Organic Meadow

Organic Meadow

November 02, 2006 09:00 ET

Organic Meadow Launches "First in Canada"

Certified Lactose Free 2% Organic Milk

GUELPH, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 2, 2006) - For the first time in Canada, 3.5 million Canadians suffering from the symptoms of lactose intolerance will be able to enjoy the wholesome goodness of organic milk. Organic Meadow, Canada's leading, certified organic dairy, is now offering Certified Organic Lactose Free 2% Milk through major grocery chains and specialty food stores across Canada.

For years, health conscious consumers have recognized the benefits of organic milk as part of a well balanced diet. But for many people affected by lactose intolerance, enjoying a cold glass of organic milk with a meal, or simply on its own, was not possible. People with lactose intolerance cannot digest the natural sugar lactose. They suffer a range of symptoms including pain, gas and bloating, because their system can't perform the necessary function of converting lactose to glucose and galactose. The condition affects an estimated 25% of Canadians and can be as minor as discomfort and as major as contributing to chronic illness. Sufferers of lactose intolerance frequently have to eliminate all dairy products from their diets. With the release of Organic Meadow's lactose-free milk, these people can re-introduce organic milk to their lives.

Steve Cavell, Organic Meadow, CEO says, "We've known for some time that there is a growing number of organic food consumers who are unable to enjoy the simple pleasure and health benefits of drinking a glass of organic milk because of lactose intolerance. We are pleased that we can now offer them and their families a truly complete organic food experience."

The organic food industry is growing by more than 20% each year and demand is steadily increasing. As demand grows, Organic Meadow, the marketing arm of OntarBio, an organic farmers co-operative, is working with farming organizations, The University of Guelph and its own members to bring more and more farms into organic certification and production. The new lactose-free 2% milk is the latest in a high demand product line that includes: organic milk, yogurt, cream, sour cream, ice cream, butter, cheese, eggs and frozen vegetables.

Consumers have identified several benefits of organic dairy products; they are richer to the taste without being any higher in calories. They are also increasingly aware of the benefits to the land, water table and air quality of a farming process that allows no chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers to be used.

"People often refer to organic dairy products as having the taste they remember from childhood. " said Ted Zettel, President, Organic Meadow. "We think that's because Organic dairy cattle live healthier lives; they are fed only organic feeds, are treated homeopathically on the rare occasion of illness and spend a lot of time outdoors. "

"People with lactose intolerance have frequently been advised to substitute soy products. But, there is no substitute for the natural goodness of organic milk and now everyone can enjoy it. This is a welcome addition to the range of organic products now available", commented Steve.

Organic Meadow's lactose free 2% organic milk is sold in 1 and 2 litre cartons and has the same nutritional value as its regular 2% milk. To locate a store near you, visit the Organic Meadow website at

Organic Meadow is the marketing division of OntarBio Organic Farmers Co-operative, which originated in Guelph, Ontario in 1989. The organization is committed to the principles of wellness and ecological sustainability and practices farming without synthetically produced chemicals, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. It is also committed to the protection and sustainability of the Canadian family farm.

Please visit the Organic Meadow website at where you will find:

Downloadable photos of an Organic Meadow organic farm
Matte stories: A Day in the Life of an Organic Farm and Organic Meadow
Fact sheets
Recipes from Massimo Capra, Chef of Mistura Ristorante, Toronto

To set up interviews please contact:

Kim Lynch at 416.830.0454 or


Pam Purves at 416.433.3706 or

Facts About Lactose Intolerance

What is Lactose?

Lactose, also known as milk sugar, is a natural part of milk, which contributes to about 4.6% of the milk's volume. Lactose is not a sweet sugar, which is why milk does not taste very sweet. Lactose is made up of two smaller sugars, glucose and galactose, that are linked together.

What is Lactose Intolerance?

Lactose is a natural part of the milk of all mammals, including goats' milk, human and cows' milk. People with lactose intolerance cannot fully digest lactose. Our bodies usually produce a substance called lactase, which digests lactose. If your body cannot produce enough lactase, you could become lactose intolerant.

What Are The Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance?

People who do not have enough lactase to digest all the lactose in their food get stomach bloating, cramps, gas and/or diarrhea when they drink milk. The severity, and sometimes nature, of symptoms may change with age.

This condition is not the same as a milk allergy. If you are allergic to milk, you should not have any milk or products made with milk. If you have lactose intolerance you may be able to have some milk or milk products in your diet. You should consult a doctor if you are lactose intolerant.

Who Has Lactose Intolerance?

In most populations, particularly those where milk consumption after infancy is traditionally uncommon, enzyme levels fall during childhood, e.g. Southern Europe, Asia, the Middle East and parts of Africa. However, lactose intolerance can occur in any population, or in any age group. An estimated 25% Canadians are lactose intolerant.

What Causes It?

There are two major causes of lactose intolerance: It may be genetic, in which case it is permanent, or it may be temporary, caused by an illness or a bout of diarrhea or after taking certain medications. If it is temporary the body will be able to digest lactose again after it recovers.

Can People with Lactose Intolerance Still Drink Milk?

Depending on the severity of their symptoms, some people who are lactose intolerant can consume moderate amounts of milk. But, everyone is different. The only way to know how much lactose you can tolerate is to talk to your doctor.

Can Babies Be Lactose Intolerant?

It is rare for newborn babies to be diagnosed as lactose intolerant because the lactase enzyme reaches its maximum level in the human intestine soon after birth and declines after age 3 1/2. Symptoms of insufficient lactase may not begin to show up until after this age. However, if your baby has any of the following symptoms you should check with your doctor: Colic, persistent crying, spitting up (reflux), gas, loose stools, Eczema, ear infections.

