How fresh is your fresh daily pinta?
We love our milk in the UK, especially when it’s fresh. But have you ever stopped to wonder how old that fresh milk really is, and what it went through to get to your fridge? Here is a quick run-down of the process for a typical supermarket milk cycle.
Milking and Storage
The cows are milked and the milk is stored locally on the farm for up to 24 hours.
The milk is collected by the dairy’s agent and transported up to 150 miles to the processing plant.
The milk is tested for contaminants, additives, bacteria, quality and various other factors before being introduced to the processing cycle.
The milk is heated to 70 C and then cooled again. This kills off all bacteria (harmful and good).
The milk is blasted through filters to break down the fat molecules so that it incorporates into the milk instead of floating to the surface.
The fat is removed using a centrifuge. The amount of fat removed depends on whether the milk is to become full milk, semi-skimmed or skimmed.
Bottling and Storage
The milk is now bottled and stored before being dispatched to stores.
The milk now makes its way to the retail outlets for sale to the public. This can be several hundred more miles.
Purchase and Consumption
Finally the milk arrives in stores and can be there for a couple of days before it is purchased. Then it gets to your fridge where you can keep it for a week if unopened.
It can take up to a week before the milk reaches the supermarket shelves (sometimes longer!)
Are you nervous about “raw” milk?
Raw foods are in popular use all over the world and have been for centuries. We wouldn’t bat an eye at a raw vegetable or even furrow a brow when told that mayonnaise and meringues are made from raw eggs.
But it’s a strange thing. For some reason, when we use “raw” in the context of milk, the word is a bit jarring, isn’t it? “Raw milk” – it feels like there’s something not been done to it. And of course that’s exactly right!! It’s not just one thing, but several.
Raw milk, put simply, is fresh, unprocessed milk, straight from the cow. This simple fact leads to some startling differences in the milk and what makes it so special!
How fresh is Appleby’s raw milk?
The cows are milked twice a day as normal.
Purchase and Consumption
The milk is added to the “Milkbot” vending machine the same day, where it is chilled and ready for consumption.
Always Fresh at the Point of Purchase
At the end of the day, the Milkbot is hygienically cleaned ready for the next day, and new milk.
Your milk is in the fridge the same day it was produced. Now that’s fresh! And it will last just as long as supermarket milk, without the processing.
What are the Benefits?
Here are ten reasons to drink your milk raw
By consuming foods such as raw milk and naturally fermented foods, you can help to optimise the levels of beneficial bacteria present in your gut. These bacterial allies are destroyed by pasteurisation and are therefore absent in pasteurised and UHT milk.
Enzymes like phosphatase help the body to better absorb milk’s calcium while other enzymes like amylase and lactase help you digest the sugars present in milk. Lactoperoxidase, another enzyme found in raw milk, offers antimicrobial properties which, again, helps to keep potential pathogens at bay.
These enzymes are exceptionally delicate and very heat-sensitive. Pasteurising milk destroys them and the benefits they convey to you.
Vitamins, much like food enzymes, are delicate and are largely destroyed by heat, Therefore, pasteurised milks have to be fortified with vitamins which are synthetic, laboratory-created versions of their naturally-occurring counterparts They are not processed the same way as natural vitamins by your body.
CLA is a (good) trans-fatty acid that has been shown to provide great benefits to those who consume it. Research has shown it to fight cancer (particularly breast, intestinal and bone cancers), hypertension and adipose obesity.
Source your raw milk well, because CLA is found in milk only from grass-fed dairy herds like Appleby’s. Factory-farmed and pasteurised milk does not have it.
By contrast, raw milk is not produced on a massive, concentrated scale. Appleby’s is a small operation with fewer cattle spread out over a larger amount of space. The cows aren’t fed on feedlot grain. Instead, they’re given space on fresh pasture and spend their time outside with access to shelter when they need it. By choosing to drink raw milk you’re supporting small, local farmers who value both their customers and their herd. You’re supporting sustainable agricultural operations not the dairy mega-industry.
Fresh, raw milk is not homogenised and so the fat molecules remain intact, wholesome and healthy. The beautiful fresh cream rises to the top to produce a cream-line. You can skim this cream for use in making butter or a beautiful panna cotta, or just shake the bottle to evenly distribute the cream into the milk for drinking.
As documented on the Real Milk website, many other studies carried out over the past century have shown that raw milk benefits and supports children’s growth and development in other ways too, including increasing immunity against infections, boosting dental health and supporting skeletal growth, for example. (3)
Pasteurised milks and UHT milks in particular can (and do) travel long distances before arriving from the dairy to your door. These milks are often mixed with the milks of several dairies prior to pasteurisation so you, as a consumer, lose the opportunity to question your dairy farmer about the milk you serve your family.
Further, the money you spend on such milk is divided between your supermarket, the broker/supplier, the branded dairy and, lastly, the farmer. These ever shorter margins for the farmer ultimately result in cut-price cattle feeds cut-price care.
By purchasing raw milk locally direct from your local farm, 100% of the money you spend on your milk stays in your local economy, and gets put back into the care and management of the herd.
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The Health Warning on the Bottle
“We are obliged to inform you that this milk has not been heat treated and may therefore contain organisms harmful to health”
This is a warning that we place, by law, on every bottle of Appleby’s raw milk. Appleby’s takes great pride in the milk it produces and the milk is regularly tested. Appleby’s Farm is the only farm on Merseyside that is licensed by the UK Food Standards Agency to produce and sell raw milk. So, our customers can be confident that our milk production is of the highest standard and subject to the regular scrutiny of the UK authorities.
However, raw milk is a natural , unprocessed product and as such there are risks associated with drinking it. But if you source your milk from reputable farms like Appleby’s with only grass-fed herds, and where the cows are cared for, nurtured and treated well, the risks are greatly reduced.
What we would advise for raw milk is similar to what we would advise for raw eggs. Even though the risk is small, these foods are best avoided by those with weaker immune systems such as babies or the very young, the elderly and individuals (of any age) with specific immune deficiency conditions.
We believe in freedom of choice and we also believe that our customers are intelligent enough to make their own health choices. There is a wealth of information (and opinion) out there on the internet for and against raw milk and it is for the individual to decide.