Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Yet Another Poor Study Shows Benefits For Organic

There are many studies that show benefits to organic foods over traditional foods, with an equal number showing no difference at all. The only difference is that the ones showing no difference are usually of a greater scale, both in sample size and time. This new study is of decent size, twenty-two brands in all, done over two years. They sampled milk during the winter and during the summer and it's that bit of info that I find interesting, which I'll get to in a bit.

The study was measuring levels of various fatty compounds in the milk and it found that organic milks had higher levels of good fats and lower levels of bad fats. Ohh, but the story isn't nearly that simple. As I mentioned, measurements were taken during the summer and winter, which produced wild fluctuations in fat levels for both conventional and organic. This indicates, as they mention in the article, that diet likely has a large part to play, since both milk and meat from grass-fed cows is lower in fat than cows fed with feed products. But one then has to ask, why bother advocating organic foods and not simply say we should feed our cows grass? Easy! You can't get self-righteous about grass.

Moreover, there are areas where conventional milk did better than organic, namely one C12 and all four measures of C14 fats. It is too much of a stretch to advocate organic from this study, or any of the other studies measuring similar things, even from a purely healthful perspective.

One interesting aspect of the data that they briefly mention in the article is that bad fats appear to be trending up in both types of milk as time goes on and good fats are trending down. Obviously, within ten years, cows will be producing 100% butter directly from their udders.

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