Well being on the lower end of the ST income bracket and relatively frugal, I was shocked to see $3 for a half gallon. But as I read about the milk It does seem to have lots of good things going for it. Which of course then brings me to the knowledge base of all knowledge bases, no not Google but Slowtwitch. Here is what they say about their milk.
There are many reasons our milk tastes as fresh and rich as it does. Many people think it's the glass bottles. While the glass bottles certainly protect the freshness of our milk, it really is much more than that. In fact it all starts at the farm.
First of all, our milk is NOT organic, but it is close to being organic milk. Our farmers do not use organic feed. This is single biggest difference that prevents us from claiming to be organic milk. Essentially all other aspects of organic certification are being met by our producers.
We measure somatic cell counts (SCC) and pay our farmers a substantial premium to achieve low somatic cell counts. This is a true measure of the quality of raw milk. Somatic cells are essentially the "dead" cells present in milk. They are a measure of the health of the cow. State law allows 750,000 SCC/ml in raw milk. Our milk can only have a maximum of 250,000 SCC/ml and most producers are in the 100,000-150,000 range. It is the presence of somatic cells in raw milk that adds to the "off" flavor of milk. This is an area where organic milk and ours is very different. Organic milk typically has much higher somatic cell counts and that is one reason why our milk tastes so much better. It is our focus on high quality raw milk that makes the difference.
The use of antibiotics is another difference. Our cows can be treated with antibiotics when the cows are ill, but their milk is not shipped to us until the cow's milk is free from the presence of an antibiotic. Producers making organic milk must remove the cow for upwards of 2 years if they are ill so they often continue to milk the cow as long as possible (when they hit the 750,000 somatic cell count they must stop). Most of the time their ill cows are sent to slaughter because it is too expensive to keep a non-producing cow. On our farms, when a cow is ill she is removed from the milking herd, treated and her milk is kept out of the milk collected for our use. Every tanker full of milk is tested for the presence of antibiotics. If antibiotics are found to be in the milk sample, the producer is responsible for paying for all the contaminated milk and its disposal. The cow is kept out of the herd and her milk is tested on a daily basis for the presence of antibiotics. She cannot be returned to the milking herd until she is antibiotic free. We believe our treatment of the cows is more humane.
The use of the bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is NOT permitted on Oberweis farms and that is also the same for organic producers. Most of our farmers would never even consider using the rBGH on the cows because it tends to make the cow more susceptible to infections; which are inconsistent with the great care they provide for their herds. We pay our farmers a substantial premium not to use the rBGH which makes up for the lost milk production that by using rBGH they could have had.
Raw milk is not the only difference to making great tasting quality milk. How you process the milk is also very important. Every step in our process is designed to protect the fresh flavor of our milk. It is typically 36-48 hours from the cow to your door when you purchase Oberweis milk. Most organic milk can't match our freshness, not by a wide margin.
Taste is another major difference between organic milk and ours. The raw milk quality differences mentioned above must then be translated into a finished product. The enemies of milk are heat and light. We protect the milk from damage by heat in our pasteurization step. Every time you heat milk you change the original flavor. Federal law requires a minimum pasteurization temperature of 163°F. We pasteurize at 173°F, but most dairies pasteurize at 185°F and above. They do this to get the required "code date" length on their products. This higher temperature results in a "cooked" flavor of milk.
We prevent the light from harming our milk, by first having special light filters in our warehouse. In our Dairy Stores the milk is stored behind stainless steel doors to prevent the light from harming the milk. In the grocery stores where we sell our milk they are required to install the same filters we use in our warehouse. The trucks that deliver our milk also protect the milk from light as does the dairy box that we deliver the milk to at your home. Most organic milk is put into a cardboard container. These containers have been used for years and have a proven track record of transferring an "off" taste to the milk. We continue to use glass bottles because they do not transfer an off taste to the milk. In the case of our single serve milk, we use a special plastic, PET(e), which has demonstrated superior resistance to flavor transfers.
So, as you can see, it's not just the glass bottles that make our milk taste so good. It's really the care we take in every step of the process.
So what say ST???
Liking ST more since finding the block user post option.
Triathlete since 9:56:39 AM EST Aug 20, 2006.
GM employee, The views and comments posted are my own and in no way reflect those of GM. - Required legalize from employer.
Be kind English is my 2nd language. My primary language is Dave it's a unique evolution of English.