How now brown cow and why my milk is not good or is it?
So, today I am going to share some enlightening information about in milk. There are a lot of parents wondering about organic vs. pasteurized vs. raw milk. There are concerns about being lactose intolerant, which we talk about in our Milk, Genetics and Poison post. This post is about Is It Worthing Paying the Price for Long Shelf Life Organic Milk?
In the United States, most of the organic milk available for purchase in our grocery stores has been processed in such a way that it does not even matter that it is organic. It’s essentially worthless in terms of whole nutrition and is inefficiently used within our bodies! The reason has to do with the way it is pasteurized.
There are essentially three ways to pasteurize milk: ultra high temperature (UHT), high temperature (HTST), short time, and low temperature, long time (LTLT). UHT involves heating the milk to 280 degrees for two to four seconds. While this is highly effective in killing bacteria and creates an extremely long shelf life which does not even require refrigeration, it also eradicates vital micro life in the milk, including enzymes that are needed to actually break down the structure of certain proteins within milk for effective use within our bodies. The process itself alters some protein structures to the point of being unrecognizable, causing our bodies to perceive this milk as a foreign body and to mount an intense immune response often mistaken for intolerance or allergy to the milk. HTST is slightly less harsh, heating the milk to 160 degrees for 15 seconds. HTST still prevents harmful bacteria from thriving, but leaves the micro life less impacted. This is not to say it is entirely intact, but it is certainly a far cry from the desolation left with UHT. With LTLT milk is heated to 145 degrees for 30 minutes. This is, by far, the best pasteurization method to look for but unfortunately, it is very, very uncommon to find.
With the growing demand for organic products, the industry has turned to UHT for over 80% of the industry’s production in order to lengthen shelf life to a point that the product can be shipped over longer distances without spoiling and without the need for refrigeration. Would you believe that the only reason manufacturers choose to sell UHT pasteurized milk in the traditional dairy aisle of your local grocers is because of a widespread, American aversion to unrefrigerated milk? The very same product would be sold on a regular shelf in Europe! We are led to believe that the extended shelf life of organic milk is a bonus, that it is somehow an exclusive benefit of buying organic, when that could not be further from the truth. In the end, we end up buying “dead” milk, devoid of vital enzymes, proteins, and even helpful bacteria, simply because it has been marked “organic.”
It turns out that buying hormone and antibiotic free LTLT or even HTST pasteurized milk provides much more nutritious, healthy milk versus buying UHT organic milk and it may even save you some money! Of course, if you can find LTLT or HTST organic milk, you will have the best of all worlds and be getting your money’s worth! The moral of the story is to avoid being fooled by marketing ploys and labels designed to make you feel good about choosing a lower quality product for twice the price. Armed with this new information, I know I will be re-examining the options available at my local store and exploring alternative options available directly from some of my local dairy farmers.