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Taste Test: Organic vs. Regular Whole Milk

After my recent interview with Dr. David McCarron, I began to think of ways to increase my dairy intake. It occurred to me that I hadn’t had a glass of milk since I was a kid – sure I’d put milk on my breakfast cereal or add it to recipes, but I just never thought of it as a beverage for some reason. I bet many of you feel similarly.

So I went to the store to get some whole milk, and I was almost overwhelmed by the options. There were many different brands (from different dairies) as well as organic options. I wondered if there was a taste difference between them. Which might be the most delicious?

I purchased three different types of whole milk: one from a local dairy, one that was organic, and a generic store brand. I brought them home and asked my husband to participate in a blind taste test. I put samples of each milk in a white, paper cup and asked him which one tasted best.

After several rounds of sipping, my husband confessed that he couldn’t tell a difference between them.

Then an unexpected thing happened. My cat wanted in on the action and jumped up on the table to participate. She had a very clear preference – she chose cup #3, the generic, non-organic store brand. Way to go, kitty – no fancy milk for you!

What’s the lesson of this totally subjective, unscientific study of n=3? Milk is good for you, it’s the best nutritional value for the cost (25 cents/cup – compare that to soda), and there’s no real taste difference between brands. Milk is a legitimate beverage – I’m going to have some more regularly… if I can wrestle it away from my cat.

Nutrition Update: Misconceptions, “Magical” Foods, And The Merits Of Fish

Photo of Nutritional Food

Penny Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., R.D., Distinguished Professor of Nutrition (Department of Nutritional Sciences, Penn State University) about what she learned at the American Dietetic Association Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo in Chicago.

Please listen to the podcast here:  

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Penny’s take home messages:

1. Corn is not evil. The vegetable itself can be quite nutritious, though high fructose corn syrup is an empty calorie food additive.

2. There is no magic food that will melt your fat away.

3. There is no magic pill that will help you lose weight. You must decrease your calorie intake and increase your exercise.

4. Increasing protein a little bit can increase satiety.

5. Omega-3 fatty acids and iron can improve brain health.

6. Regular fatty fish consumption can reduce the risk of heart disease (2 servings/week).

7. Food first – try to get all your nutrients from the foods you consume. Consider vitamins and supplements only after you’ve been unable to get your dietary needs met from food.

8. Fish oil supplements are safe and pure. There are differences in the amount of omega-3 fatty acids that the supplements deliver, so read the label carefully.

9. A healthy diet is about eating a broad range of nutritious food (don’t scrimp on your veggies), it’s not about supplementing a poor diet with some supplements.

10. Accurate nutrition information is really important. Two trusted sources are: MyPyramid.gov and the American Heart Association

**Listen to the podcast**

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