Seven Reasons Why Kids Should Drink Organic Milk
In Recognition of June Dairy Month
Organic milk, produced without synthetic chemicals, hormones or antibiotics, is the best choice for kids And families, according to Dr. Alan Greene, one of the nation's leading pediatricians. Sought after for the wealth of information he gives parents At DrGreene.com, Greene is a pediatrician at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford University clinical assistant professor of pediatrics, father of four and author of McGraw-Hill's "From First Kicks to First Steps."
In recognition of June Dairy Month, Dr. Greene is offering the following seven reasons why families who drink milk should choose organic:
1. Produced without antibiotics. "Antibiotic overuse is a major public health problem. One of the main places where antibiotics are used today is in agriculture. Organic milk comes from organic cows that have not been treated with antibiotics, so it doesn't contribute to the growing problem of bacterial resistance."
2. Produced without synthetic hormones. "Hormones are powerful. Even trace amounts can cause dramatic changes in living beings. When you choose organic milk, you know that added synthetic hormones are not stimulating the cows' milk production."
3. Produced without harmful pesticides. "Agricultural pesticides are now widespread. They can even be measured in raindrops falling from the sky, fog rolling over the hills, 'fresh' snow, and in water we drink. Organic agriculture reduces pesticide exposure because it comes from organic cows that are fed food grown without chemical pesticides."
4. High in Conjugated Linoleic Acids (CLAs). "CLAs are important 'good fats' that have been linked to decreased heart disease and diabetes. In fact, in the May 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health reported low-fat dairy products, including milk, might lower the risk of type 2 diabetes in men. "Milk made from cows who pasture has higher CLA content. Since many organic farmers rely upon pasturing and give their cows fresh green grass whenever weather permits, organic milk often has a high CLA content."
5. Excellent source of calcium. "Most of America's school children are failing to get the calcium they need each day for their growing bodies. Kids 4-8 years old need 800 mg per day. Kids 9-18 need 1,300 mg of calcium per day. Organic milk contains about 300 mg per eight-ounce glass and is one great way to help kids get the calcium they need. Organically flavored milks, such as chocolate and strawberry, are popular options for kids, too"
6. Organic milk is wholesome. "Organic milk is a natural, whole food beverage - unlike most beverages promoted for kids that are packed full of artificial chemical ingredients. Many of them contain high fructose corn syrup, aspartame and/or artificial chemical dyes."
7. It's the right thing to do. "Unlike factory cows, organic cows must have access to open air. Organic cows from some dairy farms are allowed to graze freely in organic pasture when it is in season. This kind of farming is kind to animals, supportive of wildlife, healthy for rural communities, respectful of our air, water and soil, and healthy for children." "Parents need to practice the precautionary principle when it comes to the foods they feed their families," advised Greene. "This is especially true when it comes to eating higher on the food chain where pesticides and other toxins are stored in fatty tissue. By choosing organic milk, butter, and cheese, however, families can avoid this exposure."
About Alan Greene, M.D.
Dr. Alan Greene, a practicing pediatrician, father of four, and spokesperson for Organic Valley Family of Farms, has devoted himself to freely giving real answers to parents' real questions. His answers combine cutting edge science and practical wisdom with warm empathy and a deep respect for parents, children and the environment. Dr. Greene's Web site, http://www.DrGreene.com , was selected in July 2004 by the Wall Street Journal as one of the best health sites. He is also the Pediatric Expert for Yahoo! and for ParentsAction.org. Dr. Greene teaches at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and is an attending pediatrician at Stanford's Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. He is a senior fellow at the University of California San Francisco's Center for the Health Profession and is a board member of the Organic Center for Education and Promotion. On June 18, 2005 Greene will hold "The First Kicks Celebration," a one-day event in Woodside, Calif. for moms and dads to-be, which is sponsored by Organic Valley.