Why organic milk that is UHT processed is unhealthy and certainly not a better choice than regular supermarket milk despite the sky-high prices and misleading marketing which leads consumers to believe it is healthy.
Fact: Organic milk companies are pulling the wool over the eyes of the consumer to boost profits.
By marketing their UHT milk as certified USDA Organic, an ever-increasing consumer base willingly buys it. The prices are roughly double the price per gallon of regular, pasteurized store milk. The sad truth is that ultrapasteurized (UHT) organic milk is 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. 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. The cows are fed unnatural, GMO, pesticide, and antibiotic laced feed with no access to fresh air or green grass. These poor animals stand on cement floors their entire lives. No surprise that they 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. It is nasty stuff loaded with pus and pathogens because of the filth and chronic mastitis the cows 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. 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. UHT milk 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 health food 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.
Auto-Immune Disorder Link
Why is ultrapasteurization so bad? The high temperatures used to ultrapasteurize organic milk damage the fragile milk proteins totally and completely. The same thing happens when sweetened condensed milk is manufactured too.
When this happens, the enzymes the body produces to digest these proteins do not work as they no longer “fit together” like puzzle pieces. The undigested proteins then make their way into the bloodstream due to “leaky gut” syndrome, which nearly all Westerners suffer from to some degree. At that point, the body identifies them as foreign proteins and mounts an immune response.
This translates into symptoms better known as allergies, asthma, eczema, and other symptoms of autoimmune disorders! Ultrapasteurized milk is so completely sterilized that sometimes it cannot even be cultured into homemade kefir or yogurt.
This stuff is dead, dead, dead folks.
There is no way that it can be considered healthy even if it is labeled USDA organic.
The enhanced immune response that occurs from drinking ultrapasteurized milk has the potential to lead to milk and dairy allergies pretty quickly. I remember when my first child was nursing, I drank a lot of Organic Valley ultrapasteurized milk.
My son spit up so badly during that time that there was some concern that he had a reflux disorder. Remarkably but not surprisingly, when I stopped drinking the Organic Valley milk, his reflux problem resolved. No treatment was required.
I have no doubt that if I had continued drinking this milk and had weaned my son onto it that he would undoubtedly have a milk allergy today. Fortunately, I wised up in time to get off that poison!
Trading Drug/Pesticide Residues for Estrogen Mimickers
While a consumer may be reducing his/her exposure to antibiotic and pesticide residues by choosing Organic Valley milk, this is by no means a guarantee to less chemical exposure. Processors of organic milk frequently heat the milk to the required 270F AFTER the milk is in the aseptic package or plastic jug! 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!
What to Drink Instead of UHT Organic Milk
As you can see, it is an extremely hard decision to pick which milk is more unhealthy: regular pasteurized store milk or ultrapasteurized organic milk.
Better not to have to make the decision at all! Seek out fresh raw grassfed milk straight from the cow (or goat) from a farmer in your local area. And, if you are fortunate enough to have a source for this type of health-giving milk, don’t run out and buy a half-gallon of ultrapasteurized organic milk if you temporarily run out of the fresh from the farm variety. In those situations, it is best to simply go without. The risks from consuming UHT organic milk even on occasion are simply too enormous to ignore.
Another option is to make healthy milk substitutes like this recipe for coconut milk tonic or homemade sprouted oat milk until the next local dairy delivery.
101 Uses for Raw Soured Milk
Tips for Freezing Milk and other Dairy Products
A1 and A2 Milk: Do Cow Genetics Even Matter?
Thanks for the information! Our 1 year old has a dairy allergy and I’m thinking it is likely correlated to how much milk I had while pregnant (and continue to drink while nursin her). We are planning to try raw milk and I just found a store that provides it. However, in the meantime, I’m wondering if you can comment on Grass Point Farms dairy products from Wisconsin. They are strong about their cows being grass fed, yet I think it has a long shelf life. Please let me know if you have any thoughts.
