A toast to milk: in all its nutritious forms
Excerpts by Co+op, stronger together
Do you know where your milk comes from (besides cows, of course, if you’re a typical milk drinker)? More and more people are interested in knowing about the origins of the foods they consume every day – including how it was produced – since the way that dairy cattle are raised makes a difference to the environment as well as to the health of the farmers, the well-being of the animals, and the quality of the milk.
For many consumers, quality milk is defined by what’s in the milk and what’s not, as well as how milk production affects farmers and the environment — this means milk from cows that:
Are raised on pastures where they graze on grasses. And where supplemental feed does not contain animal byproducts. Cows raised on pastures are healthier than cows raised in the confinement of industrialized dairies or concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Cows raised on pastures also produce milk that’s higher in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and other nutrients.
Are not given hormones, such as recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). Hormones make cows produce more milk, but they also make them more likely to become sick. While studies on the effects of consuming hormones in milk are conflicting and ongoing, many consumers have become wary of the potential health hazards of ingesting hormones. Some in the scientific communities, such as Health Canada and the European Commission, have expressed concern about the possible linkage of rBGH to some cancers.
Are not routinely given antibiotics to prevent disease. The overuse of antibiotics contributes to bacterial antibiotic resistance in animals and humans.
To get these qualities, look for the USDA Certified Organic seal, which assures that the animals are given access to pasture, are not injected with artificial growth hormones or antibiotics, and are only fed certified organic feed that does not include any animal byproducts. Ask BriarPatch staff about your options for certified organic milk and other dairy products.
It seems as if milk has always been an essential part of the day. From the morning bowl of milk and cereal, or a cup of coffee and cream, to the midnight cookie and glass of milk. However, as our modern lifestyle changes, so do our diets. We all know someone who has dairy allergies or sensitivities, and now there are many types and varieties of milks to choose from.
Here are a few of the types of milk alternatives and what makes them nutritious. You can find these at BriarPatch and you will be sure to enjoy drinking them.
- Low in calories, fat, carbs, and sugar, unsweetened almond milk is an alternative for those managing diabetes or weight
- On average, has 30% of daily calcium, 25% Vitamin D, and 50% of Vitamin E
- It may reduce the risk of heart disease
- Contains MCTs that may lower inflammation and help with fatigue, because MCT is easily used by your brain for energy
- Is a good source of plant-based iron and magnesium, and an excellent source of manganese
- 50% of fat in coconuts are lauric acid, which may have antibacterial and antiviral properties
- Pea milk is high in plant-based protein, an average of 8g per serving. Pea protein is high in iron, Vitamin D and C
- Alternative for those with nut allergies
- On average, 50% less sugar than dairy milk, and 50% more calcium
- Easy-to-digest, with only trace amounts of alpha S1 casein protein, and less lactose than cow milk
- Excellent source of calcium, magnesium, and potassium
- Contains little to no sugar or cholesterol and is an excellent source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
- Produced from the seeds of the hemp plant and has 10 essential amino acids
- Low in fat and no cholesterol, oat milk may be a good alternative for those concerned with heart health
- High in fiber and an excellent alternative for baking
You can also find
milks and creams at BriarPatch!