By: Carlene Helble-Elite Nutrition Intern
There is much more to milk than meets the eye. Not only are there hundreds of different dairies that are producing, but there are also categories like hormone free milk to consider while you’re making your grocery list.
Around 2005, the price of milk spiked, something many of us tend to take in stride question free, but grumble about as we push our carts to the check out line. Between 2005-2006, states like California were eliminating the use of rBGH, a bovine growth hormone, in dairy cattle, making them hormone free, but also less productive (hence the price hike). The majority of milk produced within the United States are now hormone free.
But what’s the big deal? Studies have indicated that rBGH may increase your risk of producing a cancer-causing hormone. Canada and most European nations have already ban the hormone, something that raises red flags. Other studies show that the small amount of rBGH in milk gets destroyed in our GI system, or during pasteurization. More recently, Monsanto, the rBGH producer, and the FDA threatened to sue those who labeled milk rBGH free and state-by-state, the legality of the labeling changes.
Although rBGH is not illegal in the US at this point, it’s definitely something to keep an eye out for in the news. While we are unsure of the long-term outcome of rBGH consumption, we do know that grass fed cows, as opposed to corn fed cows, produce milk that is healthier for your heart. A Harvard study showed that Grass-fed cows deliver milk with more heart healthy benefits (test subjects had up to a 36% lower risk of heart attack), a very cool new finding! Remember, low fat milk and other dairy is a great source of protein and calcium, and now heart healthy.