Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Fresh Milk Strikes Back

After my Chocolate Milk Dilemma entry a couple of days ago and received quite a readership on the pros and cons of full cream vs. skimmed vs. flavoured and the eventual winner (nutrition wise) was the full cream milk.
Goes without saying that food with minimal processing will be way better compared to food that has gone through more level of processing to make it on the consumer's table. A friend then asked how does a FRESH MILK stands up against full cream? While i do occasionally buy fresh milk if the pricing is cheap (like about RM10/2liters), the hassle to stock them up outside of the fridge is the major turnoff. What more that the family consume almost 1liter of milk a day. Fresh milk, while has all the pros, can't be stored for long and at most, a week unopened or less than 2 days after it is opened. It does not provide a sustainable solution for those that drink sparingly.
Lets look at full cream nutrition again.
Left is Full Cream
Magic numbers to look out for would be the calories (153kcal), the protein (7.5gram), the fat (8.5gram) and the calcium (275mg). Here is the Fresh Milk (FM) nutritional values.
Fresh Milk nutritional value
Taking a closer look, the nutritional value is exactly the same for both except for the calcium where FM triumphs by a whiskers of 10mg of calcium per serving!
What does that tells you?
Full cream UHT milk is comparable to fresh milk. There are extra vitamins added into the full cream (Vitamin A, D and B) which would most probably done to bump up the nutritional value lost during the ultra high temperature (UHT) process. UHT process is to kill all bacteria/germs and to enable longer storage without preservatives for milk. Most powdered milk formula goes through UHT process before being vaporised via a high pressure mist machine to produce fine powder.
By the way, fresh full cream milk will have a negligible amount of saturated fat - about 0.2mg, if you want to know. This minuscule amount should not be a concern as long as you do not overeat in your daily caloric need cycle.
There are another point of view that consuming cow's milk might not be the best possible solution but having plant based milk (such as those derived from seeds, nuts, grains and also legumes) would be better as some people are lactose intolerance and some might not be able to digest/process the casein found in animal fats. The most common plant based milk would be Soy Milk. With the awareness that most soy are GMO products, the need for organic (and pricey) quest begins. I guess there has to be a balance somewhere and often, that is easier said than achieved. If you fancy drinking coconut milk (that is the flesh shredded, press for the milk i.e. santan, mixed with the coconut water), that could be a potentially good alternative too. Coconut has long been chastised for being bad fat, truth to be told, pure coconut oil has higher nutritional value compared to even oil! Believe it (or do some research if you have to).
Now, with this, your "milk" quest is almost complete. Make the informed choice!


  1. There's also a debate about raw vs pasteurized milk In the US, many states ban the sale of raw milk, but advocates of raw milk maintain it is their right to choose. I would go to the farm down the road and fill up with fresh raw milk for $2/gallon. Get enough to make raw butter, cheese, ice cream. I can't digest pasteurized milk, but have no problems with raw. Yummmm.

  2. Just like eating raw or half cooked eggs, the debate continues with the proper food handling that avoid contamination and causes food poisoning.

    I know that usage of raw milk/fresh milk is popular with certain culture when they are used for cooking or tea making. I ust admit that raw milk taste way better compared to pastuerized milk when making that cuppa tea.

    However, unless we rear cow behind our backyard, raw milk would not be possible - or a luxury only when the Cow Milk's uncle scoot by in the trademark stainless steel container behind his motorcycle.

  3. Goat's milk is said to be the best amongst animal milk, because it is nearest to human milk. One guy suffering from cancer kept a goat so that he could have fresh milk when needed...he managed to beat the Big C (of course with other nutrients such as Vit B17). Cow's milk is never considered a nutrient (or dearie me!)by nutritional therapists - Read CAP (Consumer Association of Penang) booklet on milk for the reasons. Mothers feeding their babies with cow's milk should remember that their babies are not calfs, but humans.

  4. OP Aziz - you are right sir. THere is a big debate about the suitablity of cow's milk for human consumption. for the lesser evil and for ease of availability, i am going for cow's milk, full cream, UHT processed. Anything less than that, i will try to avoid for the simple reason to avoid addtional coloring, sugar and addictive/preservatives.

    as for Goat's milk, the notion of rearing your own goat for milk is attractive. All i need to do now is to convince the dogs at home (two of them) not to kill the goat...or finish the milk ;-)

    On a more serious note, i will start researching on goat's milk and cancer cure. We all can do some or get some miracle cures once a while. ;-)

  5. - For infants and toddlers breast is still best :) However, not all mothers have the capability to breast feed their children from the get go though. All the same, we should discard the notion that all these expensive formula pushed by the big companies are the best in the world with DHA, etc. when the real truth is that a mother's milk has more than that and scientists are continually discovering new benefits/components to mother's milk.
    - Heard on the radio the other day the debate about full vs skimmed and the person actually made sense when she argued that when it comes to losing weight we should be having full cream (within limits that is) as it makes us feel fuller longer, hence the tendency to snack in between is lessened. Also, in my opinion - we should stick as close as possible to real foods..too much refined foods is bad alright, and we are continuously shortchanging ourselves by having reduced this and reduced that, but in reality they are adding this and adding that (case in point: Diet coke..what a misnomer, there's no real sugar there, but it's replaced with artificial sweeteners..). On the surface it look healthy (reduced fat, sugar blablabla)
    - Yeah I heard about the many benefits of goats milk, but bear in mind our paed advised not to feed to toddlers or pregnant mothers as there could be the possibility of passing on parasites especially those not pasteurised.

  6. I choose fresh milk. The ingredients list only contains one item. Every other variation has added ingredients/vitamins/flavouring. Check out about vitamins. Overdosing on vitamins can be harmful.