Milk from organic cattle that eat fresh grass is better for your health, says a new study.
Researchers have found that organic milk had less saturated fat and more good fatty acids than milk produced at commercial dairy farms.
Its health giving properties were also much less likely to be affected by changes in the weather, the Journal of Dairy Science reports.
Scientists found non-organic milk collected during a particularly poor UK summer and the following winter had significantly higher saturated fat content and far less beneficial fatty acids than in a “normal” year.
But they also discovered that switching to organic milk could help overcome these problems, according to the Telegraph.
Organic supermarket milk showed higher levels of nutritionally beneficial fatty acids compared with “ordinary” milk, regardless of the time of year or weather conditions.
Gillian Butler, from the University of Newcastle, UK, who led the study, puts the differences down to a lower reliance on grazing and fertiliser suppressing clover on conventional farms.
“The results suggest greater uniformity of feeding practice on farms supplying organic milk since there were no brands which differed consistently in fat composition,” Butler said.
Researchers, part of the University’s Nafferton Ecological Farming Group and its Human Nutrition Centre, looked at the quality of 88 different milk brands in supermarkets over a two-year period.
They concluded that organic brands of milk available in supermarkets are higher in beneficial fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids in summer and winter.