Organic Dairy

I read this years ago, ‘if there is one organic product you should buy it is dairy’.

The health benefits of organic milk include having higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids and CLA, more antioxidants, and more vitamins than regular milk. Plus not containing pesticides and herbicides ingested by cattle eating a non organic diets.

That fact still remains true. If you consume dairy (milk, butter, cheese, yogurt) choose Organic. This has become more relevant in the last decade where the mega industrial systems have been adopted, known as Mega dairies or zero grazing dairies. The cows never go out to pasture and are literally milked dry. Demands for higher and higher yields and painfully low costs of milk have set the industry into a potential tail spin.

Milk is cheap, in most cases too cheap due to super market wars, organic milk is also cheap and much better value given the quality of the product. Organic milk is around £0.97 per litre (£0.81 4 ltrs) v £0.70 per litre (based on buying 2 ltrs), whilst Coca-cola for example is £1.00 per litre (supermarket prices).

Labelling – Some producers will label their milk and dairy, grass promise, free range, pasture raised etc.. Look out for this. Same as the eggs if it doesn’t state it is most likely from a zero grazing dairy. Sadly for the farmers of grazing dairies that sell their milk into the general market we as the consumer have no way to know which is which.

Also remember dairy is in a lot of products so read the labels. As per the free range eggs some producers only use free range milk, e.g. Waitrose has a grass promise for all dairy and in their products.

It is also worth bearing in mind dairy products from other countries. for example Czech republic, Denmark, Italy, Greece and Spain have exceedingly high % of non grazing dairies (+80%) and Germany, Portugal (+50%). In fact is it easier to list the countries that have positive grazing dairy. The issue is global, EU and growing in the UK.

CIWF have a very good page about buying dairy – https://www.ciwf.org.uk/your-food/dairy

But that is not the end of the story…. As I researched further I questioned why we drink and consume dairy in the first place, how the industry work, health issues and dairy alternatives. All will be revealed in another post!

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Diet beating illness

Ironically my initial research into diet relating to health was in isolation from my research into ethical eating, I hadn’t joined the dots but I quickly found the two go hand in hand. All of the same topics kept coming up. The prominent fact was that a plant based diet is at the route of all stories relating to diet preventing and combating health issues (diabetes, cancers, blood pressure, heart disease the list goes on). That fact has heavily influenced this blog. I love this story from Ella, she transformed her diet and in doing so transformed her health and journey. Her cook books and ideas are amazing and easy to follow.

Shared for Ella’s website – this whole journey started as a reaction to an illness that I was diagnosed with in 2011, called Postural Tachycardia Syndrome. The illness had a pretty devastating effect on my life, both mentally and physically. Physically, my autonomic nervous system struggled to function properly which meant that I couldn’t control my heart rate and blood pressure properly (my heart rate would go from about 60 when I was sitting to 180 or so as soon as I stood up!), I also had a whole host of other issues form terrible stomach problems to constant headaches, lots of allergic reactions and chronic fatigue – so I spent almost all my time on my own in bed. I had just turned twenty at this point, and I felt so alienated from my friends, I really struggled to get my head around what was happening and I cut myself off from everyone and allowed myself to sink into an incredibly unhappy place. I was taking a lot of medication, but sadly it didn’t do much for me.

After a while I realised that I needed to try and help myself as much as I could. I started reading and learning about diet and lifestyle, and the way that these factors can help manage illnesses. I was incredibly inspired by what I was finding and decided to change the way I was living to see if it would help. I cut out processed foods from my diet and took up a whole-foods, plant based diet.

Changing the way that I ate was so hard. It was a massive change for me, as my student diet had revolved around ice cream, chocolate, cereal, pasta and a whole host of other processed foods. I was a real sugar monster and I couldn’t really cook! I had never eaten quinoa, kale or almond milk before and I certainly didn’t think about reading ingredients lists on foods. Over time (about two years) I was able to manage the symptoms of the illness and eventually come off all the medication. I’d simultaneously started seeing a nutritionist and undertook an exercise program from my doctor, both of which really supported this process.

 

 

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Get Vegecated


Why do Vegans promote a non animal product diet? Whatever diet you choose, there is a lot of useful, simple information in this leaflet relevant to all of us.

https://www.peta.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/PETA-UK-VSK.pdf

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