Springside Farm cDavid Nevala for Organic Valley

Springside Farm cDavid Nevala for Organic Valley

In all my years of being a registered dietitian, I never thought I’d see the day when I’d recommend whole milk.  Of course I’ve been an advocate for organic milk for many years, for the same reasons most consumers choose organic dairy:  to avoid GMO ingredients, antibiotics, artificial hormones, and pesticide residues.  But recommending whole milk has been hard for dietitians to swallow because we’ve been steeped in the low-fat diet mantra.

So why my change of heart?  In a word, science. Mounting evidence suggests that components of dairy fat offer protection against diabetes and weight gain.

Now, a new study from Washington State University shows that Organic Valley’s whole milk contains significantly higher – 62 percent higher — omega-3 fatty acids, as compared to conventional, or non-organic, whole milk.

That’s big news because American diets have become woefully deficient in omega-3 fatty acids over the past 100 years, thanks largely to industrial agriculture.  However, consuming more omega-3s, may be one of the most important dietary changes we can make to cut our risk for chronic disease, improve mental health,  enhance our children’s brain and eye development, and even boost their IQs.

If you’re wondering about calories, whole milk does contain more than low-fat milk. However, along with those extra calories, come a variety of individual health-protecting fatty acids.  If we remove the fat, we take away the beneficial compounds.

What makes Organic Valley’s whole milk so special? Pasture. The more time cows spend on high quality pasture, including grass, legumes, and hay, the more beneficial fats we’ll find in their milk.

Mother Nature designed cows’ stomachs to turn pasture into powerful, nutrient-rich milk.  But when cows are fed a steady diet of corn and soy, their milk contains less beneficial fats. Organic Valley farmers’ pasture practices go above and beyond USDA’s National Organic Program standards, which  means Organic Valley milk is  good for the Earth,  best for cows, and nutritionally superior for us!