How Do I Know if I Have It?

If you think you or your child might be lactose intolerant, ask your doctor to order tests for an accurate diagnosis.

Why Is Lactose Intolerance a Health Concern?

The inability to digest and absorb lactose can lead to irritation of the lining of the intestines. This irritation can lead to a weakened digestive system that exposes you to future systemic disorders. In addition to an inability to absorb needed nutrients, a weakened digestive system is more susceptible to attack by parasites, yeast and pathogenic bacteria, which can worsen problems in your intestines and potentially expose you to chronic disease.

How Important is Real Milk in My Diet?

Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating (Health Canada) is designed to help Canadians make wise food choices. The Food Guide translates the science of healthy eating into a practical pattern of food choices that meets nutrient needs, promotes health and minimizes the risk of nutrition-related chronic diseases. With respect to Milk and Milk Products, the Guide recommends the following:

Milk and Milk Product Servings Per Day
(one serving equals 250ml milk, 175ml yogurt, 50g cheese)
Children 4-9 years 2-3
Youth 10-16 years 3-4
Adults 2-4
Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women 3-4

How Can I Keep Milk in My Diet if I'm Lactose Intolerant?

Most experts agree that the nutritional value and great taste of real milk cannot be replicated. It is particularly important for growing children and aging adults to ensure the development and maintenance of strong bones and general good health and well-being. While lactose-free milk is widely available, up until now, lactose intolerant consumers have not been able to enjoy the wholesomeness of real, lactose-free organic milk. Organic Meadow has changed all that with the launch of its newest organic milk product - lactose-free organic milk which offers all of the same nutritional value found in its regular organic milk products, without the lactose that can cause sufferers pain and discomfort.

How is Organic Meadow Lactose Free Milk Made?

Certified organic milk is put into a tank and a very low level, about 200ppm (0.02%), of lactase enzyme is added. Over the next 24 hours the lactase breaks down the lactose sugar into glucose and galactose. Every gram of lactose is broken down into 1/2 gram glucose and 1/2 gram galactose so the carbohydrate content of the milk stays the same. Since the glucose produced is much sweeter than lactose, the milk tastes sweeter even though no sugar has been added. This process breaks up the lactose that your own digestive system can not.

How "Lactose Free" is Organic Meadow's Lactose Free Milk?

Organic Meadow's Lactose Free milk is 99.6% lactose free.

Is It Still Good For You?

Nothing comes close to matching the taste, texture and nutritional value of real milk. Organic Meadow Lactose Free 2% Organic Milk provides the same nutritional value as its regular 2% milk.

To view the Nutrition Facts Table, please click on the link below:

Where Can I Get It?

To locate a store near you, visit our store locator on our website at

About Organic Meadow

Where It All Began

OntarBio Organic Farmers Co-operative originated in Ontario in 1989 after local farmers sitting around a kitchen table realized that mainstream farming practices were not for them. They all agreed that it was time to cooperate with nature and sustain the land the way that their grandparents had - without synthetically produced chemicals, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. They were determined that organic farming was the better way and they were determined to see it grow and prosper. With this in mind, they created what is now one of Canada's most successful farmer's co-operatives - OntarBio.

Our Values

Organic Meadow is deeply rooted in organic, ecological farming and in the values embodied by family farming. We remain true to those roots and continue to be a certified organic food company with strong links to the family farm. We have an obligation to support Canadian organic producers. Our first choice is always to market organic products from Canadian family farms and to process these products at Canadian family-owned businesses. Organic Meadow will offer high quality, best in class organic food products to consumers across Canada. Our products will meet or exceed consumer needs, will contribute to human wellness and will be available to consumers where they choose to shop. Our goal is to delight our consumer and our brand is our promise.

Our Farms

We have family farms located throughout Ontario and soon in other parts of Canada. They range in size from small acreages to several hundred acres. We treat our animals, as well as the land, water and crops used to raise them with the utmost respect. We stay on top of the latest organic farming techniques from around the world, attend seminars and symposiums, and we pass the innovative techniques we've learned and developed, on to others.

Our Cows

Raising animals and crops organically takes skill and commitment. Crops are rotated to keep the soil rich in nutrients and to keep pest and insects away. Our herds are often mixed with several different varieties of cows including Holsteins, Jerseys, Brown Swiss, Milking Shorthorns and Dutch Belteds. Our cows are raised humanely in low stress environments, fed 100% organic feed and have full access to fresh water, open pasture and plenty of space. OntarBio dairy cows are not given any antibiotics or synthetic hormones, and if they are unwell, they receive the best in homeopathic and herbal care and treatment.

Our Products

We began by growing certified organic grains and it wasn't until 1995 that Organic Meadow certified organic milk was produced and sent to customers. By word of mouth alone, the enthusiasm for Canada's first organic milk spread fast. By 1998, several other products such as eggs and frozen vegetables were added to the list of Organic Meadow products available. There are now more than 60 different certified organic products carrying the Organic Meadow name, which include: milk, half and half cream, whipping cream, yogurt, ice cream, cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese, butter, eggs and frozen vegetables.

Look for the Certification Symbol

Only certified organic products can promise you organic goodness. Certification is our guarantee to you that our products are certified organic. Organic Meadow uses an independent third party certification agency called Organic Crop Producers & Processors to ensure that all of our products are certified. They have been approved by this agency and have the "Certified Organic" logo on the label, so look for it!

To view the"Certified Organic" logo, please click on the link below:

Organic Meadow Fast Facts:

Certified Organic

Owned by OntarBio Organic Farmers Cooperative

1st in Canada to produce flavoured milk in tetra paks

Industry leader in innovation, sales and organic farming policy development

Now, 1st to produce and market lactose-free 2% organic milk

Contact Information