Why Some Milk Is Not Refrigerated (and an explanation of UHT)

When we were in Europe last month I shared how almost all of the milk options we saw in the supermarket are not refrigerated and are considered “shelf stable.” It stirred up quite a bit of discussion on Facebook


Have you ever noticed how some milk here in the US is not refrigerated either?

milk in US

Why is it that these small individual sized organic milk containers in the US aren’t sold cold? If you haven’t already noticed almost all the commercialized organic milk options here in the US are Ultra High-Temperature Pasteurized (UHT) – which is actually the same process widely used in Europe – but that still doesn’t answer why some versions are refrigerated and some aren’t. The only difference is the packaging.

Just like the pictured Organic Valley “Single Serve” milk boxes, almost all European milk is UHT and put into what is called aseptic (i.e. sterilized) packaging. UHT milk can last for several months in this type of packaging without spoiling…at least until you open it at which point the shelf life does shorten and it does need to be stored in the fridge.

What is UHT (and is it good or bad)?

UHT stands for Ultra High-Temperature Pasteurization (also referred to as Ultra Pasteurization or UP) and means that milk is heated to about 280 degrees F for 2 seconds, which kills more bacteria (both good and bad) than traditional pasteurization therefore giving the milk a much longer shelf life before it spoils. Compare this to other milk here in the US, which is typically High Temperature Short Time Pasteurized (minus the “ultra” and shortened to HTST) indicating it has been heated to 165°F for 15 seconds.

So which type of pasteurization is the better choice? Well, it depends on who you ask and what your criteria is…

Producers and retailers – and even some consumers – think UHT milk is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Just think of the cost savings if refrigeration is not required after production, during delivery, or once it arrives to the store – not to mention the extended shelf life. Also, in Europe, many people don’t have the mega-sized refrigerators that are so common here in the US so having one less thing to refrigerate is pretty convenient.

Apparently Europeans are fine with the idea of warm, shelf-stable milk, and since it is a rather practical choice that is the majority of what consumers purchase there.

Now here in the US, I haven’t exactly heard people singing the praises for UHT. Yes, it may be more convenient, but from a health standpoint while the higher temperature kills even more potentially bad bacteria – the good bacteria, unfortunately, goes with itOne article even calls UHT milk “dead milk” – wow, that’s pretty harsh.

I have to agree that I am a little leery of UHT even here in the state of North Carolina where raw milk is not legal for human consumption. I do have to say though that if organic UHT milk was the only organic option in my area – that is definitely what I would choose over conventional. What is your take on UHT milk (please share in the comments)?

milk options

So why isn’t shelf stable milk sold here like it is in Europe?

A large Italian food company called Parmalat actually tried to take the US dairy industry by storm with their little boxes of shelf-stable UHT milk in the early 90’s, but Americans were just not fond of the idea. The reason – we apparently still value the idea of fresh milk, although ironically enough if you are buying your milk from a big box organic dairy company it is likely not much “fresher” than the luke-warm milk sitting on the shelves in Europe (again the only difference is the packaging).

I am the first to admit I am guilty as charged. I was one of those “crazy Americans” searching high and low for refrigerated milk when we were food shopping in France. I just could not buy into the idea of the warm, boxed milk that lined the shelves.

I looked at the labels and saw that they were UHT (something I am familiar with, but do try to avoid at home) so I kept looking and somehow managed to find one lonely brand that offered a few cold bottles of milk in the cheese aisle. I didn’t even look to see if that version was also UHT and just went with it because I was so pleased to be able to find what I was “used to” at home.

Check out my Milk 101 post to learn all about the different types of milk that are available here in the US (including low-fat vs. whole) and what kind our family chooses to drink on a regular basis (hint: it is not any of the choices listed in the chart above.) What kind of milk do you buy (and why)?

