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Organic Milk vs. Regular Milk: Benefits of Organic Milk

Did you know that because organic milk uses a different method to preserve it, organic milk lasts significantly longer in your fridge than non-organic milk?  It's true.  Next time you're at the grocery store, compare the expiration dates on non-organic and organic milk cartons.  Check out this article from Scientific American for more info.  

The price difference between organic and non-organic milk can be substantial, but the overall benefits might be important to you.  

Here are some other little tidbits about organic milk, both good and bad, but mostly good:

  • Newcastle University says that cows grazing on organic farms produced milk that is "significantly higher in beneficial fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins."
  • Organic milk comes from cows that eat organic grain and are not enhanced with hormones, antibiotics, or other chemicals.
  • Organic dairy farms don't use pesticides (or use organic pesticides only).  On the other hand, there are about 500 different pesticides licensed for use on non-organic dairy farms and over 1500 which can be used on non-organic mixed farms.  (source)  Gross!  
  • According to a USDA study from 2005, conventional milk contains an average of 2.5 pesticides.
  • Organic cows are only given antibiotics when they are sick, but non-organic farms often routinely treat cows with antibiotics even if they aren't ill.
  • Organic milk must come from cows that have not been treated with bovine growth hormone, or BGH.  BGH is used to increase milk production.
  • Not all organic milk comes from grass-fed cows.  Look into your organic brand of choice to see what they feed their cows.
  • For milk to be certified organic, the cows must have "access to pasture."  However, this is rather vague and it doesn't require how much time is spent in the pasture.   
  • Organic milk differs from raw milk.  Raw milk has not be pasteurized or homogenized and is illegal in some states and countries.