What you don't know about organic milk

Monday, May 14, 2012 by: John McKiernan
Tags: organic milk, pasteurization, UHT

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(NaturalNews) Most people fork over the extra money for organic foods with the idea that they are doing something good for their health. In reality there are some products marked organic that may be worth the price and others that are definitely not. Today we're going to expose the latter as we uncover the truth behind organic milk.


The most important factor to look at when buying milk is the pasteurization process. Pasteurization is the process of heating food to increase its shelf life. The higher the temperatures, the more micro life is killed and the longer the shelf life. The pasteurization process that most non-organic milk in the U.S. undergoes is called High Temperature Short Time (HTST). It consists of heating the milk to a temperature of 161 degrees for 15 to 20 seconds. The purpose of the this pasteurization process is to increase the shelf life and kill bacteria in the milk that could make you sick. With HTST pasteurization, milk lasts a couple of weeks at most.

While most non-organic milk undergoes this pasteurization process, the majority of the organic milk in the U.S. is ultra high temperature (UHT) pasteurized. This means it is heated to a temperature of at least 280 degrees for 1-2 seconds. This type of pasteurization kills virtually all of the enzymes and bacteria to the point that the milk cannot even be cultured to make yogurt or kefir. It is commonly referred to as "dead milk". The shelf life of UHT milk is 6 to 9 months and it doesn't even need to be refrigerated. UHT pasteurization allows organic milk to be shipped long distanced and sit on warehouse and grocery shelves for months before it needs to be sold. UHT organic milk also typically costs about twice as much as regular milk.

Why is UHT pasteurized milk so bad?

The micro life that exists within milk is needed in order to properly digest and absorb the nutrients in it. Without it the body perceives the proteins in the milk as foreign and mounts an immune response. The body is unable to digest the casein proteins in milk without these necessary enzymes. The proteins themselves are also changed at temperatures this extreme. So while it is true that organic milk is produced by cows that are fed organic feed and are free of antibiotics and hormones, UHT processing eliminates most of the health benefits from milk.

Raw milk and low-temp pasteurization

The most live and active milk is raw and unpasteurized. However, this option is not available everywhere due to safety concerns and some state laws. Most people still consider drinking raw milk to be completely safe.

Outside of raw milk, the best choice for consumers is low temperature pasteurized milk that is heated to a temperature of 145 degrees for 30 minutes. This pasteurization process kills any potentially harmful bacteria while leaving the majority of the micro life in the milk untouched. Unfortunately, this low temperature pasteurization is uncommon. If you are unable to find low temperature pasteurized milk the next best choice is hormone and antibiotic free HTST milk. This option is thankfully becoming more available, particularity in health food stores, due to public demand for healthier options. If you see organic milk with the letters UHT on it, or an expiration date months in the future, you're much better off not purchasing it.

Sources for this Article

About the author:
See more health news articles by John McKiernan at The Holistic Truth

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