The Future of Milk

By David Goodman, "The Future of Milk," July/August 2010

As small dairy farms are vanishing, what is happening to our milk?

"Skip the milk produced by the big commercial dairy farms. Better yet, go vegan or vegetarian and support dairy and cattle farmers that switch to growing vegetables and fruit which are more healthy and ecological alternatives. Too much of...

Milk Goes Gourmet

The struggle to save small dairy farms may also save milk itself. “I believe milk is the most gloriously nutritious food that we have ruined,” declares Warren Taylor, who, with his wife, Victoria, owns Snowville Creamery in Ohio, a small dairy that focuses on selling minimally processed milk from grass-fed cows.

Taylor, a self-described “dairy nerd” who worked as a dairy engineer for Safeway supermarkets before launching Snowville Creamery in 2007, argues, “We have had a 30-year continuous decline in children’s consumption of milk. It’s incredible. Any industry would admit it’s failing, but the dairy industry says, ‘It’s not our fault—it’s Coke and Pepsi’s fault! It couldn’t possibly relate to the quality of our milk.’” Taylor charges that “95 percent of milk in this country is made on big confinement dairy farms… These people are making ‘commodity milk,’ as dairy farmers call it.”

Snowville Creamery is trying something different: producing milk that tastes great. Snowville milk comes from grass-fed cows, is unhomogenized and is pasteurized for just 17 seconds at 165°F, four degrees higher than the legal minimum. Most milk is heated to 175°F for up to a minute, and ultra-pasteurized milk, which has a shelf life of two months, is heated to 280°F for 2 seconds. It costs the same as most organic milks—between $3 and $3.50 per half gallon, about the price of a gallon of conventional milk.

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