Oregon Dairy becomes first dairy in nation to create natural Omega-3 milk!
This story originally appeared in the Winter 2021 Thriving Magazine. Read the entire Thriving Magazine online here.
We chatted with some team members at Oregon Dairy to learn more about this major dairy development and what it means for the industry. Enjoy our Q&A with Nancy Brown, Marketing Manager at The Market at Oregon Dairy, Maria Forry, Partner of Oregon Dairy Farm, and Paul Rosenberger, GreatAlga, LLC.
Oregon Dairy is the first in the nation to produce Omega-3 milk naturally in cows. Can you explain more about this incredible milestone?
“It is possible to buy Omega-3 milk. However, until this point, all Omega-3 milk available has the Omega-3 added at the processing plant. This is the first time Omega-3 milk is available without Omega-3 being added to the milk at the processing plant. The cows have Omega-3 (algae and flax) added to their feed. The cows utilize the Omega-3 for their own health and the Omega-3 is passed through in their milk, giving us Omega-3 naturally in the milk.” – Maria Forry
What is important about Omega-3?
“Oregon Dairy uses the feed supplement greatOPlus containing flax, algae and other beneficial components. Once Omega-6s (bad fats) and Omega-3s (good fats) become more balanced, animals enjoy better performance such as reduction in stress, less inflammation, and improved production. greatO also includes other essential fatty acids like EPA and DHA that benefit heart and brain health.” – Paul Rosenberger
What was the process like to get to this point of producing this naturally-made Omega-3 milk?
“We began feeding greatO (the omegas) to the cows in the fall of 2019. Since then, the milk has been regularly tested to check the level of Omega-3 coming through in the milk. It tooks months of adjustments of the level of greatO fed to the cows to get to the desired level of Omega-3 in the milk.” – Maria Forry
When will this milk be available for customers?
“The Oregon Dairy Omega-3 Milk was launched in November 2020 and is available for sale exclusively at The Market at Oregon Dairy.” – Nancy Brown
What products will be available in this Omega-3 version?
“Oregon Dairy’s Whole Milk, 2% Milk, Whole Chocolate Milk and Heavy Cream all have Omega-3 naturally in the milk and cream.” – Nancy Brown
“Oregon Dairy is examining the possibility of introducing other Omega-3 products such as eggs and beef.” – Paul Rosenberger
What does it mean for the dairy industry to hit this milestone?
“As noted above, Omega-3 fatty acids have many benefits to both the animal and the consumer by reducing inflammation, etc” – Paul Rosenberger
“They can continue to consume milk or add milk to their diet in order to get more Omega-3.” – Maria Forry
What else would you like to share with our readers?
“greatOPlus has gone through extensive university and field testing and is a completely safe and natural product. Think broccoli. Algae does not affect the smell or taste of Oregon Dairy’s milk—again, extensive testing. The cow actually digests greatOPlus with its regular diet, while other Omega-3 milk products might add fish oil or algae oil at the processing plant. Flax has been used for a long time to help balance the Omega 6:3 ratio. Omega-6s can be harmful while Omega-3s provide a variety of benefits. Our particular strain of algae not only balances the Omega 6:3 ratio but also offers other long-chain fatty acids that can lower cholesterol and help heart and brain performance. That’s why most fish are part of a healthy diet. Algae is a natural ingredient.” – Paul Rosenberger
For more information visit www.oregondairy.com and visit the Market to try some of these products. We are amazed by this milestone and celebrate the incredible achievement of our local dairy here in Lancaster, PA.