Go Fish Oil! OrganicValley Family of Farms is now offering its delicious organic milk with the heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids ALA, DHA and EPA, the cooperative of 1,652 family farmers announced today.
A glass of Organic Valley Omega Milk will feature more Omega-3s per serving than any other organic milk on the market. And its all-natural Omega-3s are from sustainably harvested fish, while other organic milk brands supplement with Omega-3s from algae.
Omega-3s are fats essential to brain development and continued brain health, vision, prevention of cardiovascular disease, and normal growth and development throughout childhood. However, they are not produced in the body, nor are they found in many foods. Another class of fatty acids, Omega-6s, is found in many foods, especially vegetable oils and processed foods. Omega-6 fatty acids play important roles in immune response, but they also stimulate inflammation and cell proliferation, whereas Omega-3s reduce both.
This is why the healthiest diets should contain roughly 60 percent Omega-3 and 40 percent Omega-6 fatty acids, according to scientists at the National Institute of Health. The diets of most American people, unfortunately, contain 10-times more Omega-6 than Omega-3 fatty acids. Reducing this unhealthy imbalance is the second major reason why it is so important to increase Omega-3 intakes.
With Omega-3 milk, Organic Valley complements its pastured-based organic milk—which already contains elevated levels of the naturally-occurring ALA Omega-3—with DHA and EPA, two other Omega-3 fatty acids extracted from sustainably-sourced fish oil. Each glass of Organic Valley Omega Milk delivers complete Omega-3 nutrition from EPA, DHA and ALA. With 50 mg per serving of DHA and EPA, just over three glasses of Organic Valley Omega Milk daily will provide people with their recommended 160 mg daily value of those Omega-3s.
"Adding milk high in Omega-3s to our daily diet is a simple, practical way to promote life-long health, and it is especially important for families with young children. Omega-3s are essential building blocks for infants and children as they grow and their brains develop," said Dr. Charles Benbrook, chief scientist of The Organic Center.
Organic Valley Omega-3 milk will begin appearing on store shelves in 2% and Whole half gallons and 2% and Whole gallons by May. Its suggested retail price is $4.49 for half gallons and $6.99 for gallons.
Demand High for Omega-3 Milk
The organic Omega-3 milk category, which until now has been comprised of DHA-only products, has grown by an annual rate of 22 percent last year, even while the rest of the organic milk category has seen slightly negative growth. In fact, the Omega-3/DHA segment now accounts for a 10 percent and rising dollar share of the organic branded milk category.
"When researchers polled consumers on what nutrients they feel are lacking in their diets, the top response was Omega-3s," said Eric Newman, vice president of sales for OrganicValley, "and according to research we've conducted, 65 percent of consumers say they would buy Omega-3 milk. There is an overwhelming desire for this milk. We are proud that our new product will do more than any other milk on the market to boost Omega-3 intakes, and that we have found a safe and sustainable natural source for the Omega-3s added to these products."
Omega-3 Sourced from Ocean Nutrition Canada
In selecting an Omega-3 source, OrganicValley sought to find a partner in line with our mission of environmental responsibility and sustainability. Based in Nova Scotia, Ocean Nutrition Canada Limited (ONC) will source OrganicValley’s supply from wild fish, sardines and anchovies caught off the shores of Peru.
Since its inception, ONC has sought creative solutions to minimize its environmental impact. The company also takes great care to obtain its crude fish oil from areas where the local government closely monitors and highly regulates the fishing industry to prevent overfishing. Whereas other organic milk producers source their Omega-3 from algae, OrganicValley and ONC make use of a byproduct of the fishmeal industry. ONC expects Marine Stewardship Council certification of the Peruvian anchovy fishery by 2011.
ONC oils meet or are better than all global regulatory and safety standards, and they test for contaminants such as PCBs. ONC oils are also the only Omega-3 oils in the world verified for quality by the United States Pharmacopeia for dietary supplements.
Organic Valley Family of Farms: Independent and Farmer-Owned
Organic Valley is America's largest cooperative of organic farmers and is one of the nation's leading organic brands. Organized in 1988, it represents 1,652 farmers in 33 states and four Canadian provinces, and achieved $520 million in 2009 sales. Focused on its founding mission of saving family farms through organic farming, Organic Valley produces a variety of organic foods, including organic milk, soy, cheese, butter, spreads, creams, eggs, produce and juice, which are sold in supermarkets, natural foods stores and food cooperatives nationwide. The same farmers who produce for OrganicValley also produce a full range of delicious organic meat under the Organic Prairie Family of Farms label. For further information, call 1-888-444-MILK begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-888-444-MILK end_of_the_skype_highlighting or visit www.organicvalley.coop, www.organicprairie.coop and the cooperative's farmer website, www.farmers.coop. OrganicValley is also on Twitter @Organic_Valley and Facebook www.facebook.com/OrganicValley .