Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Happy cows produce healthier milk

Not for nothing are cows considered sacred and given special status in world religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism and others.Being the source of one of the richest foods known to man – the milk, the cow has been providing several benefits to humankind since times unknown.

In ancient world, the cow was a symbol of wealth and riches. They were revered because the primordial societies relied heavily on it for dairy products. Moreover, the cow dung was the chief source of fuel and fertilizer. It was also used as an insect repellent. Thus, the cow’s status as a 'caretaker' led to identifying it as an almost maternal and divine figure.

For this sake the cows enjoyed the status that gold or money enjoys today. They were given special care and attention and not subjected atrocities of crass- commercialization like today. Attributed to institutional flaws of the factory-like dairy system, the cow in modern times, has been pushed to the limits and been reduced to what can be called a milk-generating apparatus.

Happy cows produce healthier milk
As a result of some professional research and studies, it has been derived that when cows are treated with required courtesy they feel happier. Well, that could sound commonsensical but then there’s more to it. Just as people respond better to the personal touch, the cows also feel more relaxed and produce more milk which is much healthier. The stats show that “more personal touch” can increase milk yield by almost 284 liters (500 pints) per year, which is quite amazing. The study also demonstrated that a less stressed cow was not producing cortisol (stress hormone) which interferes with milk let down. Moreover, the milk obtained from the cows that are properly fed and kept has the following advantages –
  • It contains up to 4 times more CLA’s (Conjugated Linoleic Acids*),than found in the milk of conventional fed cows.
  • Has more balanced levels of Omega 6 and Omega 3
  • Also contains an increased level of Beta-Carotene and Natural Vitamins A and D.

But how do you know if the milk you consume comes from the cows that are happy? Well, for this you may go visit the dairy andassessit for yourself. Other options is to switch to the milk from organizations that are known for their cow-welfare measures, like .

The difference
So, what’s unique about the‘happy-cow-healthy-milk initiative’of this type? The first and the foremost is theevident level of cleanliness and hygiene.
Most diary-farms in India do little to improve the infrastructure, right from the place where the cattle is kept and milked,including the spot where the obtained milk is processed. In stark contrast to this the ‘happy-cow farms’ are highly sanitized places within a peaceful surroundings. These are some of the essential features that are differentfrom a regular commercial dairy-
  • Cows are not confined to congested sheds and are allowed to graze in open fields.
  • In addition to the lush-green natural grass is specially grown and is rich in nutrients the cows are only fed high quality fooder.
  • Specially built barns to keeps the cows safe from physical injuries.
  • Uncontaminated water to drink makes the cows naturally healthy.
  • Regular bathing and cleaning keeps away the infections that arise from dirt.
  • No injections of growth hormone or antibioticsresults in pure & natural milk generation
  • Appropriate medical support is provided to keep the cows healthy and physically fit.

In addition to the above, Akshyakalpa -an enterprise that advertently incorporates these features, intendstoprovideconsumers with organic milk. This milk is not onlymuch richer in minerals and nutrientsbut is also quite hygienic and preservative-free. This is due to the special measures taken while milking the cows.

The automated procedure which maintains very-high levels of hygiene completelyrestricts the human involvement, thus keeping the milk produce free of germs and bacteria. Moreover, the cows are milked only once a day and the calves are given ample access to their mother’s milk. This adds to the cheer factor, making cows happy and which helps in providing healthier milk.  In addition, the milk produced is not pasteurized. Pasteurization, which is the main reason for milk's extended shelf lifeundermines the quality of the milk in many ways.

Thus, all these factors contribute towards producing healthier milk that is wholesome and beneficial to all, with total conformance to the very reason we revered the cow as the chief source of health and happiness.