I have a bone to pick with Organic Valley and Horizon. These companies are pulling to wool over the eyes of the consumer. By marketing their milk as certified USDA Organic, an ever increasing consumer base willingly buys it paying roughly double the price per gallon of regular, pasteurized store milk. The truth is, Organic Valley and Horizon’s ultrapasteurized organic milk is really just as unhealthy as regular, pasteurized store milk.
I’ve often thought if I HAD to choose between them, which milk would I select as being better: regular, pasteurized milk from the store or ultrapasteurized organic milk? That’s a toughie. Kind of like choosing to die by lethal injection or by firing squad. Neither choice is optimal as there is no clear winner. Both are highly processed milks, both contribute to poor health and chronic illness in general.
Pasteurized Store Milk: Clearly Not Good for You
On the one hand you have regular, pasteurized store milk that comes from sick, confined cows that are injected with hormones and other drugs. They are fed unnatural, GMO, pesticide and antibiotic laced feed with no access to fresh green grass. These cows stand on cement floors their entire lives and usually die within about a year and half. Incidentally, the true lifespan for a healthy dairy cow should approach 15 years. Milk from these confined cows NEEDS to be pasteurized as it is loaded with pus and pathogens because of the filth and chronic mastitis they endure.
Ultrapasteurized Organic Milk: Still Bad for You!
On the other hand, you have ultrapasteurized, organic milk. A consumer with only partial knowledge of how milk is processed is easily lured into buying this milk because on the surface, it seems so much healthier. After all, the cows don’t get any antibiotics, steroids or hormones, right? It’s certified USDA Organic. Doesn’t that mean something?
While the cows producing organic milk may not be subjected to the drugs and antibiotics used on conventional dairy operations, the milk coming from an organic-industrial complex is even more highly processed. For example, ultrapasteurized (UHT) organic milk must be subjected to a temperature of 280F for at least 2 seconds (this compares with standard pasteurization temperature of about 161F). Such a high temperature results in a product that has extended shelf life and can remain unrefrigerated for up to 6 months in aseptic packaging.
I find it outrageous that Organic Valley and Horizon frequently display their aseptically packaged, organic dairy in the refrigerated section of the healthfood store! Turns out that consumers (particularly those in the US) are much more likely to be duped into buying organic milk if it is displayed in the refrigerated section. Buying organic milk unrefrigerated on the shelf goes against intuition and just doesn’t seem very natural, does it? Moms buy individually sized aseptic packages of Organic Valley milk and put them in their children’s lunchboxes with ice packs! If they only knew that this milk is so dead that it doesn’t even require refrigeration they might rethink their choice of beverage.
Ultrapasteurization/Auto Immune Disorder Link
Trading Drug/Pesticide Residues for Estrogen Mimickers
Another option, just as bad, is to fill the package or jug with boiling hot milk that has not yet cooled down! This releases high levels of endocrine disrupting phthalates (the notorious BPA as well as several others) used in the packaging into the milk! Most everyone now knows never to heat food in a microwave with plastic wrap on top for this very reason. It’s a shame more people aren’t aware of the tremendous endocrine disrupting potential of drinking ultrapasteurized, organic milk!
So, Which Milk to Drink?