Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Organic milk tastes bad


Panelists in taste tests rated organic milk lower than milk from conventional or pasture-fed cows, according to University of Missouri food science research. "Clearly, organic milk was the least liked among the samples, whereas conventional milk and milk from pasture-fed cows were rated similarly," said Laura Valverde, a food science master's student.

One hundred panelists sampled the three kinds of milk, which were purchased directly from Missouri on-farm dairy operations. Organic milk scored the lowest in taste tests that rated flavor, liking and mouth feel.

"Panelists could not discriminate between conventional milk and milk from pasture-fed cows, other than a distinction of overall appearance," she said.

Cows' feed could make the difference. One reason for organic milk's low scores could be the cows' feed. The organic cows were fed with clover, hay, grass and barley. While hay was part of the feed of all cows, clover gives milk a rather strong flavor and barley can be a source of off-flavors, she said. "We could not determine if the difference in liking was because panelists were unfamiliar with organic milk or if there was anything objectionable in the organic milk," said Ingolf Gruen, food science researcher and Valverde's graduate adviser.

Public concerns about the use of rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) have helped boost sales of organic milk. "The widespread belief among organic milk consumers is that organic milk is superior to conventional milk. However, organic milk superiority has not been scientifically proven," Valverde said.


Surprise! Depression and anxiety is genetically heritable!

Just like most personality characteristics. Even attitudes have a surprisingly high degree of genetic heritability

Almost 15 per cent of preschoolers have abnormally high levels of depression and anxiety, and a difficult temperament at five months of age is the most important early warning sign, a study has found.

Highly strung or tense four and five-year-olds are also more likely to have mothers with a history of depression than children who are not anxious or depressed.

The study, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, was based on annual interviews with 1759 mothers about their children's behaviour from five months to five years of age. The team of Canadian, French, US and British researchers from the International Laboratory for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Development said depression and anxiety symptoms could be identified in infants who were fearful or anxious, worried, not as happy as other children or who had difficulty having fun.

Difficulties in sleep, changes in appetite or concentration, lack of interest in things they used to find pleasurable and suddenly aggressive behaviour are also early warning signs.

The lead author, Sylvana Cote, a professor at the University of Montreal's department of social and preventive medicine, said: ''As early as the first year of life, there are indications that some children have more risks than others to develop high levels of depression and anxiety.''



John A said...

"We could not determine if the difference in liking was because panelists were unfamiliar with organic milk or if there was anything objectionable in the organic milk," said Ingolf Gruen, food science researcher and Valverde's graduate adviser.

Indeterminate... I very much lean toward suspecting it is what you are used to - which is a bit disappointing to me since I see little or no extra value to the "organic" label but do see drawbacks to the usages required to qualify for it. With milk, I insist on whole milk - but I am the only one in the family who does: the rest drink "two percent" or less, which brings to my mind the experience at five years of age tasting a stick of chalk in kindergarten. And yes, I can usually tell within a week of when dairy cows are moved from winter (hay) to spring/summer (grass/pasture) feed - but have no particular preference.

Anonymous said...

"Depression and anxiety is genetically heritable!"

But why oh why are obesity, low IQ and bad temperament both heritable AND a so popular in the mating game?

Because the baseline threshold of survivability has been created in modern society so that fat stupid neurotics and depressives can still reproduce as fat stupid crazy women seduce fat stupid crazy men when the women are still young enough to merely look voluptuously sexy and the men have not yet lost virility.

As the West gives up its manufacturing base for computers and software and Hollywood and music, low level service workers who need much less intelligence than to even become a skilled laborer in a factory can still contribute to the economy.

It seems that once the fit, smart and mentally healthy genes wash out of the stupid ugly population, and especially given their more youthful reproduction and thus faster cycling of generation...that a slow branching off of two species from one would happen, given that robots are very unlikely to obtain a useful brain for many hundreds of years, if ever (have the million PCs of Google or a billion PC of the Net become conscious yet?).

A big idea that a new survival strategy has developed that involves the children of truly unappealing parents rushing to make babies and then dying early and that over many generations vitally healthy genes may concentrate in a minority population.

Long term trends are worthless to postulate though, in a world were every generation massive advances in controlling heredity occur. A pill that makes all children above average is a given fact of future medicine.