Despite higher prices, more and more Americans are choosing to buy organic foods.
Organic food sales in the United States have increased 20 percent for five years, with sales reaching $11 billion in 2002, and analysts predict that the number will reach $13 billion in 2003.
Sales of organic dairy, the fastest growing segment in the 1990s, rose 500 percent between 1994 and 1999, however, even with the increase only two out of every 100 gallons of milk sold in the United States are organic. Yet sales of organic milk and cream in traditional grocery stores still reached $104 million, and sales in natural food stores reached $55 million, during 2000.
Organic milk makes up 1.86 percent of all the food milk sold in the United States, but with the rising trends farmers predict that it could make up as much as five percent to 10 percent.
Food industry planners have also taken note that consumption of organic products is rising at premium prices. Analysts say this may be because consumers see organic as not only healthy but also as part of a socially conscious movement to reconnect with the food chain and help the environment.
Consumers may also like the idea of supporting the family farmer in a time when the U.S. food industry is driven by huge factory farms striving to produce cheap food. Organic farmers earn about $18 to $23 per hundred pounds for their milk, compared with traditional farmers who earn $10 to $12, according to industry analysts.
To earn the "organic" label or use the word organic, milk and other foods must meet USDA's national standards. According to the standards, organic milk must come from government-certified farms where dairy cows are not fed antibiotics and growth hormones, not fed genetically altered corn or soybean meal, and graze on land certified free of herbicides or other chemicals.
Recently, a provision overturned those standards that no longer requires organic livestock producers to use organic feed. The switch has created an uproar among organic advocates who are launching campaigns to protect the original standards.
Reuters Health March 10, 2003
The consumer move to "organic" is an encouraging step in the right direction, but unfortunately most of the extra money spent on these products is wasted due to consumer’s misunderstanding of basic nutritional concepts.
There are two major areas that contribute to the bulk of the problem: Organic grains and organic milk.
First let me point out the obvious. Organic sugar is not any healthier than non-organic sugar. They are both major enemies to your health.
The logical extension of that are grains. Grains, unlike vegetables, are rapidly metabolized to simple sugars and disrupt insulin levels. If you suffer from signs of insulin overload that include:
- High blood pressure
- Being overweight
- High cholesterol
Then you will want to avoid most all grains. This applies to over 75 percent of the country. An additional one-third of the remaining 25 percent will need to avoid grains because they are protein nutritional types.
So even if you are purchasing whole-grain, organic sprouted bread, more than likely it will not move your body toward health, and you are better off avoiding it.
I have reviewed the above grain factors many times previously so most readers are familiar with this concept, but a newer concept is that of organic milk.
This concept is almost as seriously flawed as that of grains. I have long been opposed to most people drinking milk as it is frequently associated with a worsening of health.
This is particularly sad because milk is one of the healthiest foods available prior to its being pasteurized. Raw dairy is something I now strongly advise nearly everyone to regularly consume. If you are a carb Metabolic Type then raw milk is typically preferable, while if you are a protein type raw cream is likely a better choice due to its higher fat content.
Personally, raw cream has helped me survive Chicago winters by virtually eliminating my cold intolerance, cold hands and cold feet.
As Sally Fallon of the Weston Price Foundation states:
Pasteurization destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamin content, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamin B12 and vitamin B6, kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens and is associated with allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and cancer.
Calves fed pasteurized milk die before maturity.
Raw milk sours naturally, but pasteurized milk turns putrid and processors must remove slime and pus from pasteurized milk by a process of centrifugal clarification. Inspection of dairy herds for disease is not required for pasteurized milk. The practice of heating milk to kill germs was instituted in the 20s to combat TB, infant diarrhea, undulant fever and other diseases caused by poor animal nutrition and dirty production methods.
But times have changed and modern stainless steel tanks, milking machines, refrigerated trucks and inspection methods make pasteurization absolutely unnecessary for public protection. Clean raw milk from certified healthy cows is available commercially in several states and may be bought directly from the farm in many more. By executive order, it is forbidden to transport raw milk across state lines.
So don’t waste your money on "organic" milk anymore. This is a waste of your resources. Redirect your energy to find real raw milk sources. Ideally, you can find a local farmer who will be willing to sell this to you. If you find one you will want to encourage him to consider restricting grains from the cow’s feed to improve the quality of the milk.