Thursday, March 17, 2011

B12: an interesting investigation

B12 is the biggest worry for a lot of vegans.  It is an essential vitamin that "is made by bacterial fermentation."   (Jack Norris, Registered Dietitian). In animals this bacteria is from micro organisms in the ground.  The most natural sources of B12 are in animal products. There are fortified sources for vegans; I get my daily value in just 2 cups of almond milk.

 I was comparing nutritional facts on my family's cow milk and my almond milk and  I noticed that the dairy milk had no B12. The eggs also had none. Our organic Balkan yogurt did have it listed however, it was merely  15% per half cup.  I was confused, all this time I was vegetarian (nearly 8 years) I was not worrying about B12, yet I was consuming hardly any. As a vegan I know I consume 100% of the daily recommended dosage on a good day. I digress...

Why is there no B-12 in the 2% milk and eggs my family eats? 

So do we need a new "missing" add on the milk cartons?
 Missing: B12 an essential vitamin

Google didn't provide any solid answer. One source said the boiling of milk can diminish it, but our milk didn't even have B12 listed in the nutrition facts, and how would that explain the lack of B12 in the eggs?

So I put my thinking cap on and I speculate that because B12 is in soil it is only present in animal products made by animals who actually get to live outside and graze. Factory farmed animals that are purely grain fed logically wouldn't have any B12. It makes sense.

In no means is the case closed yet. I don't have the knowledge to pronounce factory farming as the cause for the lack of B12 kicking around in the average bag of Canadian milk (yes our milk comes in plastic bags) but I would like to know what exactly does cause this.

Any thoughts?

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