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212 thoughts on “Why Some Milk Is Not Refrigerated (and an explanation of UHT)”

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  1. I always laugh when someone links to that “dead milk” article. Of course you’re not going to make yogurt with UHT milk. Trying to make a product that depends on bacterial growth with the main ingredient that’s been treated so that all the bacteria in it has been killed is a bit pointless.

    1. I take it you’ve never made yogurt? You ADD bacteria to warmed milk to make yogurt, and UHT milk works just as well as any other, in fact, having no other bacteria to compete with for nutrients will give a more consistent result each time.

  2. The regular milk in the US does not taste any better than the long-life milk in the UK to my mind. Once you have tasted unpasteurized milk the rest tastes bland. Indeed only full fat milk has much taste. You also have to look at the type of cow since some (such as Jersey) have a much higher fat content. I suspect the fat content in the US is controlled since it always claims 3%. Having long-life milk available at the same price as refrigerated milk would be a boon. Despite having a large fridge people in my house have been conned into drinking low-fat and no-fat milk. Since we have no long-life milk we could potential need to store 6 half gallons so we always have milk. We could buy smaller containers but the price is much more than half the price. Just having long-life to avoid running out would be a boon. I suspect that the various State Milk Marketing organizations conspire to keep Americans in ignorance. California even has a different standard to that of the Federal standard. Got to keep that non-California milk out. How else could we use all that almost free water if we were not giving it to cows (exceeds that used by humans).

  3. I’m from a countryside in the central Europe. My neighbours have cows, I was fed fresh cow milk (boiled and cooled) all my life because we used to have cows, but I prefer UHT taste.

    When you guys say you prefer fresh milk from UHT, what exactly do you mean? The only safe way I can drink my neighbour’s fresh milk is by boiling it and cooling it down. Comparing the taste of:
    1-fresh from the cow
    2-boiled and cooled down
    3-UHT milk

    I have to say that the UHT tastes the most as the real fresh thing.
    The real raw milk is super strong though, I have to mix it with water a bit. Depending on the season, it can be also more or less “souery” taste. (Winter time they are fed more with corn, so that makes it souer I guess, summertime it’s grass only).

    We do now have milk ATM machines in the cities and villages (goo.gl/0ej9t3), where you can get fresh raw milk 24hours/day, that is at most 24 hours old. (if it isnt sold – it’s sold for your “fresh” milk in the store).

    If I make cottage cheese, then I have to go to the farmer to get the milk before he cools it down (as you may know, milk is cooled immediately after being pumped)

  4. Just returned from a one month Eastern Europe river Cruise and land tour. The milk on board the AMA Ship tasted awful. Like evaporated milk in a can. If that’s all that is available then I’ll just have to sacrifice my 12oz glass every morning and wait til I get home.


  5. Can i be a little picky please and correct you when you say “almost all European milk is UHT “? A lot of milk in mainland Europe is UHT, but here in the UK that is most certainly not the case. Most milk is fresh pasteurised milk requiring refrigeration and most people buy this and not UHT. I don’t know a single person among my family and friends who buys UHT milk. I think some people probably keep a carton or two in the cupboard for emergencies such as running out of fresh milk.

    I only ever have UHT milk at hotels where tiny cartons are provided to go with the tea/coffee and I hate it.

  6. I’ve never have liked the taste of milk or dairy for that matter. I can only stand it with other foods in small quantities. So when I first was introduced to Horizon UHT milk I didn’t want to take a sip without some form of pastry. But my friend convinced me that it didn’t taste milky and she was right. I currently buy 1% …it’s milky enough to pair well with pastries but doesn’t make me feel sick and doesn’t leave a weird taste in my mouth like other milk. My dad loves raw milk and is always on a quest to find it. My mom is lactose intolerant. I guess I fall somewhere in between.

  7. Wow. It’s uht that is nasty and watery. I’m blown away that people prefer that dead watery garbage over true fresh milk. I hope they are referring to other boxed crap American milks. What good dones storing it forever for convenience do when the nutritional value is knocked from it. I don’t get it.

