The Organic Milk Craze
In 2012, FSSAI conducted research where it reported that more than 68% of the country's milk was adulterated in some way. The common adulterants were detergents, urea, glucose, powdered milk, and more. In the worst cases, there were also sewage water, bleaching agents and shampoo. And there is no clear picture of where the milk comes from. Needless to say, this report shocked the nation and people started questioning the milk industry. This is the origin of the organic milk craze in India.
Though India doesn’t have a defined outline when it comes to organic milk, it is understood that the milk is healthier and adulteration-free. You also need to remember that we don't have proper certification too. Many brands do have ISO, FSSAI and Agmark certifications which are usually indications of a proper standard.
Why Organic Milk
What is so special in organic milk that you’d have to change your vendor and pay through your nose for it? It is free from antibiotics, hormones and other adulterants. They are 100% pure cow milk, fresh from “farm to table”. The farm treats the cows well and that consecutively increases the quality of milk procured. And the taste of the milk is also much better than the adulterated milk.
Cows in organic farms are pasture-fed and roam free on the farms. They also grow as they are supposed to and are not injected with growth hormones. The farm on which they graze is also organic without any chemical pesticides. Few farmers feed the cows organic fodder, to supplement their needs. Saying this, the process of milking the cows is automated and doesn't need a human touch. And this prevents cross-contamination without any need for chemical preservatives.
Benefits of Organic Milk
There is no doubt that milk is essential for strong bones and calcium. But why should you go for organic milk? Apart from adulteration, what are the benefits you reap in choosing organic milk?
When you feed more natural food like grass and in a free-range, the milk carries an improved protein level and the fatty acid profile of milk also changes. Organic milk is rich in omega-3 which is essential for protection against heart diseases, cancer and arthritis. The human body needs CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) to reduce cholesterol and certain allergic reactions. It doesn't occur in the human body and milk is an excellent source of CLA.
Organic milk is free from antibiotics and growth hormones. Even pesticide residues known to affect humans are found in milk. The term organic milk includes organic fodder and grasslands that have not been treated with chemical pesticides.
Organic Milk vs Regular Milk
You have the up and coming organic craze in one hand and then you have the age-old packet milk. It is difficult to let go of the old practice and start on new ones. But how is organic milk different from regular milk?
Like we said organic milk is high in omega-3. But it also strikes a balance between omega-3 and omega-6. High amounts of omega-6 are found in conventional milk and are linked to heart diseases.
Organic milk has a higher-shelf life than regular milk, especially if it is UHT treated. UHT treated milk is sterilized at higher temperatures like 280 °F while pasteurized regular milk is treated to temperatures up to 165 °F. But the best milk is raw milk which is delivered straight from the farm to the table. It is rich in nutrients that are otherwise destroyed during UHT.
Above all, the source of your organic milk is transparent. You would also know if the cows are treated, grass-fed, free-range etc. In the case of regular milk, since the milk is being sourced from multiple sources there is no way of keeping an eye on these parameters.
Organic Milk Brands in India
Remember the golden days of the past when you can buy fresh milk at your doorstep. Milkmen with pails of milk hanging in their bicycles would deliver fresh milk to every home. With the introduction of packet milk, the trend died away but it is popping up here and there. You can get fresh organic milk at your doorstep again. Here are the top organic milk brands in India and the areas they deliver.
Madras Milk - Chennai
Are you looking for an organic farm that treats the cows with the utmost care? Madras Milk is where you should look into if you are in Chennai. While they do not brand themselves as organic, they take great care in making sure the animals are healthy and with no antibiotics. The cows are fed with organic food from their farm to boot. And they also pack it in glass bottles to keep it toxin-free. Half a litre of cow and buffalo milk is priced at Rs. 50 while a litre retails at Rs. 90. You can also look for monthly subscriptions on their website madrasmilk.com.
Annam Milk - Chennai
Another milk brand that delivers raw, unadulterated, fresh A2 milk to your doorstep every day. Annam Milk owns cows from native breeds like Kangeyam, Ongole, Umbalachery and more. The milk is packed right after milking and delivered unadulterated to your doorsteps. Avail one of their multiple subscription-plans with half a litre costing Rs. 44 and 1 litre, Rs.84. They follow the biodynamic calendar and grow their fodder with native seeds and organic manure. While you are there check out their farm-grown organic vegetables, fruits, pulses, rice and eggs. Check out annammilk.com for details on their delivery areas.
