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