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The Art and Value of Milk

February 16, 2018
by Greg Georgaklis

This week we made a couple of changes to the price of milk. First, we removed the bottle deposit from the Strafford milk price you see on the website. Deposits will now be displayed along with your order totals as a separate item. Second, we made a small increase in the price of the milk for both Strafford and Kimball Brook.

Since the price of milk is so skewed in the overall grocery marketplace, we wanted to give you some further background. Even with this new price increase, we are still selling milk and some other dairy products below the margin needed to cover costs of shipping, packing and handling. This is because milk is the item that supermarkets have decided should be cheap – a “loss leader” to help get shoppers in the door – and when asked to pay for the true cost of milk, most people in the general public complain bitterly.

I am proud to say that we rarely hear this from our families and community – all of you. You clearly value what our farmers are doing, and we know you taste and feel the difference. The extra work that goes into producing that excellence is truly remarkable and solely due to their passion and dedication to farming.

Here are a few fun facts about Strafford Organic Creamery: What makes their milk so different and so much healthier than supermarket milk?

  • Amy and Earl milk about 60 Guernsey Cows. Guernsey’s are one of the traditional breeds used in Vermont and do particularly well on grass. They are renowned for excellent milk quality and flavor. They do not produce as much milk as the huge Holsteins on large industrial farms – only about half as much per cow per day, in fact.
  • Their cows are fed a diet of grass in spring, summer and fall, and dry hay in the winter. During the growing season, they are out on pasture when they are not being milked. Cows are designed to eat grass – and their health and resulting milk flavor are far superior to cows fed all grain and silage diets.
  • The milk travels about 150 yards to their bottling plant at one end of the barn to be lightly pasteurized and bottled. Nothing else. Industrial milk is highly processed to overcome many flavor and quality flaws, spending many days in transit and storage.
  • Everything they do emphasizes quality over quantity, and health over efficiency, which in turn costs a great deal more.
  • They are Certified Organic which requires a lot of work for a small dairy.

Many families are cutting dairy out of their diets altogether because they have heard and experienced how highly processed dairy can be detrimental to your health. What we know is that unprocessed or lightly processed high quality dairy is very densely nutritious food for your family, and we want to support the folks like Amy and Earl to continue producing it.

Watch our interview with Amy and Earl to get to know them even better – you’ll fall in love with them, their cows and their milk, too!

Thank you for supporting the kind of food and world you want.

Greg