The Solution to Getting More Omega-3s in Our Diet

The age-old adage that you get what you pay for is definitely true when it comes to organic meat and milk. A study—the largest of its kind—published this week in the British Journal of Nutrition analyzed data from around the world and found 50 percent more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids in organic meat and milk than in their conventional, non-organic counterparts. The research team also discovered that organic meat and milk boasts more essential minerals and antioxidants.

The research team noted that since Western European diets are low in both beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, a switch from conventional meat and milk to organic would help increase community uptake of these important dietary components without increasing calories. One of the researchers, Chris Seal, a professor of Food and Human Nutrition at Newcastle University explained why:

“Omega-3s are linked to reductions in cardiovascular disease, improved neurological development and function, and better immune function.”Western European diets are recognized as being too low in these fatty acids and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends we should double our intake. But getting enough in our diet is difficult. Our study suggests that switching to organic would go some way towards improving intakes of these important nutrients.”

For example, a half-liter of organic full-fat milk provides 39mg or 16 percent of the recommended daily intake of omega-3, while non-organic milk of the same quantity only provides 25 mg or 11 percent.

In addition to the omega-3 fatty acids, higher levels of vitamin E and carotenoids were also observed in organic milk.

These healthier nutritional profiles were closely linked to outdoor grazing as prescribed by organic farming standards.

In addition to this study, two other recent studies, showed that when a nursing mother drinks organic milk and other dairy products, her child has a reduced risk of certain diseases and disorders, such as childhood eczema.

All of these conclusions dovetail with the team’s previous meta-analysis involving experts from across Europe that investigated the nutritional profiles of organic versus conventionally-grown crops. Just as in the meat and milk studies, organic crops boasted higher antioxidants than conventionally-grown crops and contained less of the toxic metal cadmium.

Professor Carlo Leifert, also at Newcastle University, who led the mother-child studies, commented that “we have shown without doubt there are composition differences between organic and conventional food. Taken together, the three studies on crops, meat and milk suggest that a switch to organic fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products would provide significantly higher amounts of dietary antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.”

Altogether, these landmark meta studies show that the way we produce our food has real consequences on human health. So, the next time you are temped to pay less for conventional meat, dairy and produce know that not all apples nor all milk nor all pork chops are the same, and you do, in fact, get what you pay for.


health benefits of organic



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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus C3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill3 years ago

This article is misleading.

Muff-Anne York-Haley

Good tips:)

Joemar Karvelis
Joemar Karvelis3 years ago


s g.
s g3 years ago


Ryan S.
Yan Yan3 years ago

I'm really baffled. The title of this article says, "The Solution to Getting More Omega-3s...", and the article outlined that it can be obtained through organic meat and milk???

Correct me if I'm wrong and the last time I remembered is that Omega-3 fatty acids can ONLY be obtained through wild-caught fish (salmon, trout, herring, etc.) in the form of EPA and DHA long-chain fatty acids. While nuts (walnuts, almonds, pistachios, etc.) and seeds (flax & chia) in the form of ALA. You cannot find Omega-3s on meat and milk other than calcium, iron, and protein.

So this article is a bit misleading.

Ryan S.
Yan Yan3 years ago

Organic meat? :-/

"Being vegan (or a vegetarian) doesn't take willpower; it just takes a willingness to choose compassion over convenience." -- Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

Scott Simon
Scott S3 years ago


Daniel Partlow
Daniel Partlow3 years ago