The study is the first large-scale, U.S.-wide comparison of organic and conventional milk, testing nearly 400 samples of organic and conventional milk over an 18-month period. Conventional milk had an average omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio of 5.8, more than twice that of organic milk’s ratio of 2.3. The researchers say the far healthier ratio of fatty acids in organic milk is brought about by a greater reliance on pasture and forage-based feeds on organic dairy farms.
A large body of research has shown that grass and legume forages promote cow health and improve the fatty acid profile in organic dairy products. Still, said WSU researcher Charles Benbrook, the study’s lead author, “We were surprised by the magnitude of the nutritional quality differences we documented in this study.”
Personally, I am not at all surprised that researchers found that organic milk from dairy animals that were fed a grass based diet was healthier. Just like our free range chickens produce MUCH healthier eggs, so too our goats who have a grass-based diet produce MUCH healthier milk that we prefer to drink raw in order to maximize those nutrients.
You can read the whole report on the study here: