Monday, January 17, 2011

Organic Milk Better For You?

I'm not convinced. Generally, I'm skeptical of anything having to do with organic-this, or artisan-that. That's not to say that some studies haven't shown differences, but more studies have shown benefits in the other direction. Generally, no difference is found, but especially regarding produce, those nasty, industrial, chemically grown fruits and veggies are more frequently better for you than their organic counterparts.

I'm often proven right because organic food has little to do with actual health and everything to do with damning the man. Just because a hypothesis seems right in your head doesn't mean that it's going to be borne out in experiments. And when your primary motivation is moral and social, your scientific sense is going to be clouded.

As it is with this study. I can think of one big thing and that is that organic milks are almost always pasteurized by the ultra-high-temperature process. Anyone who's done a taste test between milks knows that UHTP changes the flavor of the milk significantly, and anyone who's ever tried to steam milk for espresso knows that the chemical changes are significant enough to make it annoyingly difficult. That means that major chemical changes are happening in UHTP milks in comparison to standard milks. Was this controlled for? I don't know, but I'd like to know. Did they include control milks? Those that are produced on gigantic scales but are not organic, like Parmalat?

Again, without details, I won't say this is bunk, but I'm suspicious. I find it especially laughable that the lead researcher recommends that everyone switch to organic. For one thing, has she noticed that organic costs TWICE AS MUCH as excellent non-organic, and three times as much as standard Wal-Mart milk. To say that people should just triple their spending on one of the Western life's staples is ridiculous. And what about milk-steaming, espresso fiends like me, huh? What of us?!

Organic milk is better for you, say scientists

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