How do you know if your milk is good quality?

February 22, 2022

From fast-fashion to fast-food our consumer culture is flooded with high quantity but low quality.

And when it comes to food, generally less is more. Less ingredients and less processing = healthier food!

It would seem that a food like milk is as simple and natural as it gets. Once upon a time that may have been true, however, I am sad to say that is not the case anymore. 

Big dairy is a big industry that makes big money. And the bigger any industry gets, the further and further it tends to move away from nature.

The milk we find on the grocery store shelves is very different from what it was when it came out of the cow. It has been pasteurized, homogenized, and usually denatured by removing fat resulting in the variety of 2%, 1%, and skim milks you see in the stores.

At Beiler Family Farm, we know that the best way to consume milk is the way nature intended, raw and unaltered.

With that said, how do you know if the milk in your fridge is good quality?

Here are 5 tips to help you find out!

1. Does it come from truly grass-fed cows?

Often milk is labeled as “grass-milk” or “grass-fed milk” but what does that mean?

Generally speaking it means that the cows were fed a diet of grass instead of grain. But the term “grass-fed” isn’t very regulated. With exception to the term “100% grass-fed” that term IS regulated, and you can look for that on packaging to know that the cows are at least not finished with grain. 

A product labeled as “grass-fed” could possibly come from happy cows on pastures naturally grazing. Or, it could come from cows in feedlots fed hay and finished with grain, and anywhere in between those two farming practices.

When you buy milk from a store, it comes from many different farms blended all together in one big tank. It is a milk mixture from all sorts of farming practices and you really have no way of knowing what you are getting. 

When you buy from a small farm, you know exactly where that milk comes from (all one herd), what they are eating, the farming practices, and even who milks the cows and bottles it!

The dairy cows at Beiler Family Farm are 100% grass-fed and finished, pasture-raised, plain and simple.

2. Is it raw or pasteurized?

If you want to drink milk the way nature intended it to be consumed, then raw milk is the way to go!

Raw milk is alive, teaming with beneficial bacteria and goodness that your body can absorb and thrive on.

When milk is pasteurized, this process kills off all those good bacteria and enzymes that are essential in the process of digesting the milk.

Pasteurization and the denaturing of milk is a possible reason why there are so many dairy intolerances nowadays.

Milk from Beiler Family Farm is 100% raw unprocessed milk, just the way nature intended it to be!

3.Does it have a cream line?

Milk contains fat, good fat!

When you purchase milk from the food store, you won’t see a cream line like you do in the milk you buy from the farm.

That is because the milk is homogenized.

In short, homogenization is the process after pasteurization where the milk is mixed and the cream line (or fat content) is permanently mixed into the body of the milk. 

Homogenization uses very high pressure to break down the fat molecules in milk into very small particles so that they can dissolve into the rest of the milk. 

During this process many of the health benefits of milk are lost, and many believe that homogenized milk loses its flavor.

Why is milk homogenized anyway, you ask?

Well, simply because of “consumer preference!” Way back in the 1920’s homogenized milk was introduced onto store shelves and consumers liked that they did not have to shake their milk any more. So silly I know!

Beiler Family Farm milk is absolutely NOT homogenized and absolutely needs a good shake!

4. How long does it last in the fridge?

When it comes to raw milk, the amount of time it stays fresh in the fridge before souring is an indicator of the cleanliness and quality of hygiene during the milking process. 

The cleaner the udders, teats, and milking equipment, the longer the milk will stay fresh in the fridge before souring.

Of course there are many variables like storage temperature among other things that can affect the rate at which milk sours, but that is another topic for another newsletter!

5. Do you know your farm?

Of course the best way to know the quality of your milk is to know your farmer : )

At Beiler Family Farm we aim for transparency and to keep you informed about farming practices.

Beiler raw milk is regularly tested and approved for human consumption by the state of Pennsylvania. This routine testing is done by the state to ensure that the bacteria count in the milk is at a very safe level. 

The milk from Beiler Family Farm has never had a high bacteria count in all 25 plus years of farming!

The Beiler family believes that good quality raw milk is at the foundation of good health. They take pride in providing the best quality milk possible to all their customers, so that they too can enjoy good health.

If you have any questions about Beiler Family Farm milk let us know, we are always happy to help : )

Enjoy the food!

-Sara

And the Beiler Farm Team

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