A Test For Organic Milk

The New York Times is reporting that a researcher in Germany has developed a test to determine whether milk labeled as organic really is. The key is pasture: Cows that produce organic milk mostly eat grasses and clover, while the cows responsible for regular milk eat corn. That difference, says the Times, shows up in the organic milk in higher levels of alpha-Linolenic acid, a key fatty acid, and different carbon-isotope ratios. No word on when that test might be coming to the U.S. In the meantime, as Michael Pollan says, “shake the hand that feeds you.”

2 Responses

  1. Hi:

    When it comes to organic vegetables and meat, I usually follow the rule
    “shake the hand that feeds you.”

    Unless that rule severly limits availability and cost.

    I have been unable to find a local dairy farm that provides
    organic milk. Therefore the supermarket is my only resource

    • Finding locally produced milk in the New York area is tough, but it wasn’t always so. When I was a kid, my parents would take us to Becker Farms in Roseland for chocolate milk and a ride on the mini-train. Edible Jersey had a great nostalgia piece on Garden State dairies (and the outlook for raw milk) in its Fall 2008 issue. For now, I rely on the Cornucopia Institute’s dairy survey to guide me to the best organic milk, which isn’t always local. Sky Top Farms is the closest to home, and it makes great ricotta.

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