I have seen articles stating that growth hormones are given to dairy cattle to increase lactation. What alternatives are safest?
1) Almond Milk – which I presently blend myself
2) Powdered skim milk – which I assume is contaminated
3) Organic Milk – probably fine, but pricey
– Theodore G.
It sounds like you are referring to rBST (recombinant bovine somatotropin); a genetically engineered growth hormone used to enhance milk production. Treating dairy cows with rBST is a common practice in the United States since its introduction 20 years ago.
Alternatives that would be 100% hormone free are those that are derived from plants: soy, rice, almond, hemp and coconut. Milk from organically raised dairy cows without synthetic hormones or antibiotics would contain traces of their natural growth hormone. Organic cows’ milk has a better profile of fats; namely more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Contaminants (like strep bacteria) are common in both conventionally and organically raised cattle. Organic milk is better, but not perfect.
Other options might be goat or sheep’s milk which are pricey and more difficult to find.
- Debbie J., MS, RD
Do you have a question about your diet or nutrition?