Why should I be aware of this?
Many connoisseurs say the best milk comes from cows who eat mostly grass. The flavor is more complex, and varies with the seasons. In addition, a grass diet leads to milk with as much as five times the amount of conjugated linoleic acid, which some studies using animal models show can help fight cancer. And grazing is better for the cows' health than a diet of grain.
Grass or grain, feed for organic farm cows has to be grown without pesticides. Cows reared in organic farms, and fed on a rich diet of forage, fresh grass and clover, develop to become happy and contented cows. It is mandatory for “USDA Organic” labeled milk to come from cows that have not been treated with bovine growth hormone (BGH) to increase milk production.
Another vital requirement for organic cows is that they must have access to pastures. Studies have also found that organic, milk has more CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid). CLA promotes metabolic rate, immunity to diseases and muscle growth and at the same time brings down abdominal fat, cholesterol, and allergic reactions. Cows that are grazed on pastures have been found to produce 500% more CLA in their milk than cows that are fed fodder.
 All about organic milk
Organic milk comes from a cow whose milk production was not prompted by an artificial growth hormone, whose feed was not grown with pesticides and which had "access to pasture,"
A recent research conducted by the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences and the University of Newcastle has found that organic milk is 50 percent higher in the alpha tocopherol compound of Vitamin E, 75 percent higher in beta carotene, which is used by our bodies to convert to Vitamin A, and has almost three times higher antioxidants (lutein and zeaxanthine) than non-organic cow milk.
The report also stated that organic milk contains higher levels of Omega 3 essential fatty acids. This is mainly because organic cows are not only pasture grazed, but are fed with more quantity of red clover than conventional cows. Red clover contains large amount of Omega3 which ultimately reaches us through the organic milk.
Another research from the University of Liverpool showed that organic milk contains 68% more Omega-3 essential fatty acids. Omega-3 deficiency has been the cause of various health problems such as heart disease, inflammations (in skin diseases such as eczema), cancer, arthritis, etc.
 Powerful antioxidants in organic milk
Both beta carotene and Alpha tocopherol, the most active of Vitamin E compounds, function as powerful antioxidants. While the former helps reduce the risk of developing cancer, the other counters the harm caused by free radicals, which cause ageing. Beta carotene is useful for strong eyesight, greater resistance to infections, good skin, bone growth, tooth development, reproduction and gene expression. Major studies have found these nutrients don’t have much value if taken as supplements, instead of directly from food items.
Lutein and zeaxanthine antioxidants, which are vitamins in the Vitamin A category, help prevent cataracts, macular degeneration (deteriorating eye sight as we age) and atherosclerosis (when the blood vessels block up).
Women get 17.5% of the required intake of Vitamin E and men 14 percent by drinking a pint of organic milk a day. A pint of milk also provides the same quantity of beta carotene as a portion of some vegetables such as Brussels Sprouts.
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The research found no additional nutritional benefits in non-organic cows. Such cows are fed on a cheaper diet high in energy rich concentrates to increase milk yields. Non-organic farmers also freely use GM cattle feed, urea and solvent extracted feeds and waste from food factories.
Though further evidence is called for to corroborate these findings, the differences in milk composition revealed by these studies are enough to convince more customers to go for organic milk and even pay a little more. Though in the US organic milk constitutes only 3 percent of the market, it is rapidly growing at a rate of over 20 percent per annum.
 See Also
- Organic milk is higher in vitamins and antioxidants
- Organic Milk has More Omega3
- Health Benefits of Organic Milk