Different Types of Milk

Have you looked at the milk cooler lately to see so many different types of milk? Or have you read an article saying you should be drinking a specific milk type?

Rest assured, all Canadian milk is produced with strict safety regulations, and there is strict protocol around antibiotic usage that you can trust. Every good farmer is going to make sure that they are giving their cow’s a nutritious diet that promotes health and milk production. The main difference between the different types of milk you see is the source of the feed given to the cows. The three main types of milk you will see in the grocery store are Grass Fed, Conventional (which is generally not labelled as anything specific), and Organic.

Donia Farms Grass-Fed Milk

Grass-fed milk is the only milk that is nutritionally different than other kinds of milk. Our Grass-Fed Milk is higher in Omega 3 and Omega 6 when compared to conventional or organic milk. Grass-fed will also have a sweeter taste, with no extra sugar; this is caused by the cow’s diet. Our grass-fed cows are fed only 20% energy or grain and

80% dry alfalfa hay. Today’s modern dairy cows are athletes and require more energy or calories than our grandparent’s cows. We feed our cows the most forage of all the grass-fed milk companies in BC. Competitive brands allow their farmers to feed as low as 70% forage and 30% grain.

When the weather permits, the grass-fed cows will have access to pasture. Still, interestingly on beautiful days, most prefer to relax in the barn.

Conventional Milk

This is the milk that makes up the bulk of milk produced by farms. Macro nutritionally, it will have little to no difference between Organic or even Grass-Fed Milk.

The diet of our non-grass-fed cows will be based on the macro and micro nutritional needs of the cow. We will work with our nutritionist to formulate a diet that promotes ample milk production but, more importantly, maximizes her health. This usually works out to a 60/40 split between forages and grain. This diet is very cow focused, so as her needs change, we will adjust the diet to fit what she needs. There is no pasture requirement for cows that are producing conventional milk. Our cows, whether grass-fed or regular, all have access to outside patios. 

Organic Milk

Despite some belief, organic milk on a macro nutrition level has no differences than conventional or grass-fed. From a diet perspective, the organic diet would be similar to our conventional cows’ diet in terms of ingredients. Although an organic farmer is only allowed to feed up to 40% grain, they would set up a diet to maximize milk production. Similar too Grass-Fed or Conventional milk, the cows’ health is still an essential factor in developing a diet. The main difference between organic milk and our grass-fed or conventional is that they would need to source certified organic feed. Also, organic cows will be required to be on pasture for 120 days or as weather permits.

Conclusion

In conclusion, milk from all farms is produced to give you the most healthy, delicious product. The grass-fed milk Omega-3s then organic or conventional milk. Conventional milk is produced with efficiency and sustainability in mind while ensuring that the cows’ health is protected by providing her with exactly what she needs. Organic milk’s main difference is that the feed fed to them also needs to be Certified Organic.

Have a question, comment or a suggestion for another topic, please email us, we love hearing from interested people, helps us understand another perspective. Info@doniafarms.com

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