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.
Many people will understandably be shocked by this news. The price of organic milk can be nearly double that of its nonorganic equivalent. Individuals and families are prepared to pay extra for organic milk if it is better for you (or at least not as bad as regular milk). But it has become clear that this is not the case.
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.
However, just about all the latest research is showing exactly this. Worse still is the fact that UHT milk (also known as Long Life milk) is actually even worse for health than organic milk. About 80% of organic milk sold throughout the world is UHT milk; so if you consume organic milk it is very likely to be UHT.
In many parts of the world, such as France, Spain and Belgium at least 95% of milk sales are UHT milk sales. UHT milk is gradually replacing the traditional non-UHT variety in all parts of the world, including North America. Milk suppliers prefer this because UHT has a longer shelf life. This helps keep their distribution costs down. There is a worldwide trend on the part of governments and organizations to encourage a changeover to UHT. The target is to switch up to 90% of all milk consumption over to UHT by the year 2020 so as to cut down on the use of refrigeration in retail outlets.
Research carried out by Rusty Bishop, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, shows that even in countries such as Canada and the USA (where UHT sales are considerably 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.
For Parkinson’s Disease, for example, a large study found a clear link between the disease and milk consumption (American Journal of Epidemiology, January 2007). The diets of more than 130,000 people in the study were analysed and it was found that those who consumed the most milk had a very significant 70 percent higher risk of getting the disease. Since UHT has more damaged whey proteins than regular milk, it is likely that the risk of getting Parkinson’s Disease will be even higher than 70 percent for UHT milk consumers.
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.
Regarding the environment, all the research is showing that organic milk is very much worse for the environment in terms of global warming emissions and energy consumption. This occurs because organic milk requires greater energy consumption (pint for pint) for transportation, distribution, and warehousing. Most organic milk is produced on smaller farms, and consequently cannot match the economies of scale applicable to nonorganic pasteurized milk.