I’ve never liked milk much. Even now, as an adult with mature, varied tastes, I’d much rather eat cooked, slimy grocery store mushrooms than drink a glass of milk. And that’s saying something.
However, milk is a necessity for a great many things that I do enjoy– cereal, coffee, baking, etc.– so I have to keep it on hand. My first semester I pretty consistently had a jug of spoiled milk in my fridge because I could never use it up before its expiration date.
Then, I discovered the age-defying properties of organic milk.
I know what you’re thinking. What the heck? Organic milk lasts longer? That’s just backwards. And you’re right, it does seem that way to me, too. So I did a bit of Google research and found (in approx 0.21 seconds) that a lot of organic milks are pasteurized with super high temperatures which makes them last longer.
Organic milk often undergoes “ultrapasteurization,” in which the milk is heated to a very hot 280° F (137.8° C) for 2 seconds, rather than the 161° F (71.7° C) for 15 seconds used in conventional pasteurization. By killing more bacteria, the extra heat extends the milk’s expiration date. It’s not clear whether organic-milk producers ultrapasteurize as an additional safeguard against bacteria, since organic cows consume no antibiotics, or simply to extend shelf life. (Source.)
But that doesn’t answer the all-important question when it comes to food: does the extra processing make it bad for you? This foodie site has launched a crusade against ultra-pasteurized milk, and they cite the following to supplement their tirade:
Rapid heat treatments like pasteurization, and especially ultra-pasteurization, actually flatten the molecules so the enzymes cannot do their work. If such proteins pass into the bloodstream (a frequent occurrence in those suffering from “leaky gut,” a condition that can be brought on by drinking processed commercial milk), the body perceives them as foreign proteins and mounts an immune response. That means a chronically overstressed immune system and much less energy available for growth and repair. (source)
From what they’re saying, ultra-pasteurized milk takes out not only the stuff we’re looking to avoid but the good stuff that gives milk its good rep, and if you drink too much of it your immune system will not be happy. That being said, these guys are definitely on the far end of the spectrum. Most agree that ultra-pasteurized milk, although it may taste burnt, isn’t going to kill you.
All things considered, I’m going to continue buying organic ultra-pasteurized milk for my minimalist purposes. Maybe if I ever decide I like milk (doubtful) or when I have kids I’ll switch back to the regular pasteurized stuff, but for me, this stuff is as good as it gets.