Akshayakalpa - Bangalore
Akshayakalpa has quite a selection for their Bangalore residents. Their collection includes A2 organic milk, organic milk, pasteurized milk, lactose-free milk and other dairy products. Akshayakalpa is essentially an initiative where young farmers are encouraged and provided with financial assistance to set up an organic dairy farm. Their farms are free of GMO fodder and grow their food for the cattle. The milking system is state of the art and untouched by human hand. What's more? They are also a no-waste farm and make their electricity for their milking system. Half a litre of A2 organic milk costs Rs. 44 while half a litre of organic milk costs Rs. 35. You can order their products on their eStore at akshayakalpa.org or all major online stores like Amazon India, Big Basket and more.
Happy Milk - Bangalore
State of the art technology; No chance of adulteration; Multiple options from glass bottles, PET bottles and pouch; That’s Happy Milk! Available across 80+ stores in Bangalore and also for home delivery, they make sure everyone has access to organic milk. With 400+ cows on their farm in Tumkur, they have complete control over the feed and ensure that the cows have proper nutrition. Visit their website at happymilk.in to find a store near you. It is also available in major supermarkets like Big Bazaar and Godrej Nature’s Basket, to name a few.
Milk Pot - Bangalore & Chennai
Chennai and Bangalore your desire for fresh cow and buffalo milk is hereby satisfied. Milk Pot delivers pure and raw milk straight from the cows to your homes without adding anything; Even a drop of water. Moreover, their cows are indigenous breeds which make for a higher quality of milk. They treat the cows just right without any artificial insemination and hormonal injections. Hence, the quality of nutrients is assured and guaranteed. 500 ml of cow milk costs Rs. 43* while the same amount of buffalo milk costs Rs. 53. Still not sure; Order yourself a sample at their website milkpot.com.
Pride of Cows - Mumbai, Pure & Surat
Spread over 26 acres in Manchar, Bhagyalakshmi Dairy Farm operates with cutting-edge technology in terms of feeding, milking and processing the milk. With a team operating 24/7 nurturing the pedigreed Swiss Holstein Friesian cows, they take their care to the next level. Adding to that they also have a team of nutritionists for curating their feed. Setting it apart from other organic milk, the milk they supply is homogenized and pasteurized. If you are in Mumbai, Surat or Pune check them out at prideofcows.com to order your subscription.
iOrganic Milk - North Delhi, West Delhi and South Delhi
Looking for milk that tastes like it should and not like pesticides and antibiotics? iOrganic Milk is where you should look into. The dairy farm is spread over 10 acres with an additional 80 acres for cattle fodder. With their bio-secure parlour, the milk stays untouched by human hands until it reaches your hands. Moments after the cows are milked, it is chilled to 4 °C to retain its freshness. Costing at Rs. 72 per litre, iOrganic Milk is FSSAI and ISO certified. And of course, there are subscriptions. If you are keen on knowing more about the farm, visit iorganicmilk.com and book your farm visit.
Kesariya Farm - Mumbai
While the word “Organic” is thrown carelessly, Kesariya Farm has taken it back to when cows grazed in the forests and grasslands. The milk was healthy and there was no artificial insemination. Kesariya farm offers its customers one of a kind a2 milk from grass-fed cows. The milk and milk products from Kesariya farm is made with the traditional Vedic method. Their herd is complete with indigenous Gir cows that produce top quality a2 milk. If you are in and around Mumbai, take a tour of the farm and show your children how pleasurable living one with nature is. Check them out at kesariyafarm.com for more details on their products or to schedule a visit to their farm.
Sid’s Farm - Hyderabad, Telangana
Taking “Being Natural” to the next level is Sid’s Farm, based out of Hyderabad. As natural as it can be, organic milk from Sid’s Farm is free from adulterants, antibiotics and hormones. Apart from their farm, they also receive quality milk from selected small farmers which are daily tested for quality. Half a litre of **cow’s milk* retails at Rs. 35 and the same amount of buffalo is Rs. 43. Apart from milk, you can also buy paneer, ghee, curd and wild honey. Visit them at sidsfarm.com for more details on subscriptions and delivery locations.
Country Delight - Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore
While most organic milk brands are in-trend with technological advancements and have an internet presence, Country Delight went a step above and operates via a mobile app. They also offer a trial period of 5 days where you pay for just 3 days and get milk delivered all 5 days. You are also gifted with a milk testing kit during their trial period. Download the free mobile app by Country Delight and enjoy fresh, natural and unadulterated milk.
TruMilk - Mani Majra, Panchkula, Zirakpur, Ludhiana, Delhi , Gurgaon
Ever longed for pure and organic milk like in Europe or the US? If so, check out TruMilk. Sourced from MDVL farms, you cannot see such high standards of hygiene anywhere. MDVL farms own Holstein Friesian cows in their community dairy unit spread around 6-8 acres in different locations. With full-time veterinarians, milking parlour, laboratory and milk cooler, TruMilk brings the highest standard of fresh organic milk to your doorstep. TruMilk is available with a select few retailers in Chandigarh, New Delhi, Mohali and few other locations. Go, check out their website at trumilk.in and fill out their online request form to get fresh milk delivered.
