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Oct 16, 2008 10:27 AM

Why do people buy organic milk; it tastes the same as regular?

It's totally obvious to me that there is no reason to buy organic milk. It tastes the same as "commercial" milk.

Common sense and people's taste buds conclusively prove that there is no advantage to organic milk.

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  1. um, because cows who produce organic milk are not fed growth hormones.

    1 Reply
    1. USDA legal levels of somatic cell counts, rBGH, and antibiotics? I don't buy milk, but I do think sensible reasons exist for people to have a preference.

      1 Reply
      1. I've been buying organic milk. No real reason since I don't buy organic meats and vegetables as a rule. One thing I've found with the organic milk I've been buying is that it can last a long time in the fridge. After the kids left for college I had milk in the fridge for over 4 weeks, I don't use it for much more than cooking and lattes. I thought for sure it was spoiled but smelled and tasted fine.

        1 Reply
        1. re: scubadoo97

          Yep. I understand it's ultrapasturized so the shelf life is longer.

        2. There is a difference in flavor -and texture- of the organic milk I buy.

          Cream top. Whole.

          It is sold at Trader Joe's in San Diego County. $3.49 a half gallon.

          8 Replies
          1. re: Cathy

            Cathy, you might be partially correct (on the texture component). Didn't you see my OP? I said there's no difference in flavor. I also said that common sense says there's no difference in taste.

            If this thread


            is any indicator, someone making a forceful assertion is sufficient to "prove" a point. I said it first in this thread. Therefore, it's true.

            1. re: Cathy

              If there is a difference in flavor, we would all have great tasting milk.

              1. re: filth

                The cream top, non-homogenized, whole milk tastes different than homogenized non-organic.

                I've done the blind taste test. Part of it is probably the layer of fat. Kind of like half and half tastes different than 1%.

                1. re: Cathy

                  Clearly if you're drinking non-homogenized milk, then you're first drinking cream and then skim milk. Obviously it would taste different. But that fact per se has nothing to do with its being or not being organic. It has to do with it being or not being homogenized.

                  1. re: johnb

                    ...and that was my point to the OP. I said there was a difference in flavor *of the organic milk that I buy*.

                    I said nothing about the organic milk anyone else buys.

                    I started buying OM because of the hormone additive factor and figured if I am going to pay extra, I am going for the stuff I grew up with.

                    There is nobody manufacturing non-organic cream top milk.

                2. re: filth

                  <If there is a difference in flavor, we would all have great tasting milk.>

                  The organic milk you drank, filth, may have tasted no different from conventional milk to you, and so your taste perceptions are accurate FOR YOU. The organic milk where you are may taste bland compared to the organic milk of Vermont, Oregon, Northern California and Western Pennsylvania.

                  Your taste acuity does play a role. While you may not perceive differences between the flavor of organic and conventional milk, that does not mean at all that others could not perceive and taste rather marked flavor differences between the same organic and conventional milk that you tasted.

                  This comes up all the time in the classes I teach. Each of us tastes and perceives flavors differently, and each of us has a different set of taste acuities and deficits. The world of flavor one person experiences is not at all the world of flavor another person experiences.

                  1. re: DougOLis

                    Most likely.

                    I can't find cream top milk in any form anywhere else and I have looked.

                3. Good replies from all...all I can add is that buying organic isn't always necessarily about the taste. Often organic _will_ taste better, although given how the American taste buds have been manipulated by the food industry to accept non-natural or inferior flavor in their food, I have heard comments from folks who reject organic foods because they "taste funny".
                  But I think that "organic" is (or should be) really about having something produced by more natural and traditional processes. Unfortunately, labeling laws in the USA make the designation a bit unclear and as big companies are jumping on the "organic" bandwagon, there is evidently a lot of pressure from them to change and relax the labeling guidelines. Organic is becoming big business.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: The Professor

                    Exactly. I don't buy organic products because they taste better, or even because they're healthier for me as the consumer. I buy them because I want to support better farming practices that are healthier for people, animals and the environment.

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                        I'm very much with you in the better for the environment, bonus is its better for us too. Do pay attention to how far your milk travels though. Thats why the organic milk is so pasturized, it must travel so far. I feel this ultra pasturized long traveling milk is not so good for us or the environment. However, there are only a few major producers. Organic local milk with limited pasturization....YUM... you can taste the difference.
                        Given the choice between organic or not, with few exceptions, I would still buy the long traveling milk. The growth hormone has been linked to earlier adolesence in our children....not saying that its true but ...gross

                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                          +1 and thanks for saying it so well.

                        2. re: The Professor

                          I second The Professor's point of view. In America, its 100% business driven, and the pressure for big companies to jump on the bandwagon and relax the rules is intense.

                          The problem is that the definition of "organic" is still very loose. In some parts of Europe like Germany, there is better regulation and some businesses are adhering to the rules strictly. Demeter is a brand where this tradition is maintained.

                          To illustrate: For a farmer in the hills of Alps, his/her livelihood is determined by the health of the animals. How much by way of immunizations should go into the animals to keep them healthy? What kind of pesticides can be used on the fields? What's the tradeoff to qualify as "Organic"? What can they be fed - e.g. Which proportion of genetically modified Monsanto foodstock are they allowed to have, if any?

                          I can say that after a few years in Europe having been exposed to a lower level of food additives and chemicals in food, my wife and I can literally feel the difference every time we're back in the States - we feel bloated from the things we are eating even though we try our best to watch what we consume. When we come back to Europe, the bloated feeling goes away after a week or so.

                          Just food for thought.