Organic Meat & Dairy
Organic is Different
How we farm affects the quality of the food we eat. New research has found significant nutritional differences between organic and non-organic farming.
A new study published in the British Journal of Nutrition shows organic milk and meat contain around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than non-organic. In addition to organic milk and meat, the nutritional differences also apply to organic dairy like butter, cream, cheese and yoghurt.
The difference in Omega 3 is because organic animals have to eat a more natural grass-based diet containing high levels of clover. Clover is used in organic farming to fix nitrogen so that crops and grass grow (instead of manufactured/chemical fertilisers), and this research has found that clover also increases the Omega 3 concentrations in meat and milk. Under organic standards, organic cows must eat a 60% fresh grass based diet or hay/silage (conserved grass).
The study is the largest systematic review of its kind and led by Newcastle University and an international team of experts.
More of the good stuff, less of the bad
- both organic milk (dairy) and meat contain around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced products
- organic meat had slightly lower concentrations of two saturated fats linked to heart disease
- organic milk and dairy contains 40% more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)– (CLA has been linked to a range of health benefits including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers and obesity)
- organic milk and dairy contains slightly higher concentrations of iron, Vitamin E and some carotenoids
- organic milk contains less iodine than non-organic milk
The very highest animal welfare standards
Organic standards put animal welfare first and cover everything from living conditions and diet to transport and slaughter.
Look for the logo - choose organic. Support sustainable farming practices that mean higher standards of animal welfare and a more traceable process of production.
Download the dairy research
Find out more about the dairy nutritional research in this useful summary produced by Neal's Yard Remedies.Download here
Download the meat research
Find out more about the meat nutritional research in this useful summary produced by Neal's Yard Remedies.Download here
We farm organic red meat on a grass-based, home-grown forage diet which delivers a superb quality. This land-mark paper now also confirms what we've always known; there is also a significant nutritional difference between organic and non-organic.Richard Smith Senior Farms Manager - Daylesford Organic