Organic Milk – More Of The Good Stuff!
Today, the Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative (OMSCO) released results from its latest study, which have shown that iodine levels in organic milk are now ahead of conventional milk for the first time since testing began.
In February last year, research published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed organic milk contains around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than non-organic. In addition to organic milk and meat, the nutritional differences also apply to organic dairy like butter, cream, cheese and yoghurt. The study was the largest systematic review of its kind and led by Newcastle University and an international team of experts.
However, this earlier research also revealed that organic milk contained less iodine – something OMSCO and the organic milk industry vowed to take steps to address. This milestone is being attributed to a three-year project initiated by the Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative (OMSCo) to increase the levels of iodine in organic milk, following industry concern that levels were behind conventional milk.
This makes today’s announcement significant, as it demonstrates the actions taken by farmers have successfully reversed this trend and produced milk which is not just comparable to non-organic, but exceeds it, in terms of the nutritional profile.
OMSCo is a British organic dairy cooperative with over 270 farmer members spread across the UK, and is the only national 100% organic, farmer-owned and farmer-run dairy cooperative in the UK. Find out more about the work they do and the organic farmers they work with here.
“Organic dairy standards prescript that herds must graze outside for as long as possible, which is typically more than 200 days per year, and that at least 60 percent of their diet must come from forage. It’s these factors which have historically been at the root cause of lower iodine levels in organic finished milk,” says Richard Hampton, OMSCo managing director. “Since implementing the programme, we’ve seen a consistent upward trend in iodine levels and the latest independent test results show, for the first time, that the average level of iodine in organic milk is 11 percent ahead of the conventional average in finished milks.”
Speaking about the research, Helen Browning, chief executive of the Soil Association said; “This research confirms what many people have always thought was true -what you feed farm animals and how you treat them affects the quality of the food - whether it’s milk, cheese or a cut of meat. These scientists have shown that all the hard work organic farmers put into caring for their animals pays off in the quality of the food they produce - giving real value for money.
Find out more about organic animal welfare here or the nutritional differences in organic and non-organic milk here.