An European Union funded study found that organic milk is healthier after analyzing 22 different brands commonly sold in supermarkets. Researchers found that organic milk has higher levels of beneficial fatty acids but lower levels of saturated fats than conventional milk.
Although the paper itself does not explicitly say that consumers should switch to organic milk, the lead researcher, Gillian Butler, made that recommendation in other discussions of the findings. The study is published in the Journal of Dairy Science.
“We wanted to check if what we found on farms also applies to milk available in the shops,” said Butler. “Surprisingly, the differences between organic and conventional milk were even more marked. Whereas on the farms the benefits of organic milk were proven in the summer but not the winter, in the supermarkets it is significantly better quality all year round.”
A research project funded by the UK’s Food Standards Agency last year found that food produced with chemical fertilizers and pesticides to be no less healthy than organic foods, but more current and targeted research seems to be refuting this claim. The study also found significant differences in nutritional values among conventional brands, which Butler says may be indicative of varied feeding practices.
“Switching to organic milk and dairy products provides a natural way to increase our intake of nutritionally desirable fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants without increasing our intake of less desirable fatty acids,” Butler said. “By choosing organic milk you can cut saturated fats by 30-50 per cent.”
Via The Independent.
January 18th, 2011