Nutritional Differences between Organic and Non-Organic Milk and Meat

There has been much discussion surrounding the claims that there are health and nutritional benefits of Organic vs Non-Organic Milk and Meat. A recent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found some stark differences between the two especially as it pertains to fatty acid composition, as well as to nutrient/antioxidant content.

Several findings stand out as relevant:

  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is found at a 40% greater concentration in Organic Milk.
  • Iodine and Selenium is found at a 74% greater concentration in Non-Organic Milk.
  • Iron, Vitamin E and some carotenoids are found in higher concentrations in Organic Milk.
    • Carotenoids function as antioxidants which can help protect against cellular damage, aging effects and have even shown to have beneficial effects towards some chronic diseases. It’s important to note, at least for informational purposes, that these carotenoids cannot be synthesized by humans and your diet is the only way to get them.
  • Beneficial Omega-3 Fatty Acids are found at a 50% greater concentration in both Organic Milk and Meat than the similar conventional Non-Organic products.
  • Palmitic and Myristic acid, which are two types of saturated fats, are found in slightly lower concentrations in Organic meat and  have been linked to an increase in cardiovascular disease.

All in all, the literature points to the facts that Organic Milk and Meat have more preferable fat profiles and that these profiles are commonly found in the organic farming standards which promote outdoor grazing and low concentrate feedings.



DŚrednicka-Tober , MBarański , CJSeal , et al. (2016) Higher PUFA and n-3 PUFA, conjugated linoleic acid, α-tocopherol and iron, but lower iodine and selenium concentrations in organic milk: a systematic literature review and meta- and redundancy analyses. Br J Nutr 115, 10431060. Link to the Study


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