Why is raw milk so crazy expensive? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 16 Old 08-13-2009, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
amcal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Arizona
Posts: 4,649
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
We have one farm locally that sells raw milk. It is $10 a gallon but, it's 45 minutes away - way too far to drive for milk.

They sell to a local store that is a little bit closer but, they sell it to them for $10.95/gal and that store marks it up to $12.95/gal.

Really? $12.95/gal for milk? Who can afford that?

I don't understand why it's so crazy expensive. What am I missing?
amcal is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 16 Old 08-13-2009, 01:57 PM
 
deditus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: In the LandOLakes missin the mitten
Posts: 2,978
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Dunno, around here it's cheaper than organic milk from the regular grocery store. I expect it will rise in price here as it is getting harder for farmers to get it to the consumer since state inspectors keep harassing them. We don't drink milk, but if we did I would buy raw as much or as little as I could afford or I wouldn't buy it at all.

Emily, cooking allergen free, knitting, reading, gardening Mom to 1 beautiful girl, born in the water on July 1, 2006 Wife to 1 handsome man since September 10, 2005
deditus is offline  
#3 of 16 Old 08-13-2009, 01:59 PM
 
iowaorganic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Iowa
Posts: 3,271
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
uh... well for starters conventional milk is too cheap. then there is the fact that it costs alot to have healthy happy cows (I know because I have my own herd). Pasture costs more than corn or other junk they feed conventional cows. Plus- there is a market where people are willing to pay the premium. I am assuming this is organic? It costs alot to keep your certification up as well. I believe that it is worth every penny though. Before we started our herd- I drove 90 miles each way to get good fresh milk.

Iowaorganic- mama to DD (1/5/06), DS1 (4/9/07), DS2 (1/22/09), DS3 (12/10/10), DD2 (7/6/12) and a new kid due in early 2014

iowaorganic is offline  
#4 of 16 Old 08-13-2009, 02:05 PM
 
Kyamo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,354
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Grocery stores may sell their regular milk for less than their cost, to draw in customers hoping they will buy the rest of their groceries there. I know where I work, we lose over a dollar on each 4L bag a customer buys.

Mommy to  N baby.gif, born 2/20/12.

Kyamo is offline  
#5 of 16 Old 08-13-2009, 02:16 PM
 
Sharlla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Springfield Mo
Posts: 11,637
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
I think it just depends on where you get it. My friend was paying $7/gallon (she drives in once a week to a meeting spot) then she met a lady who offered to sell it for $4/gallon.

Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012)  Married to awesome SAH DH.

Sharlla is online now  
#6 of 16 Old 08-13-2009, 02:22 PM
 
cristeen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 14,677
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Doesn't sound all that expensive to me... I pay $7/half gallon.

Like a pp pointed out - the "manufacture" of raw milk is more labor intensive and far more expensive than that of conventional milk. Add in any additional testing or certifications they have to carry/perform, and that just adds to the cost. Not to mention the fact that raw milk spoils faster than pasteurized, so it has to get to the consumer faster, and has to be pulled from the shelf faster - that also costs.

And then of course there's good old supply and demand.

Cristeen ~ Always remembering our stillheart.gif  warrior ~ Our rainbow1284.gif  is 3, how'd that happen?!?! 

We welcomed another rainbow1284.gifstillheart.gif  warrior in May 2012!! 

2012 Decluttering challenge - 575/2012

cristeen is offline  
#7 of 16 Old 08-13-2009, 02:39 PM
 
PeggyinNC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 322
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We started out paying $3.75/gallon about three years ago, but the cost has risen to $6/gallon, which I am happy to pay. We buy 4 gallons, which lasts 4 weeks, and that $24 forms a huge foundation for what we eat for the month. No matter what meats or produce or other foods we buy, that dairy seems to be the most health-giving part of our diet. If they were to increase to $10/gallon, I would still gladly pay it, it means that much to me. Raw milk kefir alone has brought me such healing!
PeggyinNC is offline  
#8 of 16 Old 08-13-2009, 03:20 PM
 
greenmom4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Los Alamos, New Mexico
Posts: 1,014
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I pay $10/gallon and I drive 45 min each way to pick up. I dunno, for me it's worth it. If I wasn't drinking raw I doubt we'd be drinking milk at all - I'm just glad we have a good source!

In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you." Buddha

greenmom4 is offline  
#9 of 16 Old 08-13-2009, 03:31 PM
 
tanyam926's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,508
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I pay $10/gallon, luckily I only have to drive about 5 min to get it, but I would drive farther. We weren't drinking milk at all until we went raw and I am amazed at the dif. I can't even tolerate pasteurized cows milk, but have no issues w/raw cow's milk.

The reasons listed by pps make sense. The farm I get my milk from is very small, only has 2 cows and 3 goats. We drink cow and goat milk.

We just ran out and I am going to get more today, yummy!

