I’m a big advocate of buying organic and/or natural products whenever possible. One of my must-haves in the organic food category is milk. The thought of giving my family milk that comes from conventional farming (where horror stories abound) makes me sad for the cow and concerned about the quality of the milk. Is the milk nutritional? Is it harmful to my family, etc…
While I won’t belabor the unspeakable suffering that conventional cows must endure to put milk on our tables, I will provide a link from the Humane Society that speaks to why we should re-think purchasing dairy sourced from these cows. After all, cows deserve compassion too. Right?
However, I do realize that there are people out there who don’t make their milk purchasing decisions based on the welfare of the cow. So, I say to you perhaps you’d consider changing your dairy purchasing habits based on the following: The welfare or health risks that the suffering cow’s milk might have on your family.
Of course, this brings me back to my previous two questions: Is the milk nutritional? Is it harmful? I will respectively answer no and yes- and here is why:
Conventional Milk is Less Nutritional Because:
- The cows are fed an unnatural diet of pesticide and genetically modified organism (GMO) grains and meat-including cow meat
- The cows are sicker because they are never allowed to move and graze (I can’t image being caged in and never being able to move while something is continuously suckling me while I’m sick and in pain). Wow!
- The cows are given Bovine Growth Hormones (BGH) and antibiotics
- The milk from these cows can contain up to 750 million dead pus cells per liter
The Harmful Effects of Conventional Milk on Humans
- We consume more GMOs, which are very dangerous to your health according to Dr. Oz (warning, the video might be graphic)
- We consume milk that contains 30 to 50 % more saturated fats because the cows do not graze on nutrient rich grass
- We are more susceptible to antibiotic resistant diseases like MRSA
- We greatly increase our chances of hormone related cancers in the breast and testes
Benefits of Organically Grown Milk: Especially When the Cows are Grass-Fed
- We are not exposed to questionable GMOs
- We receive higher amounts of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), which is excellent for overall health, according to Dr. Mercola
- We recieve higher amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, which greatly benefit our hearts and reduce the risk of having any kind of heart attack (including a sudden heart attack), according to a scientific study done by The American Heart Association
- We receive higher amounts of oleic acid, which helps to reduce LDL (bad cholesterol levels)
- We increase our overal antioxidant levels
- We receive less saturated fat
- We gain a stronger immune system
Now for me, these main key points make my decision for purchasing organic milk a “no brainer.” I do it in hopes that my purchasing dollar will send the message that these harmful and cruel industrial-scale factory-farming practices should end, and I do it to improve my family’s health. However, I must admit that not all organic milk is created equally. So, if you decide that you want to start giving your family organic milk, I provided a quick guide to help you make the right choice for your family and your finances.
The Cornucopia Institute has put together the Organic Dairy Report/Ratings that rates the quality of different organic milk brands. The healthiest and most nutritional milk has a 5 cow star rating (too cute!) and the least healthy/nutritional milk has a 1 or 0 cow rating.
The chart is pretty straight forward and gives you what you need to make the right decision for you and your family.