Milk: Organic, Raw, Ultra-Pasteurized… What’s Safe and What Do You Need To Know?

Consumers throughout the country are confused when it comes to buying milk. There are all sorts of recommendations about raw, organic, fat-free, ultra-pasteurized – it’s no wonder confusion exists.

A recent article on the Stroller Traffic Blog titled Got [Organic] Milk? aimed to assist consumers about what is necessary to know before buying milk at the grocery store. In the post, the following recommendations were made by Kim Walls, a naturalist:

  • Buy Organic.
  • Get to know your local farmer.
  • Drink it raw, if you can.
  • Consider goat.
  • Remember that soy milk is not milk.
  • Whatever you do, avoid ultra-pasteurized milk.

To get additional information on the subject, we enlisted the assistance of Dr. Jean Weese, professor of Food Science at Auburn University.

Click here to hear our interview with Dr. Weese.

Dr. Weese summarized:

  • While a growing number of people believe organic milk is superior to non-organic milk, Dr. Weese says scientific research does not support that conclusion. “We have not seen any thorough research or data that I’ve collected. They are extremely similar. It does not affect the nutritional content of the milk that we regularly get that has been homogenized and pasteurized. It does not affect the nutritional quality.”
  • There are great risks with drinking unpasteurized, or raw, milk. There are many studies documenting great reductions of illnesses and deaths associated with milk consumption since pasteurization became a widely adopted food safety process.
  • Ultra-pasteurization, a process by which milk is processed at a higher temperature so it can be processed for a shorter period of time, impacts the nutritional value of milk even less. This updated process serves to process the milk more quickly while killing all the bacteria without destroying the nutrients.
  • Soy milk and other such products are processed much more than conventional cow’s milk, but can have comparable nutritional value if calcium is added.

Do you have questions about buying milk? What is most important to you when selecting milk in the grocery store?

milk jugs in a barn” by Kyle Hickman is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.