Our two child things (5 and 2) are currently in Hawaii, but we are a military family, and we live where the Army tells us. This blog is designed to keep us in touch with our family and the friends we have made along the way, to offer insight into our turbulent military lifestyle, and to share our experiences as we try out "homing school." So glad you stopped by!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Milk: It Does a Body Good. Unless it's Non-organic. Or Organic.

For years, I have been buying organic milk (and other dairy products when I can find them). I do this because of concerns about Bovine Growth Hormone present in American-produced milk that can increase chances of cancers of the breast and prostate and who knows what else. The issue became personal for me, however, when one of my child things was born with a birth defect that has been linked to hormone exposure while in the womb. Thank the good Lord the birth defect was minor, has no effect on every day life and needed no surgery to correct.

But the birth defect made me even more diligent about buying organic when available. My general belief on food is the closer it is to the way God made it, the better. I know with all this genetic altering, there's not much we eat today in its original state, but you can try, I guess.

Ever since I started buying organic milk, I noticed that the carton says "ultra pasteurized," but until recently, I had no idea what that meant for what was inside the container. I've been doing some research on organic milk, and most of the organic milk in the grocery stores is ultra pasteurized, which means it is heated to a much higher temperature than regular milk.

It's hard to find info on the Internet that is not skewed with opinions one way or the other, but I read this article on the Cal State website, and found out several interesting things about ultra pasteurized milk.

The very high temperatures, which kill the germs, also kill nutrients in the milk. Ultra pasteurized milk looses 10-20% of vitamins B1, B6, B9, B12, C and Thiamine. It also looses 50% of its folate, and most of its folate binding proteins (which allow us to absorb the folate). Because the very high temperatures alter the proteins in milk, we may not absorb the vitamins that do remain after the pasteurization process. And some believe that exposure to these altered proteins can cause life-long problems with the digestive tract.

Great! I thought I was doing something good and healthy for my children, but perhaps I was making them less healthy all along.

So as far as cow's milk goes...you either get regular milk and load your system with hormones, or you buy organic and your body doesn't get the vitamins and minerals it needs from milk. The only way out is to get your hands on some organic raw milk (not pasteurized at all) straight from the dairy. Hmmm...looks like I'm going to have to keep a cow in the backyard.

Which is better? Which is worse? Any opinions?


Bag Blog said...

Now I don't know much, but growth hormones are normally used in beef cattle - cattle that are raised for size. Milk cows would not normally need a growth hormone. I do know that a friend of mine cannot do dairy products without severe digestive problems, but she can eat/drink cow milk that is fresh from the farm and has not been pasturized. I have several friends in the area that have milk cows. I will ask them about growth hormones. We have always raised beef cattle - not milk cows.

Bag Blog said...

I was wrong on the hormone in dairy cattle. I looked it up in Wiki. Still, I would think some of the small dairy farmers or individual folks who sell milk would not use the hormone.

Amanda said...

I'm sure you're right: there must be some small, local dairies that sell hormone-free non-pasteurized milk. It's probably hard to come by, though. I'm going to have to do some research to see if it's available in my area.

Shawnda said...

We have a place by us (Georgias Farm to Market) that sells very low pasteurized milk - it's heated minimally but just enough to be called "pasteurized." We happened to be there when the dairy owner was delivering so Jason asked lots of questions. They drive down from Jacksonville weekly to bring cream, butter, and milk.

Steve, Amanda, Kyle & Owen said...

Humm...that is so stinky. I guess it is good that you can get vitamins out of all your fruits and veggies. And, I guess I will still be paying $3.68 for poopy milk, until I can find some other alternatives. Actually, just an extra thought...have you ever thought about SILK? Last time I looked, the nutritional labels weren't to far off....

Amanda said...

Thanks for the tip, Shawnda.