Published: 06/13/2008 - Updated: 10/31/2013
Newcastle University study in United Kingdom evidences that farmers who let their cows graze freely can produce more milk, which is classified as an organic product.
Organic Agriculture Group, led by researcher Gillian Butler, found that milk produced by cows on organic farms contains better beneficial fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins than their counterparts with 'high stimulation' through the use of hormones or antibiotics.
During the summer months, one of the fats is particularly beneficial -conjugated linoleic acid or CLA9, which was found in a 60% increase in organic milk.
The results of this study are published in the online edition of Journal of Science of Food and Agriculture.
"What is different is that this research clearly shows that on organic farms, letting cows graze naturally, using forage diet is the most important reason for differences in the composition of the organic milk and conventional, " Gillian Butler explained, Newcastle University scientists.
The study shows that the seasonal difference exists because the fat acid and antioxidants are highest during the summer, when cows eat fresh grass and clover.
With result, future research will focus on how to improve the nutritional composition of milk during the winter, when cows are indoors and are fed especially conserved forage.