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grade A vs Grade B milk


kfeusse
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I would never mess with raw milk. We drink it, but I would not drink it at all if I questioned its purity and source in any way. I've never heard of graded raw milk - my guess is grade b is only for animal consumption or else needs to be pasteurized to be consumable by humans.

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You might find this wikipedia entry about milk grades useful. Quick answer - B sounds less safe than A, as grades relate in part to bacteria levels and handling rules.

Here is the CDC's information about raw milk. Needless to say, they are not fans.

Here is an interesting article from the normally crunchy Mother Jones, arguing against raw milk.

 

I don't eat dairy at all; sadly it does not agree with me despite my love of it.

I have no dog in this fight, just looked it up out of curiosity. Take what you like and leave the rest.

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Way back in the stone age when I grew up on a dairy farm, each farm was graded based on quality of the milk. Our farm was Grade A, so our milk was sold for consumption. I had one uncle whose farm was Grade B, and their milk was sold through different channels than our milk. I remember that they didn't receive as much money for their milk, and I remember how careful we were to do whatever it took to keep our Grade A designation.

 

I grew up drinking raw milk directly from our cows. My grandparents and uncles on both sides were dairy farmers too. I never had store milk until I was a teenager.

 

This discussion just brought up a memory of my mom looking at the milk for sale in the grocery store and laughing. Even back in the stone age milk was sold under brand names and generic names. My mom would laugh at the brand name milk b/c as she said, when the milk leaves our farm, it doesn't have a brand name. The milk from all the farms on our road gets mixed together in the milk truck (the truck that picked up our milk) which then gets mixed together with all the other Grade A milk at the plant. She thought it was funny that people viewed brand name milk as better (and worth more $) than generic milk when it all comes from the same source.

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OK...this is the deal. There are 2 farms close by...both are owned by the same family...one is grade A...they sell to grocery stores...the other is grade b...they don't sell to stores. Is it safe to buy the mik from the grade B farm (they are closer by about 20 miles reound trip and are cheaper by $1 per gallon) and drink it? Or should we not do that? I have 3 gallons in my fridge...don't know what to do with it.

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OK...this is the deal. There are 2 farms close by...both are owned by the same family...one is grade A...they sell to grocery stores...the other is grade b...they don't sell to stores. Is it safe to buy the mik from the grade B farm (they are closer by about 20 miles reound trip and are cheaper by $1 per gallon) and drink it? Or should we not do that? I have 3 gallons in my fridge...don't know what to do with it.

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You're buying it directly from the farm raw?

 

The best way to buy raw milk to go and see the farmer milk the cows, store the milk, put the milk into containers, etc. Whether it's grade A or B doesn't really matter, what matters is the health of the cows and how the farmer handles the milk.

 

Any farmer going the direct-to-consumer route, especially with raw milk, should be open to have you walk around the farm and ask a million questions.

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The best way to buy raw milk to go and see the farmer milk the cows, store the milk, put the milk into containers, etc. Whether it's grade A or B doesn't really matter, what matters is the health of the cows and how the farmer handles the milk.

 

I wouldn't buy Grade B milk to drink. Even if I toured the farm and saw how the milk was handled, I wouldn't have any idea if the milk was safe without actually testing it. Part of earning the Grade A designation is the testing to evaluate the level of *things* in the milk.

 

Besides, how much does the average consumer know about how milk should be handled at a dairy farm? Sure you can see if the cows are happy, but what does that tell you about the quality of their milk? Nothing. Not many cows look unhappy at the average family dairy farm. I mean...they are cows. Are you checking to see if the milk is cooled to the correct temp at the correct rate? Are you checking to see if they filter the milk from the cows? Are you checking to see what pre-washes they use on the cows' udders or which medicines they use to treat the cows? Are you checking to make sure that milk from cows being treated with medicine is not mixed in the tank with milk from healthy cows?

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yes, directly from the farm...a friend went and picked it up...but I planned on calling the farm later today...what sort of questions should I be sure to ask...and what answers should either scare me away...or comfort me??

 

Here's a list: http://www.realmilk.com/faq/ go down to the fifth question.

 

Honestly, I never toured a farm. The closest dairy farm to me is over an hour away. I buy my raw milk from a Co-op run by a local WAPF chapter. I trust the people running it, and their multiple customers. My milk doesn't come with a grade of any sort, but since I live in Florida it's formydog.

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I would just boil those 3 gallons of milk.

 

Bring to a boil. Then simmer for 10 minutes. Do it

in small batches in a big pot so it doesn't boil over.

 

Boil what you need at that moment, so you can drink it

right after it's done boiling.

 

We used to drink raw milk and it was really good.

(From cows and from goats.) It was amazing!

Mmm...

(we didn't boil ours, but ours was definitely Grade A--it

was constantly checked for safety, etc.)

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