Organic milk has more beneficial omega-3 and less damaging omega-6.
Excessive amounts of omega-6 and a very high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, as is found in today's Western diets, has been linked to many diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Increased levels of omega-3 on the other hand has been linked to the suppression of these diseases. Omega 3 is also linked to brain function and development. Antisocial and aggressive behaviour in children has been associated with inadequate Omega 3 levels.
In the last few years, there has been a lot of in-depth research conducted on the benefits of organic milk verses conventional milk, namely when it comes to the all-important ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids and the level of actual omega-3 consumed.
Researchers from the Centre for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University looked at over 400 samples of organic and conventional milks over an 18-month period. They found that organic full cream milk had 62% more omega-3 fatty acids and 25% fewer omega-6 fatty acids than conventional full cream milk.
Barambah Organics’ Independent Testing
We did our own independent omega-3 and omega-6 test on our Full Cream and Skim Organic Milks compared to that of two popular conventional milk brands. The results can be seen in the following table:
||Omega-6 Fatty Acids (%)
||Omega-3 Fatty Acids (%)
||More the better
|Barambah’s Full Cream
|F2 Full Cream
|P2 Full Cream
Testing was conducted independently by Biotech Laboratories, 15/08/2015.
Our omega-6 to omega-3 ratio was 2.1:1 (closest to what professional researchers and health experts recommendation of 2.3:1) whereas the ratios of the conventional milk companies were significantly higher, true to the results of the study conducted by the Washington State University.
So what’s the grassy science behind this? I mentioned in my previous blog post how the key to better tasting milk comes from the cow’s diet, and this is certainly the same when it comes to getting those extra nutrients and minerals that our high quality dairy provides. Cows that consume more grass (like our 80% grass fed cows) produce milk with more of the good omega-3s and less of the bad omega-6s.
If we are what we eat, then the milk products from cows are what they eat. When you feed dairy cows more grass, you improve the fatty acid profile of the milk. Cows that fed a corn-based diet produce milk that’s higher in omega-6 fatty acids. The better balanced the cows diet is in terms of protein, energy and fibre, the higher the protein content of the milk is. That is why the protein content of our milk is up to 15% higher than the opposition! When comes to getting a good source of dairy, it’s best to reach for our great tasting organic milk!
- Original study conducted by the Centre for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at the Washington State University: Organic Production Enhances Milk Nutritional Quality by Shifting Fatty Acid Composition December 9, 2013
- Health Benefits of Organic vs. Conventional Milk, January 14, 2014.
- Yep, Organic Milk Really is Better for you than Regular Milk, December 10, 2013.
- Organic Milk Beats Conventional Milk, December 9, 2013.
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