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!