Wife to dh, Mommy to ds1 12/2002, ds2 9/2005, and ds3 9/2008.
tanyam926 is offline  
#10 of 16 Old 08-13-2009, 05:09 PM
 
Holiztic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: MD
Posts: 2,183
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We pay $8/gallon and drive about 35 minutes each way and I have never thought twice about it! Then again, we CAN'T get it in store OR on farm in MD, so maybe its just the stakes are higher for me!

We also buy eggs, meat, kefir, butter, veggies, etc. from our farm, so the drive isn't just for milk, but I'd still do it if it were!

However, I would have a hard time paying $13 a gallon in a store (or anywhere!)
Holiztic is offline  
#11 of 16 Old 08-13-2009, 05:12 PM
 
greenmom4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Los Alamos, New Mexico
Posts: 1,014
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by amcal View Post
We have one farm locally that sells raw milk. It is $10 a gallon but, it's 45 minutes away - way too far to drive for milk.
I wanted to add - right now I'm looking for other people in my area who may want to join so we can split the driving. I've got at least one or two other takers right now and I just put out feelers on freecycle. Maybe that would be an option for you?

In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you." Buddha

greenmom4 is offline  
#12 of 16 Old 08-13-2009, 07:25 PM
AJP
 
AJP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: land of the fruits and nuts
Posts: 1,853
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In addition to the reasons already listed, milk sold raw for consumption (as opposed to pre-pasteurization conventional milk) is not subsidized by the government (i.e. your tax dollars). The subsidization of feed crops (corn, soy, etc.) is a huge part of why conventional milk is so "cheap", the true costs are hidden from the consumer. There's also the cartel-like system of milk processors who have a virtual strangle hold on dairy farmers, often they pay the farmers less than it actually costs to produce the milk and the government pays the farmers the difference. So, comparing the price of raw milk that is produced outside of that system to the price of conventional or processed organic milk in a grocery store is very deceiving. That doesn't help if you simply can't afford it, but there is a factor of sticker shock when switching one's food buying away from typical grocery-store fare. A shift in attitude about the true value of real food is often in order.

BTW, in my state, the legal raw milk available to purchase in stores is $16+/gallon, and since I have a cow and know how much it costs to feed her quality, organic stuff and maintain adequate pasture in this climate, not to mention the level of testing and regulation, that price doesn't seem out of line to me at all.

There is no secret ingredient.
AJP is offline  
#13 of 16 Old 08-13-2009, 07:58 PM
 
mamadelbosque's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 6,810
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
IDK... I certainly couldn't afford it at those prices!! I pay ~5.30 a gallon here.. but thats with a herd share. Its about 20+ minutes away....
mamadelbosque is offline  
#14 of 16 Old 08-13-2009, 10:11 PM
 
kaleidoscopeeyes's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 293
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I pay $4.50 a quart...so that's $18 a gallon. I don't buy much, obviously, but I do buy what I can and feel its worth it. It sells out in hours too. There is another brand that is slightly cheaper...I want to say $8 for a half gallon. I've come to accept that everything is just more expensive here. I can get non-homogenized organic local milk for around $6 a half gallon, so sometimes I do that, but usually only if I'm planning on culturing.

I'm planning on moving out of state in about 3 years and am dearly hoping things like raw milk and pastured eggs will be cheaper there. I feel your pain.

"Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free, 'tis the gift to come down where you ought to be."
kaleidoscopeeyes is online now  
#15 of 16 Old 08-13-2009, 11:47 PM
 
Elizabeth2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: California
Posts: 383
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The real reason is that regular milk is too cheap, for what it is. it takes some getting used to, but the way i've tried to make myself understand it is that you are paying for something very healthy for your body, better for the environment, and paying for the additional costs the farmer has - cows on pasture, more labor intensive, etc. If I had a family of 5 or something it would be harder obviously to buy a ton of it. But it's just 2 of us, and we go through less than a gallon a week. I often pay almost $4 for a latte (I need to stop that)! So why should $10 a gallon for something much healtier be ridiculous...

Attachment-Parenting mom to darling DS : (January 2006). : : : : :
Elizabeth2008 is offline  
#16 of 16 Old 08-14-2009, 01:45 AM
 
krankedyann's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Buried in recipes in Asheville, NC
Posts: 2,283
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have friends who are dairy farmers that sell to a well-known conventional milk company. Due to price controls, it's literally costing them 50 cents to sell every gallon of milk they produce, and they've got a large herd.

Milk in the store is 'cheap' in part due to price controls. A lot of conventional dairy farmers are going to go out of business very soon because it's costing them more to produce the milk than they're making for each gallon received.

KerryAnn @ CookingTF dot com - Nutrient dense foods your kids will LOVE!  Real Food Cooking School and Lactofermentation Classes now live! Use coupon code "CTF" for 20% off.

krankedyann is offline  
Reply

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off