  8. Not only in Europe :)
    I moved to the USA from Argentina a while ago, and I was puzzled that I could not find non-refrigerated milk. We have both types, but non-refrigerated is so convenient that it’s typically what most people buy – middle/upper class, because it’s much more expensive –

    It’s hard to believe that in the USA, the country that has everything, I could not find it anywhere.
    I got tired of looking for it at the supermarket and asking and being looked as if I was crazy :-)
    So I Googled it and I ended up reading this. Thanks for the explanation.
    You guys should try it, it’s very convenient.

  9. I’m not very familiar with all the processes behind it, so this was an interesting article. All I can say, I love milk, but absolutely hated the milk I had in the US :p Hardly has any taste, very watery,…whether it’s more or less healthy, I love the milk we drink here.

      1. I’m an American living in Barcelona. My entire life I’ve hated milk (skim, whole, you name it) until I moved to Europe. I buy the non-refrigerated UHT milk and it’s delicious (even the low-fat)! It tastes like you imagine milk should taste (if that makes sense) and it’s not watery like US milk, as Inge says. Anyway, that’s my two cents.

      2. The boxed milk definitely has a different taste to it than refrigerated american milk! We usually keep a gallon of milk in the fridge and a box or two of milk in the pantry for when we run out (the boxed stuff isn’t cheap). Whenever we do crack open a box of milk it is so satisfying. Boxed milk is what I grew up on and I’m sure we will be purchasing it much more once we move up to Alaska where we might get snowed in a few times. :)

  10. I am blessed here in WA state to be able to find grass-fed, non-homogenized, low-pasteurized milk. I noticed that once we switched to this, my daughter’s dermatitis and allergies completely cleared up! It is more expensive, but I am willing to pay for the benefits it brings.

  11. Lol
    Shortly after moving to the US from Europe I got a carton of milk to keep in my pantry. Thought it was the UHT milk. Was very disappointed having added it to my morning coffee when it turned into a stinky cheese!

  12. UHT milk is the industry standard here in Brazil and pretty much your only option in most markets. You’d have to look really hard in any major city to find HTST milk, but I guess everything is possible. Parmalat used to be pretty much in control of the milk industry for a long time, but nowadays there’s an enormous variety of brands and ranches, which is great. But I never really cared that they were UHT. I guess we just don’t fret all that much over our food here. Hell, vegan restaurants aren’t even considered common here yet.

  13. Like your site,However strongly disagree about Europeans preference to uht milk.90% of irish dairy farmers have grass fed cows all year round where possible unlike most of the U.S and southern Europe. I collect milk from farmers and most take their milk from the tank like they have done for years! No law against whole milk consumption in Ireland or UK. Cows are designed for grass in a field not a big U.S shed and being fed like a chicken.

  14. Hi! The situation varies in Europe from country to country. In the UK and Ireland, fresh milk (not UHT) is clearly preferred and British and Irish people tend to find UHT milk quite disgusting. In the continent, you’re more likely to find UHT milk (and cream), and in Southern Europe it’s particularly difficult to find non-UHT milk. Part of the reason for this is the heat, I think, besides the convenience of not having to go shopping every day. Strangely enough, the countries more concerned with having fresh milk are the least concerned with fresh bread. In Southern Europe (and also France), everyone gets their bread every day, whereas in Britain sliced bread is very common.

  15. I’m moving to Germany with my husband and three young children. Can you give me some advice on what kind of milk to look for, especially since it’s written in German?

  16. Addressing your question of would you buy non-organic if UHT was the only choice…I’ve recently faced this myself. My personal decision is actually to buy from a local dairy that is not organic. The reasoning is that organic milk is better from a perspective of what the cows are eating – many smaller local dairies (at least in our neck o’ the woods) actually grass-feed their cows and adhere to “sustainable farming standards”. I would do my research on your own local dairies to find out where their milk comes from – it may not be organic…but at least it isn’t DEAD or STERILE. Good info here – thank you!

