Monday, February 18, 2008

Organic milk less healthy than regular milk

It is generally accepted that organic food is, at the very least, not worse than nonorganic food. But when it comes to dairy milk it’s another matter. A new book reveals dramatic evidence showing that organic milk is significantly unhealthier than regular pasteurized milk.

This may come as a shock to many people and families who pay extra money for organic milk in the belief that it is better than regular milk. Sometimes the extra cost of organic milk can be nearly double the price of regular milk.

But how is it possible that organic pasteurized milk sold in supermarkets is actually worse for health than the equivalent nonorganic variety? One may argue that organic milk may not be much better than regular milk. But it’s quite another matter to say that organic milk is actually much worse for you than regular milk.

Yet all the latest evidence is showing precisely this. Furthermore, UHT milk (Long Life milk) is shown to be even worse for health than organic milk. Astoundingly, about 80% of organic milk sold in the world today is UHT milk.

In some countries, such as Spain, Belgium, and France over 95% of all milk sales are UHT. In other countries, sales of UHT are growing fast, ranging from 15% to 95%. The milk industry likes this because the longer shelf life of UHT makes the supply chain from cow to consumer more economical. This also has government support – there is a worldwide trend to switch up to 90% of all milk over to UHT by 2020 in the belief that this is better for the environment (less refrigeration means lower global warming emissions).

According to a study by Prof. Rusty Bishop, University of Wisconsin, even in countries such as the USA and Canada, where UHT sales are less than half of all milk sales, “over 80% of organic milk is sold as organic UHT milk.”

UHT milk (both organic and nonorganic) is significantly worse for health for a variety of reasons. It is known, for example, that UHT is much higher in damaged whey proteins compared to regular milk – this in turn is a major cause of brain diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's disease. There is no shortage of evidence to support this.

In a study published in January 2007 in the American Journal of Epidemiology a clear link was found between Parkinson’s Disease and milk. The diets of over 130,000 people were analysed and it was found that those who consumed the most cow’s milk had a massive 70 percent higher risk of getting the disease.

But why is organic milk worse than regular milk? Isn’t organic milk meant to have less pesticide residues and no antibiotics? Isn’t organic milk meant to be better for the environment and kinder to cows? When the evidence is examined, an astonishing picture emerges. Organic milk has no less pesticides and antibiotics than regular milk. Furthermore, the vast majority of organic cows (in the world generally) are treated no better than nonorganic cows. They are kept in confined spaces in cow sheds most of their lives, and the belief that organic cows are allowed out to pasture most of the time is very much a myth.

When it comes to the environment, the latest research is clearly showing that organic milk is significantly worse for the environment in terms of energy consumption and global warming emissions. This is so because the supply chain for organic milk requires greater energy expenditure (pint for pint) in terms of transportation, warehousing and distribution. Organic milk, which is mostly produced by smaller farms, simply cannot match the economies of scale that apply to regular pasteurized milk.

To find out why organic milk and UHT milk are so much worse for health (compared to regular milk) see Organic Milk Myth. Other resources can be found at


illsa said...

Russell - -
Just a clarification, when you say UHT/whey proteins cause Huntington's, do you actually mean they trigger onset? HD is 100% genetic unlike Alz. and Parkinsons. There are no environmental causation links as it relates to causing the disease. You either have the gene or you don't and then the big question is when onset will occur. Just trying to clarify. Thanks for your interesting information!

Russell Eaton said...

Hi Illsa
Please see the following:
Misfolded and damaged proteins are common to all human neurodegenerative diseases. A team of Northwestern University researchers studying Huntington's disease discovered that the Huntingtin protein severely interferes with the function of the proteasome, the cellular process responsible for eliminating damaged proteins with the cell. The proteins that are normally broken down also build up within the cell. The researchers believe this information could help explain the disease process of Huntington's and perhaps other neurodegenerative diseases as well. The research was published in the October 27, 2004, issue of The EMBO Journal.

Russell Eaton

Chase said...

I believe the word "organic" is a government owned word now and no longer has any of the associations it used to in my mind. I'll stick with raw milk over the other options any day. Not only does it taste better, but it has made a vast difference in my health as well.
While pasteurized milk may not be beneficial to health, I find it hard to argue the same for raw milk.

Russell Eaton said...

Hi Chase,
You can't get away from the fact that raw unpasteurized milk has just as much IGF-1 hormones as pasteurized milk. The evidence that IGF-1 is a major cause of cancer is overwhelming. Furthermore, raw unpasteurized milk has many other harmful subtances such as casein (mucus forming), galactose (cataracts, etc), saturated fat, and the possibility of disease and infection from contamination and poor hygiene. Much better to switch to non-dairy milk (see for more info)

Michael Bishop said...

The evidence for nutritional claims is almost never "overwhelming" and it certainly isn't in the studies you cite. I appreciate the information you've gathered here but you seem all too confident in some of these studies.

Russell Eaton said...

Hi Michael,
In fact, there are literally dozens of studies showing the harm caused (to human milk consumers) by IGF-1 in dairy milk. The harm comes from excess IGF-1 which you get when you consume dairy milk. There are no studies showing that excess IGF-1 causes no harm.

Russell Eaton

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