What are the Benefits of Organic Dairy?
With the rise of milk and dairy alternatives in recent years, we thought we’d discuss the benefits of switching from conventional dairy products to organic…
With so many new types of milk now available on the market, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by choice when you’re looking for an alternative to conventionally farmed dairy products.
Over the past few years, the dairy industry has come under fire for unethical practices and sustainability concerns, prompting many to switch to plant-based milks such as oat, almond or soy, and vegan substitutes for butter and cheese. However, cutting dairy out isn’t the only option if you are looking to make your diet more ethical and sustainable
Choosing organic grass-fed dairy products provides a more eco-friendly and animal welfare-oriented option to conventionally farmed dairy, as well as being tastier and possessing a host of extra health benefits for you and your family.
Under organic standards, dairy cows live much happier, healthier and longer lives than their non-organic counterparts, experiencing much less stress and a reduced risk of disease. Organic dairy cows spend most of their lives outdoors, roaming the fields in their herds, given space to display their natural behaviours and forage the pastures for grass and vegetation, which is what the majority of their diet is based on. Feeding cows on a grass-fed diet means they are healthier as a result, following what they would naturally eat and what their digestive systems are designed for!
Image: organic dairy cows (like our own Aberdeen Angus herd) are free to roam the fields as they please...
When forced to live inside for long periods of time, non-organic cattle face increased risk of illness, thus requiring more vet visits and the administration of routine antibiotics, which are banned under organic regulations, and higher stress levels, unable to act as they would naturally, often confined to smaller sheds with little space.
Our lovely suppliers at Ivy House Farm champion animal welfare, making sure each member of their organic dairy herd of Jersey cows are as happy as can be. Meet the cows who produce their delicious dairy here!
Organic dairy farming uses practices which are mindful towards the environment, such as rotational grazing to make sure fields aren’t overgrazed by the herd, keeping soils healthy and as a result more effective at sequestering carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, helping reduce the effects of climate change.
Promoting soil health also helps support biodiversity on farms, with the pastures not only providing an excellent food source for cattle but also a home for many species of insects and small mammals such as mice and voles. In turn this helps local bird populations thrive, providing them with food throughout the year.
Additionally, organic dairy farming is less energy intensive than conventional in almost every aspect. Feeding organic cattle solely on grass from the farm means the process of producing and transporting grain and soy-based feeds is not required; artificial fertilisers, which are often fossil fuel based themselves and require high amounts of energy to produce, are banned under organic standards and so aren’t used on fields for organic dairy grazing, reducing the farm’s carbon footprint and minimising pollution.
Taste and Health Benefits
Not only will your tastebuds be thanking you for choosing organic dairy, your body will too! Organic grass-fed butter and cheese are typically much richer and much more flavoursome than non-organic varieties, enriched by their pure grass diet.
Feeding cattle on grass also means higher quantities of nutrients are transferred to their milk resulting in dairy products that contain more Omega-3 fatty acids which support heart health and the healthy functioning of cells. Organic dairy also contains more antioxidants and higher concentrations of nutritional minerals such as iron and vitamin E, which are all brilliant for our bodies.
Image: Organic dairy is packed full of additional nutritional benefits.
Organic dairy is also free of any traces of pesticides and antibiotics, which are found in non-organic dairy and can potentially be harmful to humans when ingested in high quantities.
All in all, by choosing to switch to organic and grass-fed dairy, not only will you feel the benefits yourself, you’ll also be supporting the highest standards of animal welfare and organic farmer’s mission of working with nature to produce the finest quality and most environmentally conscious dairy possible.
Our Organic Dairy Products
You can fulfil all your organic and grass-fed dairy needs with our extensive range, available online or at one of our Southwest farm shops. From milk to grass-fed butter and cheese, to yoghurts and kefir, here's some of our favourites:
- Eversfield Organic Salted Butter - a bestseller of ours and for good reason, deliciously creamy and slightly salted for the perfect spread.
- Ivy House Farm Jersey Clotted Cream - gorgeously thick, with the unmistakeable Jersey cream flavour, this cream truly is the best, amazing for spreading on scones or serving with warm apple crumble.
- Glastonbury Farmhouse Mature Cheddar - One of our most popular cheese, this rich and full bodied organic cheddar has a sharp yet creamy flavour, made traditionally in Glastonbury.
- Brown Cow Blueberry Yoghurts - produced from the milk of a herd of grass-fed guernsey cows, infused with a fruity punch of fruity flavour, these yoghurts are delectable, perfect in lunchboxes or dolloped onto fresh fruit for a healthy breakfast.