Another study has confirmed that organic milk, from cows that feed on pasture, delivers significantly more nutrition than feedlot milk.
The U.K. Independent reports that grass-fed cows offer “60 per cent higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA9), which has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer.” Omega-3 fatty acids (39 percent higher) and vitamin E (33 percent higher) are also more abundant in milk from grass-fed cows.
Unlike in the U.S., U.K. organic standards make sure that organic milk come from cows with access to grass when it’s abundant in the summer. Here is the Independent:
[In England] grazing provided around 84 per cent of food for cows on organic farms in the summer, compared to 37 per cent for conventionally farmed animals. The remaining diet of cows on non-organic farms comprised 29 per cent silage (preserved grass) and 34 per cent concentrate (a mixture including cereals and grains).
Here in the U.S., we know that the USDA uses a rather broad interpretation to enforce the “access to pasture” stipulation for organic livestock — and thus much of our organic milk comes from cows kept on feedlots year-round. Meanwhile, family-scale organic dairy farmers are mired in crisis — and low-income folks face face serious obstacles gaining access to organic milk.