In the last post, we covered hormones and antibiotics in milk. At this point, most science suggests that the synthetic hormones and antibiotics that are used with many milk producing cows do not cause cancer or other health problem. And conversely there is no risk if you prefer to drink milk without added hormones or antibiotics.
It’s a different story when it comes to pasteurization!
Pasteurization: There is a lot of people now who are
proponents of drinking “raw”, unpasteurized milk. They say that
pasteurization destroys enzymes and “healthy” bacteria. This is true.
However, the important thing to realize is that pasteurization also
kills very harmful bacteria like E.coli, salmonella and campylobacter,
which are very dangerous pathogens. Unpasteurized milk can also contain
mycobacterium bovis, which can cause tuberculosis.
pasteurization, the likelihood was much higher for intestinal
tuberculosis and GI infections that cause diarrhea, stomach cramps,
fever and vomiting. The FDA suggests not drinking unpasteurized milk
because of the increased risk of illness. Some like the taste of
unpasteurized milk, but need to be aware of the risk they are taking
when making the decision.
Personally, I don’t want to risk the
infection and I’ve never had a taste for raw milk. If you are worried
about not getting enough healthy bacteria, see my posts on prebiotics
and probiotics and foods that contain healthy bacteria.
Organic Milk: The definition of organic milk is hard to come by, but it basically means that the milk comes from a cow whose milk production was not prompted by an artificial growth hormone, whose feed was not grown with pesticides and which had access to pasture.
Organic milk is still pasteurized, as law requires all milk sold commercially to be pasteurized. For a lot of people, they choose organic because it doesn’t have antibiotics or artificial hormones. Others choose it for animal welfare reasons or the fact that it’s probably better for the environment.
Personally, I choose it because of all of those reasons but mostly because it tastes better to me!
If you are avoiding antibiotics or hormones, or are concerned about animal well being or the environment, buy organic milk.
you can always drink soy or rice milk as a substitute for cow’s milk if you
don’t tolerate lactose or you just don’t want to deal with cow’s milk!
[Reference: Know Your Milk: It’s Not All Equal. Food and Fitness Advisor]