What is the Difference Between Organic Milk and Hormone Free Milk

The main difference between organic milk and hormone free milk is that organic milk is free of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, and growth hormones whereas hormone-free milk is only free of hormones. Therefore, organic milk is healthier while hormone-free milk is less healthy than organic milk.

Organic milk and hormone-free milk are two types of healthy milk varieties when compared to regular milk. Generally, milk is a nutrient-rich, white liquid produced by mammals. It is an excellent source of proteins, which is rich in calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin B.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Organic Milk
      – Definition, Facts, Importance
2. What is Hormone-Free Milk
      – Definition, Facts, Importance
3. What are the Similarities Between Organic Milk and Hormone Free Milk
      – Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Organic Milk and Hormone Free Milk
      – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Antibiotics, Fertilizers, Growth Hormone, Hormone-Free Milk, Organic Milk, Pesticides, Regular Milk

Difference Between Organic Milk and Hormone Free Milk - Comparison Summary

What is Organic Milk

Organic milk is the milk produced by the cows raised under organic farming methods. These cows are free to graze. Moreover, the grass they graze has to be grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. 30% of their diet contains fodder and forage produced under organic methods. Also, farmers should not administrate antibiotics and hormones to the cows. However, it is possible to treats cows who are unwell with antibiotics. If so, the farmers have to remove milk from that cows for a certain period of time; this is called the withdrawal period or wait time. This ensures that commercialized samples of milk do not include antibiotics.

What is the Difference Between Organic Milk and Hormone Free Milk

Figure 1: A Dairy Cow Grazing in Normandy

However, organic milk is less available in the market, and it is comparatively expensive due to its limited production and strict conditions farmers have to follow. Therefore, in order to achieve a longer shelf life, organic milk is pasteurized at very high temperatures (around 280 ˚F). Though the high temperatures reduce the nutritional value of milk, they add a sweet taste to the product.

What is Hormone-Free Milk

Hormone-free milk is the milk products obtained from the cows raised without the administration of growth hormones. However, this does not mean that these cows are raised under organic farming methods. Therefore, the cows that produce hormone-free milk consume grass and forage grown with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. These compounds can come into the milk product obtained from these cows. Also, farmers can give antibiotics to them. Moreover, farmers will not follow a withdrawal time as they do during the production of organic milk.

Difference Between Organic Milk and Hormone Free Milk

Figure 2: Milk

Furthermore, the only harmful component not included in the hormone-free milk is the growth hormones. Usually, the type of growth hormone produced by the pituitary gland of cows is the bovine growth hormone (BGH) or bovine somatotropin (BST). This hormone is essential for the growth of the cow, and it is structurally and functionally similar to the other types of growth hormones in mammals. However, this hormone comes into milk naturally. Therefore, even organic milk contains it. But, in order to produce more milk from cows, farmers inject a synthetic form of BGH, recombinant BGH (rBGH). This synthetic compound can be harmful when consumed with milk.

Similarities Between Organic Milk and Hormone Free Milk

  • In comparison to regular milk, organic milk and hormone-free milk are two types of healthy milk varieties.
  • They do not contain the growth hormone, rBGH. But, both types of milk contains the natural growth hormone, BGH.
  • Also, both types of milk are rich in proteins. Approximately, 82% of cow’s milk contains casein while the remaining portion contains the whey protein. Therefore, it is a good source of energy.
  • Besides, they are also rich in fat, vitamin B, calcium, potassium, and phosphorous.
  • Milk is important for the bone health and the maintenance of healthy body tissues.

Difference Between Organic Milk and Hormone Free Milk

Definition

Organic milk refers to a number of milk products from livestock raised according to organic farming methods. In most jurisdictions, use of the term “organic” or equivalents like “bio” or “eco”, on any product is regulated by food authorities. In contrast, hormone-free milk refers to milk products from the livestock raised without rBGH.

Significance

Organic milk does not contain any synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, and growth hormones while hormone-free milk is free of only growth hormones. Thus, this is the main difference between organic milk and hormone free milk.

Healthiness

Healthiness is another difference between organic milk and hormone-free milk. Organic milk is healthier while hormone-free milk is less healthy when compared to organic milk.

Conclusion

Organic milk does not contain any synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, and growth hormones while hormone-free milk only lacks growth hormones. The type of synthetic hormone approved for the livestock is rBGH. Therefore, organic milk is healthier than hormone-free milk. The main difference between organic milk and hormone-free milk is the type of synthetic additives present in milk.

References:

1. “What Is Organic Milk?” Humboldt Creamery, 21 Mar. 2018, Available Here
2. “Guide to RbGH-Free Dairy Products.” Center for Food Safety, Available Here

Image Courtesy:

1. “photo-studio-drink-cup-milk-food-hay-flower-organic-milk” pixel2013 (Public Domain) via PIXNIO
2. “Dairy cow in Normandy” By Julietvbarbara – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia  

About the Author: Lakna

Lakna, a graduate in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things

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