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If I really want to add cow milk, what is my best store bought option?

by (45)
Updated October 30, 2014 at 3:57 AM
Created February 14, 2012 at 5:40 PM

I have tried both coconut milk (decent) and almond milk (did not like at all although I love almonds and almond butter). I really want to add milk (cow) back and would like your opinion on my best store bought (TJ's or Whole foods) option. I used to drink at least a gallon a week of 1% and have never had any problems with the dairy factor to my knowledge (German/many euro countries decent, I'm a European mutt). I love the taste and also the easy liquid calories I can add to my diet as I am active and trying to gain weight. Thanks!

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10044 · February 15, 2012 at 2:31 PM

I agree. Wholefoods often carries locally produced unhomogenized whole milk in many of their stores.

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10044 · February 15, 2012 at 2:29 PM

You probably don't want to use skim milk. It most likely has oxidized milk powder as an ingredient. http://naturalbias.com/why-skim-milk-isnt-as-healthy-as-you-may-think/

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4218 · February 15, 2012 at 1:42 AM

+1 for the kefir recommendation, with the caveat that you should make it yourself.

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4347 · February 14, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Dragonfly, I agree that a trustworthy farm would be fine. I would just prefer to see the farm myself rather than buy via a middleman. Just my opinion! We have raw milk from a local farm and, while I'm sure it would be safe if available at a local market, is something I'd rather get direct. :)

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41481 · February 14, 2012 at 9:13 PM

Local, yes. Raw, maybe.

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41481 · February 14, 2012 at 9:12 PM

+1 for being wary of raw milk. I'm all for raw milk, but it requires a level of trust. Health, santiation, handling, etc... a number of very susceptible links in the production/supply chain that can wreak havoc.

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32518 · February 14, 2012 at 7:58 PM

The problems with raw milk are E coli contamination on the farms. If the local farm is trustworthy (and they would be out of business, if not), then whether or not they transport to a store is not an issue.

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7 Answers

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1160 · February 14, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Get the non-homogenized cream top milk from Trader Joe's. Not sure where you are, but it's readily available in California stores. It comes from Strauss Family Creamery (despite the TJ label), an organic outfit out of Northern California that uses pastured cows on supplemental organic feed. The same stuff is available in Whole Foods in glass bottles for a higher price.

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32518 · February 14, 2012 at 6:12 PM

The very best is local raw milk. (whole) You may find it in Farmers Markets & Food coops, depending in the State. Whole Foods? Not sure. Goats milk is good, too.

Next is kefir made from 100% grass-pastured, hormone & antibiotic-free pasteurized, whole milk. Preferably from Jersey cows.

Then whole milk as above.

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4218 · February 15, 2012 at 1:42 AM

+1 for the kefir recommendation, with the caveat that you should make it yourself.

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41481 · February 14, 2012 at 9:13 PM

Local, yes. Raw, maybe.

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4347 · February 14, 2012 at 6:28 PM

If you have to stick to store-bought milk, I'd personally stay away from raw (even if you can get it). I trust local farms I've visited, but there are so many variables in transport to stores that I'd be wary.

So, the options. I'd look for whole, local/grassfed, UN-homogenized milk (cream-top) that's not ultra-pasteurized (UHT pasteurized). If it just says "pasteurized" then it's been heated to a lower temperature, which is better for the nutrient profile. I think cultured dairy is better, but it sounds like you're looking for fluid milk for drinking. That's how I'd go.

I'm not sure where you live, but at our Whole Foods we can get a couple of varieties of pastured, non-homogenized milk--one in a glass bottle and one in a cardboard container.

Note on goat milk from groceries--often it's UHT pasteurized, so if you can tolerate it I'd go for something like the above.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab
32518 · February 14, 2012 at 7:58 PM

The problems with raw milk are E coli contamination on the farms. If the local farm is trustworthy (and they would be out of business, if not), then whether or not they transport to a store is not an issue.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
41481 · February 14, 2012 at 9:12 PM

+1 for being wary of raw milk. I'm all for raw milk, but it requires a level of trust. Health, santiation, handling, etc... a number of very susceptible links in the production/supply chain that can wreak havoc.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3
4347 · February 14, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Dragonfly, I agree that a trustworthy farm would be fine. I would just prefer to see the farm myself rather than buy via a middleman. Just my opinion! We have raw milk from a local farm and, while I'm sure it would be safe if available at a local market, is something I'd rather get direct. :)

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1638 · February 14, 2012 at 9:47 PM

If you find it in your area, I have been very happy with the unhomogenized whole milk - in glass bottles! - from Natural by Nature.

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10044 · February 15, 2012 at 2:31 PM

I agree. Wholefoods often carries locally produced unhomogenized whole milk in many of their stores.

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5188 · February 14, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Well the basics are pretty basic. Milk that's truly organic, without added hormones etc. and raised on pasture. A local dairy is probably a good bet over national brands. Perhaps this list will be helpful:

http://cornucopia.org/dairysurvey/index.html

In particular, they were reasonably happy with Whole Foods 365 brand.

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85 · February 15, 2012 at 2:25 PM

We can't get un-homogenized here, so we're thinking of getting skim and cream and making our own 'whole' milk.

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157
10044 · February 15, 2012 at 2:29 PM

You probably don't want to use skim milk. It most likely has oxidized milk powder as an ingredient. http://naturalbias.com/why-skim-milk-isnt-as-healthy-as-you-may-think/

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38 · February 15, 2012 at 8:14 AM

Personally I find the only milk I can drink, that doesn't give me bloating or acne is the UHT milk, also called "Long Life/Langleven" milk (here in Holland).

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