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Feb 12, 2013 04:46 AM

Organic Milk

I know that the UK and the US (where most of you guys are from) probably have a slightly different state of affairs with standard milk, but there are probably still roughly the same advantages to drinking organic milk.

I'm thinking of going organic, but I'd like to ask:

Will there be any taste difference? I generally only go through a pint a week in semi skimmed in my tea.
What exactly are the nutritional benefits? Will I gain anything through such a meagre amount of milk?

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  1. Taste : buy both and have someone do a blind test; personally, I don't taste the difference as I use milk in cereals.

    Nutritional Benefits: Who knows, buying organic is not just good on a personal level, but in all the chain of production (better pastures, better cows, better production practices...)

    Economic benefits: The more people buy organic, the more the price will go down as more producers will do it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Maximilien

      You're certainly right on the last two points. I tend to buy organic eggs as I can really taste the difference, and chicken when I can afford to.

    2. You'll feel better about yourself but that's about it. There are some "premium" organic milk products out there (in my area, Chicago, we have producers like Kalona who offer "cream-top" milks - oddly, even skim) which have their own "premium" features. Otherwise, nutritionally and taste-wise I doubt you'll notice any differences.

      1. I agree with doing a blind taste test. I buy 1% organic now, and find it has a "fuller mouth feel" and a better taste.

        It also lasts longer than regular milk, IMO. Don't know how, but it doesn't spoil as regular milk does.

        4 Replies
        1. re: LindaWhit

          That's painting with a pretty broad brush. I've purchased plenty of organic brands that spoil quickly. Organic dairy and eggs don't possess any magical qualities that retard normal spoilage, it may be that you purchase a brand that underestimates its "sell by" date, but I've tossed some fairly expensive bottles of organic milk that didn't make it past the printed date.

          1. re: ferret

            I'm just giving my experience with about 3 different brands of organic milk, ferret. As I said "IMO".

            1. re: LindaWhit

              Many brands of organic milk (in the US, anyway) are ultra-pasteurized, which would explain the longer shelf life.

            2. re: ferret

              It is true that many (not all) organic milk brands will last longer than typical supermarket labels. Organic milk from large national vendors (e.g. Organic Valley, Horizons Organic) are ultra-pasteurized (or UHT). Because organic milk producers are fewer and farther between their milk tends to have to travel longer to get to the store so they will use ultra-pasteurization to give their product a longer shelf life. More details are in this Scientific American article

          2. There should be no taste difference and no nutrional difference, as such.

            The perceived advantages of using organic milk will be the same as those perceived for other organic produce.

            I regularly buy organic fruit, vegetables and meat but do not for milk (mainly because the milkman doesnt deliver organic)

            1. There is a massive difference in the US because all sorts of disgusting antibiotics and hormones are given to domestic milk cows, almost all of which are illegal in the EU. Also, almost all dairy cows are confined and treated terribly. So...buying organic helps avoid those to a certain extent although there are still plenty of semi-industrial producers who skirt the law (Horizon). Also, in the US many organic produces are UHT/ultra-pasturized which I loathe, but I understand this is more common in Europe.

              Good, organic milk that is not UHT tastes a lot better than either conventional or UHT organic.

              I can't tolerate the needless mistreatment of animals. I don't have a problem with consuming animal products but cheap food is not enough reason to cause suffering.

              As far as health benefits, the greatest will come from grass fed dairy which does have higher levels of good fats etc.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JudiAU

                Ditto to everything JudiAU said. I live in Canada and try to buy organic milk whenever possible. I find there is enough of a taste difference to make and price discrepancy negligible. I want to support organic farming. If it costs a bit more to do so, so be it. Organic milk has made me come to love the taste and crave it. I don't feel that way with regular milk.