On July 6th, the Toronto Star published an article called Milked investigating the difference in price between conventional and organic milk. The article concluded that organic milk isn’t much better than conventional milk. However, the Organic Council of Ontario (OCO) were quick to publish a response to the article, stating that it was not thorough enough and several key details and evidence were ignored.
These are some of the key points that the OCO highlighted in regards to the difference between Conventional and Organic Milk:
Over 170 studies have shown that organic milk has over 50 per cent higher healthy omega-3 fatty acid levels and higher levels of heart-healthy conjugated linolenic acid, iron, vitamin E, and carotenoids.
Grazing and Forage
Organic standards require that animals be fed a diet of at least 60% forage and 30% from pasture whereas conventional dairy farmers don’t have to meet these specific standards.
Hormones and Antibiotics
Conventional dairy farms use antibiotics systematically to treat and prevent infection while organic standards restrict the use of antibiotics, encouraging farmers to keep their cows healthy and find alternative treatments.
Organic dairy animals have numerous detailed welfare-related requirements for all ages and stages of production, including the feeding, housing and treatment of baby calves.
Lower temperature pasteurization
Some organic milk brands are processed at the minimum required pasteurization level compared to most conventional dairy, which uses higher temperatures. Some say the lower temperature pasteurization preserves enzymes and enhances taste, though also resulting in a shorter shelf-life.
Here is the full response from the Organic Council of Ontario: http://www.organiccouncil.ca/news/ocos-response-to-toronto-stars-article-milked