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More omega-3 and less bad fats in organic meat and milk
A British study revealed clear differences between organic and non-organic meat and milk: the former contain 50% more omega-3 and are higher in vitamins and antioxidants.
The international team of experts at the University of Newcastle, Great Britain, reviewed 196 pieces of research on milk and 67 on meat and they concluded that, compared to non-organic meat and milk, the organic alternatives offer 50% more omega-3 fatty acids (which are believed to reduce the risk of heart disease, improve brain development and protect the immune system) and lower levels of two types of fat that promote heart diseases. The study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, also highlighted that organic milk is richer in vitamin E, iron, carotenoids and conjugated linoleic acid.
According to scientists, the differences between organic and conventional products depend on the fact that organic livestock eat grass, which is rich in fats that are useful for their growth, rather than the feed used in the factory farming industry.
“Several of these differences stem from organic livestock production and are brought about by differences in production intensity, with outdoor-reared, grass-fed animals producing milk and meat that is consistently higher in desirable fatty acids such as the omega-3s, and lower in fatty acids that can promote heart disease and other chronic diseases”, Carlo Leifert, professor at the Newcastle University, explained.
But scientists also discovered that organic milk contains 74% less iodine than conventional milk. This difference depends again on what the animals eat: the animals raised with conventional methods eat feed rich in iodine. EFSA recommended reduced levels of iodine in animal feed because “adding iodine to it shouldn’t be considered a way of preventing iodine deficiency. By adding this substance to animal feed everybody passively takes iodine: those who suffer from iodine deficiency as well as those who may suffer from iodine excess”.
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