Thank you to Organic Valley for sponsoring this post and giveaway!
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting up in person with a couple of my blog contacts from Organic Valley. They were in DC for some nutrition policy meetings; DC is not as beautiful as Organic Valley’s farms, but hopefully they weren’t too disappointed. 😉
One of the people I met with is Logan Peterman, who is Organic Valley’s director of agricultural research and analytics. As his title indicates, his work focus is analyzing research to determine organic benefits, nutrition, and resilience; he uses these insights to inform strategy and operational tactics for the cooperative’s 2,000 family farms, guiding their on-farm management and organic farming practices. I was fascinated to meet Logan and hear more about his work over coffee!
We talked a lot about a new study that he is one of the authors on; it covers research on the nutrition quality of Organic Valley Grassmilk, which is the 100% grassfed organic milk that Matt and I buy every week.
I first started buying Grassmilk back in 2016 after touring one of Organic Valley’s 100% grassfed dairy farms. The product was relatively new at the time, and, as the name implies, is made using milk from organic farms who follow the standard organic regulations, but take it to another level by feeding their cows 100% grass. No grain, soy, or corn are allowed, even if they are organic – only fresh grasses and dried forages, like hay, for winter when pasture grazing isn’t an option.
On that trip, I learned a lot about the health benefits of grassfed milk, and how it compared to milk from grain fed cows. Numerous previous scientific studies and meta-analyses, including a 2013 Washington State University study published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE, have found that the more grass cows are fed, the better the omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio in their milk is.
This latest research, published in the Journal of Food Science and Nutrition in February, shows that whole milk from organically managed cows fed a 100% grass- and legume-based diet contains a whopping 147% more omega-3 than conventional whole milk, and that it has a 1:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, compared to conventional milk’s 6:1 ratio. Wow!
Why does this matter? Studies show that a lower ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 (so, more omega-3 and/or less omega-6) can reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Higher levels of long chain omega-3s in the blood have been shown to potentially protect against degenerative diseases, and are linked to brain and eye health. Research also shows strong evidence that the omega-3s EPA and DHA can help lower triglycerides and blood pressure. Omega-6 does have a function, but it is also pro-inflammatory, and inflammation in the body can be a factor in increased heart disease risk; in fact, elevated omega-6 intakes have been associated with an increase in all inflammatory diseases.
Organic Valley is the largest supplier of 100% grassfed organic dairy in the U.S., and the leading retail brand of organic grassfed products in the grocery store via their Grassmilk line of milk, cheese, and yogurt. If you haven’t tried Grassmilk products yet, give them a shot! Whole milk grassmilk makes an especially delicious latte if I do say so myself. 🙂
I’m hoping they come out with a Grassmilk cottage cheese and Greek yogurt sometime soon too, because I would be all about those! As a heads up, if you are near a Publix, Organic Valley did just launch a Grassmilk kid’s yogurt line there – cute, right? 🙂 Organic Valley Grassmilk Kids Yogurt will be available nationwide in food cooperatives, natural food stores, and other major grocery chains later this summer.
And now, for a giveaway! One lucky reader will win one month of free Organic Valley Grassmilk products (either Grassmilk, Grassmilk Cheese, or Grassmilk Yogurt). To enter to win, please use the Rafflecopter widget below. US residents only, please. Good luck and have fun!