Organic Milk- why a longer expiration date? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 16 Old 02-22-2007, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am on WIC and they allow organic milk here- so I got Horizon, as that is what WalMart had. But I bought a gallon of reg. milk too- anyway, the reg. milk expires on March 1st-- the Orgainic stuff expires on March 25th. Why does it last longer? I would think if it was fresher/better it would go bad faster?

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#2 of 16 Old 02-22-2007, 09:12 PM
 
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It's because they "ultra-pasteurize" it, which isn't a good thing. They do it specifically, iirc, to get longer shelf dates (techincally it doesn't have to be refridgerated until opened either!).

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#3 of 16 Old 02-23-2007, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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so, is it really any better for us still?

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#4 of 16 Old 02-23-2007, 12:59 PM
 
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Is Horizon inferior to other organic milks? This is what we have been using because it's what they have at Walmart.
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#5 of 16 Old 02-23-2007, 01:25 PM
 
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Horizon seems to have a pretty bad reputation as far as organics go. They, iirc, are owned by Dean foods - the same company that bought-out Alta Dena dairy. Here is an article from last year that might give a little info. This one is more about Alta Dena, but give a basic picture of Dean Foods.

The following quote is from WAPF.
Quote:
Unfortunately, ultra-pasteurized organic milk has taken over the organic milk market. Ultra-pasteurization of organic milk is a big step in the wrong direction. In essence, it represents two incompatible forces at work. First, a farmer goes to the effort to make a better, more natural product, and then, the process of ultra-pasteurization reduces that product to a virtually sterile, essentially worthless liquid.
And this quote from a different WAPF article.
Quote:
When packaged in aseptic containers, UHT milk remains stable at room temperature for up to six months. Its extended shelf life with refrigeration in standard packaging, such as plastic bottles, is up to 50 days--enough time for it to be shipped across country, or internationally, and sold to customers far from the milk’s origin.

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#6 of 16 Old 02-23-2007, 02:16 PM
 
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Oh my gosh. I am so glad to find out this information. Thank you. I always did wonder why their shelf expiration date was so long.

What, in everyone's opinion, are some of the most superior brands of organic milk? We do have a Whole Foods here. This is very important to me! Thanks!
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#7 of 16 Old 02-23-2007, 05:27 PM
 
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Organic Valley is a better choice than Horizon I think. OV does make a low-temp pasteurized milk but I think its hard to find. Whole Foods would be a great place to check for a low-temp pasteurized, non-homogenized milk. In some places, they even carry raw milk.
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#8 of 16 Old 02-23-2007, 06:53 PM
 
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OV has a "fresh" milk meaning it comes from your region of the countryor if your lucky from your own state. It is pasteurized using a single method just like your regular commercial milk and it has a shorted shelf life than the UHT milk you are referring to. Even though it is Horizon, any kind of organic milk is better that conventional.

Stat from the Milk Book- in one glass of conventional milk there are 100+ different animal-grade synthetic hormones and antibiotics. YUCK!! Not to mention the pesticide and other chemical residues!!

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#9 of 16 Old 02-23-2007, 10:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by knowerofnada View Post
What, in everyone's opinion, are some of the most superior brands of organic milk?
Check out the Cornucopia Institute website. On the left there is a "dairy score card" part. It lists many different dairies and rates them by how humane they are, how healthy they are, etc.

Here's the actual scorecard page. Huh, Whole Foods actually gets a 4/5. I swear last time I looked they were lower. Maybe I'm misremembering, maybe they cleaned up their act...?

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#10 of 16 Old 02-24-2007, 01:07 AM
 
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Thanks a million for your input, ladies. The cornucopia resource is invaluable. I have learned so much from this thread! I can't believe we've used Horizon, of all brands. Going shopping tomorrow for sure!
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#11 of 16 Old 02-24-2007, 11:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyLittleWonders View Post
It's because they "ultra-pasteurize" it, which isn't a good thing. They do it specifically, iirc, to get longer shelf dates (techincally it doesn't have to be refridgerated until opened either!).
:

Also, it's easier to find non ultra-pasturized milk and cream in certain parts of the country than others.
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#12 of 16 Old 02-24-2007, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ok-- so on my WIC checks I have 6 organic milk options-- One has a #2 rating, one has a #4, the others are all on the lowest scale. How disappointing! Not surprised, really, but disappointed.
Now I just have to find if there is a grocery store here that sells the higher brand.
Thanks so much for all your help!

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#13 of 16 Old 02-24-2007, 01:53 PM
 
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Those low ratings are probably based more on the fact that they are large operations. Organic milk operations still need to have the 3-5 acres per cow and cows have access to pasture. When the pasture is actually green is an issue, but that's an issue in small operations too. Mother Nature determines a lot of that. I think we should all buy from small local operations for any of our food or goods, but it doesn't follow that the product of a large operation would necessarily be worse from a health point of view, in this case.

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#14 of 16 Old 02-25-2007, 10:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gale Force View Post
Those low ratings are probably based more on the fact that they are large operations. Organic milk operations still need to have the 3-5 acres per cow and cows have access to pasture. When the pasture is actually green is an issue, but that's an issue in small operations too. Mother Nature determines a lot of that. I think we should all buy from small local operations for any of our food or goods, but it doesn't follow that the product of a large operation would necessarily be worse from a health point of view, in this case.
I've been doing more reading about the grass issue and some of Cornucopia's complaints to the FDA. I found an interesting tidbit that I need to research and post about.

In California, the Horizon milk is supplied by the one dairy that's part of the Cornucopia allegation. So there are no "small" dairies in Calif supplying milk to Horizon. In other states, you might be getting milk from a small dairy when you buy Horizon milk.

Horizon didn't do the survey and would have been blasted anyway for selling to Walmart and having large dairies. IMO, neither of those necessarily affect milk quality. Then again, I've yet to see a 10K cow dairy where lactating cows have access to pasture. That's not to say it's not possible.

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#15 of 16 Old 02-25-2007, 10:57 PM
 
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Gale Force -- The ultra-pasteurization aspect of Horizon milk discussed above certainly makes it seem that the milk health quality is indeed affected. That was the part of this thread that got me so concerned.

We bought the 365 organic today. I appreciate you all so much for explaining this more thoroughly.
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#16 of 16 Old 02-25-2007, 11:47 PM
 
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I don't remember if the Cornucopia survey addressed UHT milk. BTW, the B vitamin content of milk is affected by UHT, but not to the degree that some of the WAPF sources suggest. I am not sure about other nutrients, but Bs are pretty susceptible to heat loss and UHT treated milk does have some Bs.

Amanda Rose, author, Rebuild From Depression: A Nutrient Guide. Don't miss this opportunity to build a business telling friends about probiotic foods and grass fed meats: Beyond Organic Review.

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