Benefits to the Consumer

Dairy and meat products from ruminant animals are the main dietary source for Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), a type of essential fatty acid. Research at the University of Wisconsin has shown that milk from cows fed primarily on pasture has up to 5 times the CLA levels of grain-fed cows in confinement. (5)

CLA—along with Omega-6 and Omega-3, also present in beneficial ratios in pasture based dairy products—are essential fatty acids that actually promote health. According to the National Dairy Council and others, these benefits include cancer-fighting effects against mammary, colorectal and prostate cancers. CLA has been shown to lower total and LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels; reduce body fat and increases lean body mass; and enhance immune function. Other studies indicate it may reverses symptoms of some types of diabetes. The potential benefits are far-reaching. (6, 7)

Dairy products from pastured cows have been shown to be higher in Vitamin E and beta-carotene, nutrients with a variety of proven health benefits to humans. Pasture-based products also tend to contain less fat, saturated fat and calories than those of grain-fed animals. (8, 9)

The nutritional benefits of pasturing apply to beef and other livestock, as well. Many Organic Valley farmers also produce organic beef raised at least partly on pasture. Grass-fed meats have higher CLA and other nutritional benefits similar to those of grass-fed dairy. (10)

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