  17. This is non-problem. Myself, I cannot drink any unprocessed milk, either the lactose ruins me for a day or some other constituent makes me drowse off for a couple hours. So, I process it myself into yogurt or kefir (or do both as I cannot drnk whey from yogurt, but can from kefir). Plenty of critters cultured.

  18. We’re stationed at an Air Force Base in Turkey, so when we get shipments of food for the store, sometimes they’re not the freshest. We have problems with milk going bad or just not being there, so I’ve gone to just purchasing UHT milk. I would definitely prefer it straight from a cow, but as that is definitely not an option everywhere, I just cut my losses. It was a strategic choice for me. It tastes a little different, but my kids don’t mind and they drink all of it anyway. It’s just nice to know that when I’m out of milk, I can always get more. I have a back up in the pantry at all times. And it’s organic and costs around a dollar per quart.

  19. I always wondered how milk could be shelf stable. I don’t drink much milk, but I think I would prefer my dairy with some good bacteria. We have milk from a local dairy farm delivered to our house, I’m not sure what we would drink if we ever moved away.

  20. The generalization of Europe in this blog was pretty bad, I understand that this is being written for an American audience but it really turns me off reading other articles because of the inaccuracies. From a British person living in Germany (or just a European)

    1. Kay and Lillyn – According to my research “Seven out of 10 European milk drinkers choose [shelf stable] over regular milk” and that is also mainly what we saw in the 4 countries that we visited. This is in comparison to basically the opposite here in the US (which is also a big place with varying cultures from state to state). Point taken. I’ve updated the photo to read “Milk that is not refrigerated in Europe” instead of “Milk is not refrigerated in Europe.” Thanks for your feedback.

      1. The reason I don’t prefer UHT milk is that it doesn’t taste as good as “regular” astuerized milk. The first time I ran across it was in a cafeteria I thought the taste was a bit off, and when I checked the expiration, itt said there was aMONTH left! I figured that was an error and traded it for another carton, with the same result and same expiration date. That’s when I noticed the little “Ultra Pasteurized” note on the carton.
        Although I find the taste difference pretty small, I find the smell like that of milk which has started to go sour.

      2. You are totally right! I noticed the exact same thing when I incorrectly tried to make yogurt in my instant pot for the first time. I even checked the expiry date because as you mention it did have a sour smell when I put it in my instant pot and I didn’t want to start out the long process of making yogurt with milk that has already gone off. Joke was on me! This was UHT milk and as so many of the bloggers note you cannot make yogurt with it. I’m starting to think the one person’s comment about it being “dead” milk is very accurate. Because I had purchased the active cultures to make Greek yogurt and I would think that even if the milk had under gone a high temp heating through UHT and killed all the good and bad microorganisms, with me re-introducing them back in to the milk wouldn’t they just survive on the protein or sugars or whatever they survive on? Well looks like they don’t because I ended up with a sour runny mess that at this point I’m trying to strain(not sure why, not sure if I can make anything at all with this…but I hate throwing food out). So I have to question if active culture cannot survive in a UHT environment once re-introduced, what else has happened to the milk from this high heating process or what else has been added in to the milk? Now I’m no scientist or anything I could dissect the rabbit in high school so I’m not one to be able to apply a scientific knowledge. But from a lay person common sense perspective the whole reason a person is ingesting food is for the benefits to their health or at least that’s the reason we should be eating. So what good does this UHT milk do for the human body? Does it provide any nourishment at all? I wonder…I’m thinking absolutely not. But if you are pouring it on those hard crunchy sugary balls called cereal then I suppose it really doesn’t matter?

