular Milk?  

By Christina Sidberry

In today's greener, more nutritionally conscious world, organic milk is often lauded as the healthier alternative to conventional milk. While the typical shopper might consider either to be eqaully as good for the body, there are a few notable differences between the two.

What Defines an Organic Dairy Cow?
Grazing/Pasture: Organically raised cows must be given pasture time, a minimum of 120 days.

Diets /Pesticides:

Regular dairy cows are fed a mostly corn diet, most likely containing genetically modified corn, while the diet of organically raised cows is highly regulated. 

Organic dairy cows are not allowed to consume food treated with pesticides. 


After ingesting antibiotics, an organically raised cow is given a 12 month period away from the milk production rotation. Normal dairy cows are returned as soon as they test as healthy.

Additionally, organic cows are never given Bovine Growth Hormones, unlike conventional milk cows. In cows, increased amounts of BHG can lead to an increase in the Insulin Growth factor that may have unsettling effects for humans.

Is There Really Less Fat in Organic Milk?

In the great organic vs non-organic milk debate, a new study published in PLOS One claims that "organic milk contains 62% more omega-3 fatty acids and 25% fewer omega-6s". Thus, implying that organic milk will significantly increase the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in the human body, while simultaneously lowering omega 6-fatty acids. However, critics claim that the actual change in fatty acids in the body is not very recognizable.

What are these Fatty Acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for human health and provide protection against heart disease, while Omega-6 fatty acids are essential to healthy body function, but in excess will lead to heart disease. 

In an article from the Washington Post the author alleges that that a person would need to consume 5.5 cups of full-fat organic milk to receive the same amount of omega-3 fatty acids as that of an 8-ounce slab of salmon.

The author goes on to highlight that there are many obvious benefits of organic milk, but emphasizing the life-changing amount of omega-3 fatty acids obtained, is not one of them.

Where Should You Stand? 

Ultimately, you as a consumer should weigh the pro and the cons, think about those precious cows, and pour yourself a glass of your favorite kind of milk and enjoy. 

Connect with Christina on LinkedIn

About Christina Sidberry
Digital Media Marketing Intern at Environmental Booty


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