ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Should I Buy Organic Milk?

Updated on March 5, 2013

What Is Organic Milk?

If you're used to thinking about organic produce, even the question "should I buy organic milk?" might seem a bit odd. It's true – even conventional cows aren't sprayed with pesticides. There are some important differences between organic and conventional dairy farming techniques, though. Cows that produce organic milk must graze on organic pastures and eat organic feed, meaning that these foods are not treated with synthetic fertilizers or other chemicals. Perhaps more importantly, organic dairy cows can not be treated with RBGH, a hormone given to most dairy cows to increase milk production, and if they are treated for disease with antibiotics, they must be taken out of milk production for a year. In addition, all organic dairy cows must have some access to pastures during the growing season.

What Does the Science Say?

Scientific reports on organic versus conventional milk are actually mixed. Proponents of organic dairy claim that it is higher in nutrients, including A and E vitamins and essential fatty acides. They also claim that toxins accumulate in animal fats, like those in milk. Other scientists argue that while small nutritional differences exist in a few areas – for example, levels of protein, fat, and beneficial hormones and bacteria counts in milk samples – that these differences are not significant enough to make a major health difference. Scientists who support conventional dairy argue that the increased price of organic milk could prevent consumers from buying other nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables.

Reasons to Consider Organic Dairy

Although organic milk may not have significantly higher levels of nutrients, there are a few other factors to consider. For one thing, only certain nutrients have been analyzed by scientists. Whole foods contain many beneficial qualities that work together, and these are not always well understood. The same goes for the problems caused by pesticides and other chemicals in food. Many pesticides that were previously thought to be safe are now known to cause health problems. It's entirely possible that in the future, science will recognize damaging effects of pesticides at lower levels than it currently does.

There are also environmental factors to consider. Even if you believe that organic and conventional milk are equally healthy, conventional farming involves the addition of large amounts of poorly understood chemicals into the natural environment. The effects of this practice may be felt for generations to come.

Saving Money on Milk

Organic milk can be expensive, but there are a couple of things you can try to reduce your cost. First, see if any small local farms follow organic practices but haven't paid the fees to become certified. Prices from these farms are usually quite affordable, and you can also support your local economy. Plus you may be able to get raw milk – a whole different issue, nutritionally. Second, there are plenty of vegetable sources of calcium, like greens, molasses, white beans and broccoli. Consider spending your milk budget on organic milk and supplementing your diet with extra calcium from fruits and vegetables. If you want, you could also try non-dairy milk alternatives.

Do you buy organic milk?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Jill Deibel 

      5 years ago

      Thanks for this informative article! I was trying to decide whether or not to switch my kids to organic milk, and your article has provided me with several facts to consider. I think I may just stick with regular milk, since there doesn't seem to be a detrimental reason why we should go organic. Thanks for the research and interesting read!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)