      3. Oh I forgot to mention the real crazy thing that they are doing here in Canada….they are trying to fool us I think, because they are storing the UHT milk in bags like our regular milk and are selling it from the refrigerator! So that’s why I was so easily fooled and didn’t think I was using UHT milk when I attempted making yogurt. I just assumed UHT milk was boxed and on shelves. Not so here, to me it actually makes me wonder if by doing it this way the average Canadian isn’t even aware that the milk they are buying has changed. Sure on the bag it does say UHT but only on the bag where the ingredient list is. Otherwise it just looked like regular homo 3.25% milk which I thought would be perfect for yogurt. Wrong! Hey if anyone has any suggestions as to what I can do with this sour runny mess after I strain it, besides making wallpaper paste. I’d love the suggestions.

      4. In my experience UHT is more popular in southern European countries where it’s hotter. I guess the favourability is because it is easier to transport and lasts longer in the heat. In my Northern European country the refrigerated milk and milk products (kafir etc) section is 10x bigger than the UHT section.

        It’s also worth mentioning consumption of UHT in general is quite high, because a lot, if not most, cafes use UHT as they just don’t have the space for refrigerated milk. I think if people were given a choice they would prefer pasteurised milk though.

    2. Nice article but I am slightly bemused by the constant reference to luke warm milk. Obviously once opened the milk has to be refrigerated the same as all mile. So there is no need in normal use for this to be warm, you just pop it in the fridge before use. This product saves massively on transportation refrigeration costs and also avoids such high levels of wastage as other milk.

  21. I had to stop consuming dairy, but before I did we only drank organic milk from Horizon. All other milk, to both my daughter and I, tasted spoiled after we started drinking Horizon brand. We didn’t mind pay $4 for a carton considering it would all get drank, whereas the $3/gallon of non-organic milk would just spoil in the fridge. I have absolutely no problem with pasteurization though.

    We have both switched to almond and rice milk, as my daughter no longer likes the taste of cow’s milk at all, and almond milk has a higher vitamin D content than cow’s milk anyway. Plus it comes in vanilla and chocolate :D

  22. I drink raw cow’s milk from a local organic farm. Well, it’s not THAT local. It’s about 2 hours from our house. The law in Texas is that farmers cannot sell raw milk in stores, but they can sell it from their farms. So I’m part of a milk co-op, and we take turns driving down to the farm and picking up milk for the group.

    It is wonderful stuff. The cows are pastured, the milk is very creamy – it’s about 1/4 cream, which rises to the top, so we shake the bottle before pouring.

    If I could not get the raw milk… I’m not sure what I would do. On the one hand, organic is very important to me, as is pastured -I want milk from cows that are stress-free and humanely treated. This is important for me both nutritionally and ethically. However, I also don’t want ultra-pasturized. So, I’m not sure.

  23. When I began looking to become less processed I actually cut out cow’s milk because I didn’t like how they processed the product. I admit that I do have a weakness for chesse so I sometimes indulge a little for the sake of my sanity, but I find that 100% coconut milk does the trick for me if I want a cold glass of milk. I did find a local co-op that sells raw milk. Has anyone had any experience with that? I’m a little scared to try it!

  24. When I started my clean/real food journey, I made the switch to organic whole milk – pastured/grass-fed of course. When I decided to try my hand at making my own yogurt I discovered “ultra homogenized” milk. Every brand of pastured milk available at the local grocers here is ultra pasteurized. I had to go out of my way & make a 20 minute trip to purchase “GrassMilk” (non-homogenized, made by Organic Valley co-op). Since I can’t make that trip every time I need milk, I have opted for buying organic whole milk rather than the ultra homogenized varieties.

  25. I feel quite upset when you generalize all Europeans. I live in the Netherlands and we drink almost all pasteurized milk here. In ANY of the European countries i have been to (about 14 so far) i was able to buy refrigerated pasteurized milk… Please could you rephrase your statement?