Vrindavan Dairy Farm - Bangalore
Everyone loves fresh, tasty milk. And if it is organic, unadulterated and unprocessed, wouldn’t that be a cherry on top? Our next brand brings to you everything we listed and more. They also have pure a2 desi cow milk from breeds such as Gir, Hallikar and Malnad Gidda. You can also buy buffalo milk if you so desire. Subscribe for their products at vrindavanmilk.com or maybe WhatsApp them at the number given.
Koraput Diary - Odisha
Also, one that produces vermicompost, organic compost, bio-fertilizer, organic green fodder and organic urea. Famous in Odisha for its organic milk, the farm also has a calf and heifer rearing unit. Love cows? Check out their “Own a Cow” initiative. Priced at Rs. 46 per litre, Koraput Dairy milk is available to buy online at koraputdairy.com and also by top retailers.
Pure Milk - Kolkata
While cows are worshipped in India, there are no such qualms when it comes to adultering the milk. India which is a major producer of milk is also one of the most contaminated with antibiotics, chemicals, hormones and whatnot. If you are around Kolkata and looking for fresh, pure, natural and organic milk, check out Pure Milk. It is free from hormones, antibiotics and specifically oxytocin. The cows are milked as humanely as possible with the calves given priority when it comes to its mother’s milk. Register with them at pure milk.co.in.
The A2 Dairy
Most of the milk in India even of the organic variety is either Jersey or HF crossbred cows. The milk obtained from them is a1 which causes inflammation due to lactose intolerance. However, desi Indian breeds like Gir and Sahiwal are known for their quality a2 milk. The A2 Diary based in Ranchi produces the best of the A2 milk in the area without any contamination like hormones and antibiotics. Visit them at thea2dairy.com or call them at their customer care number to book a trial.
Why Choose A2 Milk ?
Milk is still an important source of many nutrients including protein. The proteins in milk are of 2 variants: casein and whey. Casein itself has so many variants of which the most important is the beta-casein. Now, Beta-Casein is the topic of most arguments. A1 and A2 are the two types of beta-casein. A1 is the one present in all commercially manufactured pouch milk that you purchase regularly. A2 protein is present in many desi cow breeds, goat milk and buffalo milk.
But why do we prefer A2 milk to A1 milk? A1 protein is the reason for stomach discomfort, bloating and diarrhea to name a few. A1 milk can also impact brain function and even trigger type-1 diabetes. While A2 milk is still not appropriate for people with lactose intolerance, it can help you if you have minor discomforts.
Benefits of Milk for Health
Milk is a complete source of nutrition in many aspects. But how does it translate health-wise and nutrition-wise?
- A2 milk is capable of retaining its nutrients mainly protein, provided it is pasteurized properly.
- Cerebrosides that are known to increase brain power is found in A2 milk.
- A2 milk is a good source of vitamin-d and strontium which improves your heart health.
- A2 organic milk is rich in omega-3 and minerals which are beneficial for diabetes patients.
- Omega 3 present in organic a2 milk, reduces a sudden increase in cholesterol.
- A2 organic milk can be a good supplement for toddlers since it is compatible with the mother’s milk.
Tips to Choose Organic Milk That Suits Your Needs
- India has no organic certification, so the best option is to go for farms that have ISO, FSSAI or Agmark certifications.
- Raw milk is better than pasteurized or UHT treated milk. UHT treated milk has a longer shelf life but tends to lose most of its nutrients in the process.
- Another key point is to look for grass-fed milk. 100% grass-fed milk is the best choice when it comes to organic milk.
- Look for dairies that are transparent in its operations. If they encourage a farm visit, go for it. Not only do you get a better idea of how the farm work, but also it can be rather unwinding and good for you.
More and more organic dairy farms are propping up everywhere. And there are more options available in the market now. With the increase in options comes the confusion in choosing the best organic milk. Milk that is not only unadulterated but also hormone and antibiotic-free. We put together a few tips that could help you choose the best organic milk in the market.
Organic, whole milk dairy products have more healthy omega-3 fats than conventional dairy. And when you’re buying organic, you can be sure no GMOs, antibiotics, or chemical pesticides were used in their production. On top of that, cows raised on organic farms have to pasture their cows for at least 120 days a year. That’s good for the animals as well as your health – providing the cows with more space to roam, and enhanced nutritional quality for eaters.