Canada is great for store bought milk if that is your only option. However, there is no raw milk here as it is illegal. No cow shares allowed either. It is fairly easy for me to get pasteurized non-homogonized grass fed cow milk though. But it costs $12 for 3L as opposed to $4 for the regular kind. In Canada antibiotics in milk is screened and milk containing it can not be sold. Same with growth hormones. There is less estrogen in our milk than in a head of cabbage. I don’t believe many brands are ultra-pasteurized either…
I am curious though, about potential illnesses caused by raw milk and whether the risks outweigh the benefits? Especially if you get grass fed, pasteurized milk?
I didn’t notice any references for this article?
Living in NYC…what’s a guy to do? My neighbor’s don’t have cows….and raw milk isn’t available in health stores….so I guess no milk for me.
I think you should visit a real dairy before you make the comment about sick cows living a year and a half. IT’s just a bald faced lie. Which would I rather have–Rush Limbaugh and Fox News or
articles not researched by people that have never been on a farm.. Death by firing squad–I hope that’s your choice.
Where can I get raw milk? My parents used to buy directly from a church member when we were kids but I don’t know any dairy farmers.
Thanks. One more thing — does freezing change the milk? Will the flavor be the same?
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
The flavor is the same if you freeze/thaw milk. You should shake it up really well before putting in the freezer to mix the cream up well. Sometimes the cream will not thaw perfectly smooth, but the flavor is most definitely the same.
I just discovered this blog and LOVE IT! In our house my husband and I have always been die-hard butter, whole milk, and lard eaters, no apologies. We didn’t know the research, but just felt instinctually that real foods were better than fake foods.
We have been drinking Horizon whole milk for about 10 years. My husband does have a much easier time digesting it than conventional milk. But I am unclear about Horizon being ultrapasturized. My gallon jug says “pasturized.” So am I hurting my family by buying Horizon?
We live two hours away from the nearest health food store, and I simply don’t have access to the natural grass-fed meat, milk etc. that you talk about. My local grocery store has only a few organic products. (I buy them all.) I long for my own milk cow, but farm animals are not allowed in my town:) Sigh. Keep up the great work.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Hi Nelly, you may have some milk that is not ultrapasteurized . . I was under the impression that all Horizon organic milk was ultrapasteurized but perhaps they do have a line that is regular pasteurized .. I would call the company to find out.
Even if it is regular pasteurized, it is still homogenized and homogenization oxidizes the cholesterol in the milkfats and oxidized cholesterol is the baddie that is linked to heart disease. I would not drink the Horizon milk regardless. Try to find low temp pasteurized, nonhomogenized milk in your area and ask for your store to order some in if you can’t get it elsewhere. You can always offer to buy the whole case and then freeze it at home. If you offer to buy the whole case, most stores are find with special orders.
I just looked for raw milk in my area of TN, but have had no luck. I did find two local farms that sell organic free range meat and egss, but at $6 a lb for lean ground beef we cant afford that. 🙁 Really disapointed. I am a stay at home mom so my family lives on one income and this is not affordable for us. I had been giving my son Horizon milk because I was worried about antibiotics, steriods, and the animals being abused. Too bad the milk turns out to be worthless! Now I guess my only option is to decide which horrible milk I want my kid to drink?!? This is so ridicolous that the value and nutritonal content of our food has diminshed to nothing. Very disapointed right now.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Hi Brittany, go through your pantry and figure out where you can cut to afford the good quality dairy and beef. It is worth it!!! You will reap the benefits in way lower medical bills and no need for antibiotics as you and your family will be strong enough to get well with no drugs when you get sick. Get rid of all the processed foods that are in boxes and you will be amazed at what you can save and put toward the great food!
I will be weening my 11 month old off of breast milk next month. Would you recommend raw goat’s milk or cow’s milk to take my place? Why? Thanks so much.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
I prefer cow’s milk to goat’s milk as goat milk is low in B12 and lacks folic acid. Some say that goat’s milk is easier to digest, but I have not found this to be the case for most people.