Monday, December 19, 2011

It works!

So, I did that restock the frig run last week.  I didn't have to be home to milk, so I was able to take my time and double-check prices (something I don't have time to do nearly enough).  I've always said that "milk is milk is milk", regardless of the label.  It is all safe and nutritious, and you can take your pick in the dairy case of whatever suits you and your family.
There is a really cool trick you can try at home with your milk.  Go to:, and type in a 4 or 5 digit code that is printed on every dairy product, next to the "use by date" info.
This will tell you in what plant your milk was bottled (or other product was processed).  If that # is 17-284, it comes from Muller-Pinehurst Dairy, a small milk bottling plant located just a couple miles from our dairy, and where all the milk from our cows goes daily.  However, Muller-Pinehurst labeled products are not cheap.  When we first got married, I asked Brent, "Do I HAVE to buy the our branded milk?  It's really expensive."  He giggled at me, as he explained that several brands of milk come out of our plant.  Prairie Farms & Schnucks brands are a couple, but there are many more.  So, I've always told people that if you had time to look at the codes on the different brands of milk at the grocery store, you would probably find that they all carry the same code, or were made in the same plant (and therefore, likely came from the same cows).
So, this grocery store trip, I took the time to check, and found that the:

Dean's @ $4.39/gal

Jewel @ $3.59/gal

and Shopper's Value @ $2.99/gal

were ALL bottled in plant 17-38, or Dean's Dairy in Huntley, IL

If you feel loyalty to a brand, those producers will appreciate your loyalty and support, but I'm also happy if you take that extra savings to splurge on an additional pork loin or gallon of ice cream!
It all depends on what you are using the product for and what your taste buds say.  For instance, I buy "cheap" shredded cheese for use in casseroles, etc., but I buy branded cheese, for say, the cheese platter at Christmas, when it will be served alone.  It is all one's opinion and ability to make the choice for what they want to buy.  However, it is ALL safe, nutritious, and raised by a farmer that cares about their animals.

On a side note, the organic milk carried at this store came from 16-04, or Boise, Idaho.  "Local" is a relative term, but it is a choice that everyone should have the right to pay more for, if they so wish.


  1. Don't buy branded cheese for a cheese platter. Kraft and store brands all buy cheese from three companies in the US and just cut it. Therefore it is all the same and not worth a "brand" name. Also, don't buy shredded cheese. They add a declumping additive that is not natural. Just buy a block and grate it yourself. Much cheaper and better. Again, all the same cheese!

    I'll be sure to check my milk next time on my iPhone when I buy it!

  2. I had to look up this declumping additive. You're right, there is potato starch, corn starch, and in some cases cellulose (think celery), added to shredded cheese. I'll still pay for my good smoked baby swiss cheese - not available everywhere.


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