11 Kinds of Milk and Counting

As far as I know there is no such thing as a milk sommelier, but based on the variety of milk available at my local grocery store, perhaps there ought to be. There seem to be more choices now than ever, and that’s a good thing, although it can be a bit confusing. Most conventional milk is from Holstein cows but milk from other breeds are also available as well as many non-dairy sources. Here are some of the milk varieties I’ve found recently and my take on each. Organic milk What makes milk organic? Organic milk comes from cows fed organic feed and not given synthetic growth hormones or antibiotics. It’s possible that organic milk has higher concentrations of some omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, but that’s not the only reason to buy it. Organic dairy cows are required to spend time on organic pastures and organic practices are better for the environment too. Non-homogenized milk There has been a lot of controversy about homogenization. While some say homogenization is not good for human consumption, there is not much in the way of science to back that up. According to Berkeley Wellness homogenized milk may actually be easier to digest and certainly has longer shelf life. That said, there is nothing wrong with drinking non-homogenized milk and many people enjoy the separate layer of cream that rises to the surface. It all comes down to personal preference. Grass milk (a registered trademark) Grass milk sounds like milk made from grass, but it’s not. It’s the name for milk that’s from cows that graze on pasture all year round. Research show it is richer in omega-3 fats, vitamin E, beta-carotene, calcium and conjugated linoleic acid. Recently I got a chance to visit the Regli family Organic Valley dairy farm one of the producers of grass milk in Humboldt county. Some grass milk comes from Holsteins but the Regli’s raise beautiful Jersey cows. Organic Valley does not homogenize their grass milk and this month it is being launched nationwide. A Jersy cow from the Regli farm Guernsey milk Guernsey cows produce a richer, sweeter flavored milk with more nutrients than most dairy cows. Guernsey milk has 12% more protein, 30% more cream, 33% more vitamin D, 25% more vitamin A and 15% more calcium than average Holstein milk. It’s hard to know which milk cows dairies are using, but sometimes you will see it on the label. Guernsey cows were mostly phased out in favor of Holsteins. credit Dave Hamster Jersey milk Locally there is another producer of Jersey milk where I live, St. Benoît. The milk is very rich. Jersey milk contains 18% more protein, 20% more calcium and 25% more butterfat than average milk. Like grass milk it is non-homogenized. Raw milk Even more controversial than homogenization is raw milk. It is not even available for purchase in some states. Raw milk is not pasteurized. Some people maintain that pasteurization destroys beneficial bacteria, proteins, and enzymes that aid digestion….

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