    1. According to my research “Seven out of 10 European milk drinkers choose [shelf stable] over regular milk” and that is also mainly what we saw in the 4 countries that we visited. This is in comparison to basically the opposite here in the US (which is also a big place with varying cultures from state to state). Point taken. I’ve updated the photo to read “Milk that is not refrigerated in Europe” instead of “Milk is not refrigerated in Europe.” Thanks for your feedback.

  26. I buy HTST organic milk sold in glass bottles from a dairy that is less than 50 miles from my home. It is widely available north of San Francisco. If you’re in the area, check out Straus Family Creamery. It is not homogenized and it is whole so you get the cream top which is my favorite part. They also make butter, sour cream, cream cheese, and delicious ice cream.

    If I can’t get that, I still get some organic brand that is local-ish. Luckily in CA we have many dairies so out-of-state milk isn’t your only choice.

    My daughter will be starting kindergarten this month so I’m considering getting her the smaller aseptic milk containers for her lunch or snack. I haven’t decided yet, though. Anyone know which of those packages is the best?

  27. I live in Cambodia and both types of milk are available – pasteurized, cold milk and UHT. I recently switched to UHT because the integrity of the cold chain here is unreliable and my cold milk was spoiling long before the ‘best before’ date. It certainly doesn’t feel as “real” as I’d like, but its a better tradeoff than going without milk, for my family.

  28. I drink mostly organic raw milk I get through a buying coop. It lasts the 2 weeks til the next delivery If I don’t finish it first. To fill in, I get local dairy low temp. pasteurized milk or Organic Valley milk from my local food coop. I like to get my hormones and antibiotics from the pharmacy.

  29. I agree with Wynn. I am British and we definitely don’t drink UHT Milk all the time.. Some people have large fridges now. Brits refrigerate their milk just as you do in the. States. Lisa i am surprised you don’t drink non-homogonised grassfed milk, far superior to grocery store organic milk. Wholefoods have two or three selections of grassfed milk. Sue

  30. I think the difference is that Americans are used to shopping in stores whereas a lot of Europeans still have milk delivered….which is the fresh kind. My grandmother, who is British tells the story of when sterilized milk was introduced in Europe. They got both fresh and sterilized ilk delivered daily and the milk man was appalled to learn that my grandmother as feeding it to my mom when she was little. Sterilized milk was for baking and for your tea, it was not to be given to children and they understood the lack of nutrition and value of drinking ultra pasteurized milk.

  31. I love, love, loved the shelf milk when I lived in Europe. It’s something I wish I could buy here. I’m not much a milk drinker, so it was always handy to have in the cupboard for when guests would come over.

  32. I agree with Teresa. I have lived in the Netherlands for more than 8 years. Most that is sold is the cold, fresh variety. Also agree with Rebecca on the generalization comment. I have travelled extensively in Europe( UK, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, France, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Portugal and Spain) and from my observation, fresh milk is easily available.

    1. According to my research “Seven out of 10 European milk drinkers choose [shelf stable] over regular milk” and that is also mainly what we saw in the 4 countries that we visited. This is in comparison to basically the opposite here in the US (which is also a big place with varying cultures from state to state). Point taken. I’ve updated the photo to read “Milk that is not refrigerated in Europe” instead of “Milk is not refrigerated in Europe.” Thanks for your feedback.

  33. I think it’s always important to remember that drinking milk at all is something that has not always existed, and is not nutritionally necessary for our bodies. The often desirable components from milk we think we need, like calcium, fat, or protein can be obtained easily from other more nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables. I know tons of people avoiding it completely after looking into how our digestive tracks are not fond of the lactic acid, among other things, especially when either form of pasteurization KILLS the helpful bacteria our bodies can actually use. Our bodies are however designed to use well our mothers breast milk, which is all I feel we should drink in the milk family when it comes to milk consumption. There are not only artificial ingredients in formula among sugar and other ingredients that don’t get talked about enough.

