Examining data from around the world, an international team of experts led by Newcastle University, UK reviewed 196 papers on milk and 67 papers on meat and found distinct differences between organic and standard milk and meat, particularly in regards to fatty acid composition, and the concentrations of certain important minerals and antioxidants.
Researchers concluded that the data showed that both organic milk and meat contain around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than standard products, and that a shift to organic meat and milk would assist with increasing our intake of nutritionally essential fatty acids.
“Omega-3s are linked to reductions in cardiovascular disease, improved neurological development and function, and better immune function,” said Chris Seal, Professor of Food and Human Nutrition at Newcastle University. “Western European diets are recognized as being too low in these fatty acids and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends we should double our intake…But getting enough in our diet is difficult. Our study suggests that switching to organic would go some way towards improving intakes of these important nutrients.”
After analyzing data from around the world, researchers found that organic milk and meat have far more advantageous fat profiles than standard milk and meat. Another significant find was that changing from standard to organic would increase omega-3 fat intake without raising calories and unhealthy saturated fat. For example, half a liter of organic full fat milk provides an estimated 16% (39 mg) of the recommended daily intake of very long-chain omega-3, while standard milk only delivers 11% (25 mg).
In addition to these benefits, it was noted that organic milk has a lower omega-3/o mega-6 ratio, and that there were lower levels of myristic and palmitic acid present in organic meat. Furthermore, greater levels of fat soluble vitamins like vitamin E and carotenoids, and 40% more CLA was found in organic milk during the study.
Newcastle University’s Professor Carlo Leifert observed that “Several of these differences stem from organic livestock production and are brought about by differences in production intensity, with outdoor-reared, grass-fed animals producing milk and meat that is consistently higher in desirable fatty acids such as the omega-3s, and lower in fatty acids that can promote heart disease and other chronic diseases.”
Source: Newcastle University. “New study finds clear differences between organic and non-organic milk and meat.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 February 2016.www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160215210707.htm