The Skinny On Low-Fat Milk ~ The Garden of Eating - a sinfully good blog about food

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Skinny On Low-Fat Milk

I'd really never questioned the wisdom of buying low-fat milk before. Although I dislike the watery flavor of skim milk, I've always found 2% to be plenty creamy so that was my nod to the cultural pressure to cut fat out of our diets.

But I had also never looked at the ingredients on the carton of organic 2% milk before reading Michael Pollan's newest book,
In Defense of Food. I'd always just assumed that there would be only one ingredient -- milk...

So you can imagine my surprise to find that there are FOUR ingredients in my 2% milk!

Low-fat (2%) milk ingredients

Here's the skinny. Any time food producers take something out of a food product (even one as seemingly simple and pure-sounding as milk) they have to put something else back in to replace it to keep the product looking and tasting like the original, unadulterated version did.

Pollan also points out that the very fat we're so desperate to remove from our dairy products actually helps our bodies absorb a whole bunch of fat-soluble vitamins in the milk.

I purchased my first half gallon of whole organic milk (from Strauss Creamery, our amazing local dairy - you can
read my earlier post on which organic dairy companies are good and which are bad if you want to learn more about your options) a few days ago. I did check the ingredients before I headed to the check out line and found only one -- organic whole milk.

Whole milk ingredients

2 comments:

fezmarie73 said...

I never buy organic milk in my grocery. Ever. They suck all the nutrients out by ultrapasteurizing the milk and then re-introduce the vitamins and minerals artificially. YUCK.
I am happier buying whole, raw milk from my local dairy (about 13 miles from me), or buying a low-pasteurized local milk from my farmer's market.
NEVER, EVER will I drink any of the organic milks at the grocery store. A cardinal sin, I say.

Anonymous said...

This may be a bit slow to the game, but the milk that you are talking about is simply the utlrapastuerized milk as you said. If the organic milk is not ultrapasteurized, the nutrient deficiency should not be synonymous. I know Horizon organic milk ultrapasteurizes, which is why you can find it on the shelves, unrefridgerated.

However, organic for milk is not synonymous with ultrapasteurized. To my knowledge, you are safe purchasing organic milk as long as it is not UP. I enjoy the suggestion on using low-pasteurized milk though! Smart!