Take away points
- Organic/Grass-fed proteins are way over priced
- The hydrolysation or isolation process to get the protein powder actually takes away any benefit of the protein being from an organic or grass fed source.
- Don’t believe the marketing
- Save your money and just use a high-quality protein
- If you choose to buy organic read the fine print to make sure it doesn’t state “ingredients organically sources where possible”
I have been asked about this a lot over the last few weeks and I have also noticed the outrageous prices for organic supplements, especially proteins. Most proteins on the market are fairly cheap to buy (excluding hydrolysed whey proteins) at a raw wholesale level including one’s labelled organic or grass fed. So why are they so expensive on the shelves? By putting labelling a product saying organic or grass fed instantly jacks the price up and people assume it’s higher quality and better for you.
People choose organic foods for a variety of reasons, some evidence based but mostly by assumption or because they read the pseudo-science based article written on Facebook. If you are reading this I don’t think I need to tell you that you shouldn’t believe everything you read on Facebook!
There is evidence to suggest that organic grass fed cows produce more omega 3 anti-inflammatory fatty acids and less inflammatory omega 6 (the same has also been found in organic wild salmon). So, does this mean the protein produced from the cow’s milk is higher in omega 3’s or better for you?
When you look at protein powders and supplements whether they are organic or from grass fed cows or not it makes no defence to the end product because of the process the milk goes through to produce the whey protein powder. All the fat, vitamin E and other nutrients are processed out leaving just the proteins.
But what about pesticides you ask? Much the same. If there is any chemical pesticide that has made its way through the grains or grass that the cow has consumed all the way into the milk it would then be destroyed or separated as the milk goes through the isolate process. (in the case of my protein a hydrolyzing process to become a protein powder). This is the same for vegetable proteins as well such as pea protein isolate.
One of the worst price markups is organic vegetable proteins like pea protein isolate. Supplement companies can buy this for as low as $4 a kilogramme! I just saw a product being sold for $55 a kilogramme in a store in Melbourne just because its organic!. And this pea protein is terrible for recovery (very low leucine content!)
If you do still choose to buy organic proteins make sure you read the fine print on the label as you may not be getting what you think. Many of them will state “ingredients organically sources where possible”. This basically means they can use as little or as much organic ingredients as the like.
I wouldn’t waste money on organic and/or grass-fed whey proteins or even organic vegetable proteins as it is all just a marketing ploy making you think that you are getting a better product for your money when there is really no difference.
If you have any supplement questions feel free to contact me anytime!
Jarah Breese BAppSc (Ex&SpS) MSc High Performance Science