Glass of milk splashing against white background
Is It Ever Worth Buying Organic Milk?
By Andra Picincu
Despite its hefty price tag, many customers are buying organic milk. The U.S. Department of Agriculture heavily regulates organic products to ensure their practices support the environment and animal welfare, but while some experts say you should always buy organic, others say it isn't worth it.
Most studies show that organic milk is superior to its regular counterpart, but it's one thing to buy organic milk from small dairy farms and another thing to get it from large dairy farms. Usually, the latter "are trying to cut corners in the interest of producing milk as cheaply as possible," said senior farm policy analyst Mark Kastel.
This beverage is also higher in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega-3s, offering up to 60% larger doses of alpha-linolenic acid, 32% more eicosapentaenoic acid, and 19% more docosapentaenoic acid than non-organic milk, according to a 2013 study published in PLOS One. Its nutritional value is due to the large amounts of grass and forage legumes consumed by cows.
Non-organic cow's milk can contain pesticide residues, antibiotics, and growth hormones, which can have potentially harmful compounds like atrazine, diazinon, and cypermethrin. In a study, nearly all organic milk samples contained pesticide residues in lower amounts than regular milk, but don't worry, as any milk containing detectable pesticide or antibiotic levels cannot be sold.
Although it has nutritional value, provides potential health benefits, and is better for the environment than regular milk, many experts are divided on organic milk. The research is mixed as organic and non-organic milk have similar nutrition profiles, so all in all, it's up to consumers to decide what's best for them.