Photo: sassyradish, Flickr
Fans of organic milk now have a compelling argument for their choice: New evidence says it's better for you.
There are more unsaturated fats in organic milk than in conventional milk, according to a research team at Newcastle University in Northern England. In addition to containing omega-3 acids, organic milk's conjugated linoleic acid (also called CLA) has anti-cancer properties and is believed to have many health benefits for the heart. The results of this study were published in the January 2011 issue of The Journal of Dairy Science.
The lead author on the study, Gillian Butler, urges Americans to stand up and pay attention because our most of us don't get nearly enough essential fatty acids. Switching over to organic milk -- which is now available at most supermarkets around the country, whether it's from a local creamery or a larger dairy like Horizon Organic or Organic Valley -- could increase your average CLA intake by as much as 40 percent.
And if you have a connection to your local creamery, don't be afraid to ask when the milk is harvested -- the study also found that milk harvested in summer tends to be richer in essential fatty acids. That's because the cows are eating more fresh grass. In climates like Marin County, where Straus Family Creamery is based, that might not matter so much because snow will never blanket the ground anyway. But if you reside in a region where green grass covers the soil only part of the year, try to find milk harvested during that period for even more of these essential fatty acids.
Was there ever a better reason to go organic?
Read about the controversial synthetic ingredient Horizon is putting into its organic milk at WalletPop.com.