The Dating Myth: The Milk Carton with the Latest Possible "Sell By" Date Is the Freshest
Imagine 2 different milks with 2 different “Sell By” dates. The date for milk Brand A is only 7 days from now. Milk Brand B is 23 days from now. Most people would assume that Brand B is the fresher milk. However, when it comes to fresh, organic, grass-fed milk, this is not necessarily true.
Natural By Nature milk is as fresh as regulators allow. That's because Natural By Nature milk leaves the dairy no more than 20 days before its "Sell By" date. Our pasteurization process is unique among organic milk producers. We use something called an "HTST" process, or "Hot Temperature, Short Time." This means we eliminate any pathogenic microorganisms by bringing the milk to a temperature of no more than 165° F - a temperature proven to remove any risk of harmful microbes. But it's not a temperature so high that it renders the milk sterile and possibly reduces any inherent nutritional value. Other milk producers use a process called "UHT" or Ultra-High Temperature. This process not only removes any bacteria, but by bringing the milk to a temperature of 280° F it renders the milk so sterile it remains usable for as many as 60 days!
This process differs from what we believe FRESH to be and keeps the milk from tasting as fresh as it could. So, next time you see a date from a UHT processed milk that's at least 23 days out, and a date from a non-UHT milk that's 7 days out, you'll know which one is truly fresh.
The Open Milk Carton Myth: If you open a pasteurized milk carton with a September 10th "Sell By" date at the same time you open a UHT milk carton with a September 30th "Sell By" date, which one stays fresh longer?
Let’s imagine you just brought home three half-gallon cartons of milk using different pasteurization processes and with different “Sell By” dates.
If you open all cartons at the same time and place them in the refrigerator, no matter what kind of pasteurization process a milk undergoes, milk goes bad at about the same rate once opened and equally exposed to air. So as long as milk lasts approximately the same number of days once opened, why not provide you and your family with the freshest, grass-fed organic milk available?
The Organic Milk Myth: Organic Milk is Organic Milk no matter what.
Buying organic produce and dairy products is a good decision. You're keeping you and your family fed with the most nutritious, chemical-free food you can find. You're minimizing the risk of illness and finding the best way to avoid ingesting pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic hormones. And when it comes to purchasing milk, one carton of milk with 100% Organic Certification is much like the next, right?
Natural By Nature milk is indeed 100% Certified Organic. But we take it much, much further because our cows are grass-fed, our pasteurization process is HTST, and our cows are well cared for on their Amish and Mennonite farms located in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Let's take a closer look at these attributes:
Cows were meant to eat grass, not grain. But nearly all milk producers, including those that sell 100% Certified Organic, exclusively feed their cows grain. Studies are currently underway on the health benefits of dairy products produced from the milk of grass-fed cows. This much is known: grass-fed dairy products contain an increased amount of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) - nearly six times as much. CLA is a naturally occurring "good" fatty acid produced in cows and found in their milk. Studies have also shown CLA to promote muscle growth and fat burning in the body. This means CLA, found in increased quantity in milk from grass-fed cows, may help you lose unwanted fat and build a leaner body. Consider this: since cows manufacture CLA from grass in their stomachs, commercially-raised cows that only eat soybeans or corn meal produce little, if any, CLA. It may all be organic, but only grass-fed takes you closer to milk the way it's supposed to be served.
All retail milk in the U.S. is pasteurized to remove any harmful microbes. But how it's pasteurized matters? Natural By Nature uses a low-temperature pasteurization process that is among the most unique found with milk producers. The process is called an "HTST" process, or "Hot Temperature, Short Time." This means we eliminate any pathogenic microorganisms by bringing the milk to a temperature of no more than 165° F — a temperature proven to remove any risk of harmful microbes. But it's not a temperature so high that it renders the milk sterile and possibly reduces any inherent nutritional value. Other milk producers use a process called "UHT" or Ultra-High Temperature. This process not only removes any bacteria but by bringing the milk to a temperature of 280° F it renders the milk so sterile it remains usable for 55 days! That doesn't sound fresh to us.
The cows that produce our Natural By Nature milk are raised on healthy, grass-fed diets on the nearby farms of Amish and Mennonite families located in southeastern Pennsylvania. Their generations-old methods of organic grass-fed dairy farming help to sustain the ecological integrity of our watersheds and groundwater. We believe that grass-fed milk from cows that are well treated and less stressed is the creamiest, most flavorful milk available. Three times a week we collect milk from these local farms and process it within hours. The rich, fresh Natural By Nature milk in that cold glass in your hand was produced only days ago by a well cared for cow quietly grazing in an open Lancaster County meadow. Now that's organic.