    1. Just as a clarification request from my husband; the breast milk reference was meant to be or infants/babies, and not meant to suggest that we as adults or children are drinking or using breast milk. I meant more that after weaning from breast milk, which is the best food for baby, no milk consumption is needed. ;)

  34. I agree that saying “Europe” or “Europeans” ALL do anything really is a too big of a generalization. My family and I have lived in Scotland for almost a year and have yet to go to someones house and be served “shelf stable” milk. If anything, I know more people here who have their fresh milk delivered daily in tiny bottles. Scottish dairy is amazing by the way, I am pretty sure we are ruined for life and will never be able to buy cheap milk in the States again. Regular milk here tastes as good or better than organic milk in the states ever did. So, although Scotland is technically Europe, people here kind of laugh at that term being used about them. It is so very very different from many of the other European countries. As far as the milk goes I have actually purchased shelf stable milk, but it tastes almost sickeningly sweet. We have it just in case we run out and don’t want to walk 15 minutes to the nearest shop. It is okay for cereal, but I would never drink it alone. Fresh is BEST!

    1. According to my research “Seven out of 10 European milk drinkers choose [shelf stable] over regular milk” and that is also mainly what we saw in the 4 countries that we visited. This is in comparison to basically the opposite here in the US (which is also a big place with varying cultures from state to state). Point taken. I’ve updated the photo to read “Milk that is not refrigerated in Europe” instead of “Milk is not refrigerated in Europe.” Thanks for your feedback.

  35. I agree that UHT milk is “dead” milk. We make our own yogurt and cheese, and anyone who makes these things will tell you UHT will NOT work for yogurt/cheese because it contains n bacteria – it’s sterile. I don’t want my food to be sterile!!! We need bacteria! We choose to drink raw milk and are lucky enough to be able to buy it from the a grass-fed dairy farm down the road. If we couldn’t do that, I would purchase low-temp pasturized milk. If UHT milk was my only option, I probably wouldn’t buy milk anymore – it has no nutrition and wouldn’t be worth the money for us.

  36. I’ve lived in The Netherlands for the last 5 years and the sell both cold and warm milk. From what I see, most that is sold is of the cold variety. I really only use milk in cooking, but I always buy the cold milk.

  37. I have been buying Horizon Whole milk with DHA. I didn’t realize until now that it is ultra pasteurized. It is basically the only milk I can tolerate the taste of. I do not like organic valley. One health food store here had a totally grass fed milk and I got it. It was wonderful. I went back to get it again and they said they no longer carried it. Regular milk from the store makes me sick as if I were lactose intolerant. My daughter has been getting raw milk from a farm and it is runny like skim with a small amount of butter fat floating on top. I think they run it through the separator and keep most of the cream but they insist that it is because in the cooler months the cows only eat hay (it tastes like hay). It is no different now that it is summer. They also claim they are all Jerseys. I grew up on home delivered dairy milk that I’m sure was pasteurized. During the summers I spent a lot of time at either my uncle’s or grandfather’s farm drinking raw milk directly from the cooler and eating home made cheeses and butter. I remember it being creamy and full bodied not runny with floaties. Do you have any insight into why milk is SSOO different now? I am 58 and I know you are younger. Is there anyone who can explain this to me? and maybe give a solution to how I can get healthy milk that tastes good? Thanks ever so much!

    1. Carol, we have a jersey cow who produces beautiful, thick creamy milk. It’s nearly half cream when we feed her brewers grain. It’s maybe one-fourth cream when she doesn’t get grain. So I’m wondering if their cows are undernourished (not sure of the full implications of that; some cows will get really skinny but continue to produce creamy milk, and others will keep the nutrients and produce little cream.) But the dairy farmers may be just keeping the cream for themselves. Just my thoughts, but something’s off with the quality of that milk.

      1. The dairies are skimming most of the cream off and then homogenizing the rest. The cream is used to make other products and the dairies want consistent product appearance & consistency.