Friday, May 30, 2008

Pasture-raised cows produce healthier milk

A UK study of milk from conventionally-raised vs. pastured cows has discovered that the milk from pastured cows contains more antioxidants and vitamins than that from conventional dairy farms:

An al fresco diet in cows results in milk with up to 60 per cent higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA9) which has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer, according to research from Newcastle University. The same study found 39 per cent more omega-3 fatty acid and 33 per cent more vitamin E, which are also thought to reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Grazing provided 84% of food for cows on organic farms during the summer. In winter, when pastured cows in the study weren't able to graze, the differences between their milk and that from conventionally-raised cows was smaller.


Josie said...

great article, i hadn't seen this. Is it really any surprise though that when animals are raised ethically its healthier?

valereee said...

I don't know about ethically necessarily equals healthier, but I do think it must be inevitable that more-like-nature-intended will equal healthier, and of course if you're raising animals ethically it will generally mean they're being raised more like nature intended.