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Milk provenance in the Bay Area?

sf_roma Aug 15, 2006 09:49 PM

I am trying to gather all the resources for people to have a list of which milk to buy in the Bay Area.
I am trying to establish where the milk from these brands comes from and whether they are grass-fed, rBST treated, etc.:
Trader Joe's Organic and not
Strauss Creamery (and their TJ tie)
Clover Stornetta
Berkeley Farms

Some have been cohoperative, some do not list it nor I can find the info. As I run a blog and a group for Bay Area local and seasonal food, I would like to compile this list for everyone to have. I always credit my sources, you can check on my blog, so if you gave some reliable information or know where I can get it, please let me know.
Thank you!
Marco Flavio

  1. Morton the Mousse Aug 15, 2006 10:05 PM

    This report may interest you:


    1 Reply
    1. re: Morton the Mousse
      Ruth Lafler Aug 15, 2006 11:18 PM

      I have no reason to believe the information on that survey is not legit, but my understanding is that it was paid for by the Organic Valley cooperative.

    2. Robert Lauriston Aug 15, 2006 10:08 PM

      Trader Joe's organic cream-top comes from Straus.


      Their homogenized organic comes from somewhere else.

      1. Ruth Lafler Aug 15, 2006 10:15 PM

        Don't know about Safeway, but all the others claim not to treat their cows with rBST. It says so on the label, so that's your source.

        Straus has a website -- it really helps if you spell the name correctly.

        Clover now has an organic line of products as well as a conventional line. I suspect that's who is providing the homogenized organic milk for TJ's, but I don't know for sure, and I don't think TJ's ever identifies their producers (among other things, they probably have agreements with the producers not to reveal their names so they don't undercut the brand-packaged product).

        2 Replies
        1. re: Ruth Lafler
          El cocinero loco Aug 15, 2006 10:30 PM

          Clover Organic comes from the St. Anthony's farm outside of Petaluma. It is run by the St Anthony's Foundation of SF, the same entity that operates the dining room and other services in the Tenderloin.

          I am also interested in the origin of the milk appearing under the label called Organic Valley -- which seems to have the sweetest tasting milk I've ever had (I drink the 1%).

          El loco

          1. re: El cocinero loco
            Ruth Lafler Aug 15, 2006 11:16 PM

            Organic Valley is a cooperative of producers around the country. In California it comes from a producer in Southern California. I think most of their regular milk products are ultra-pasteurized. That caramelizes the milk sugars slightly and makes it taste sweeter.


        2. s
          sf_roma Aug 15, 2006 11:18 PM

          Straus Creamery is the one that along with Clover Stornetta offers voluntarily the most information. Always a good sign. I have info on those 2.
          Safeway or TJ would not return emails (as of today, I sent them a few days back).
          Berkeley Farms, as a subsidiary of Dean Foods (like Horizon milk), does not credit their sources for milk specifically "select family farms from the rolling hills of Marin and Sonoma Counties and the lush San Joaquin Valley".
          I will contunue the research, thank you for the postings, please keep them coming if you think of something else.
          Marco Flavio

          1. e
            El cocinero loco Aug 16, 2006 12:20 AM

            Actually their website identifies their farmer-supplier as being in the foothills near Modesto/Merced

            "On the Stueve ranch nestled on the upslope of the Sierra Nevada mountains, ("between San Francisco and Yosemite") Lloyd's cows have an advantage they can't get anywhere else—365 grazing days a year."

            1. s
              sf_roma Aug 16, 2006 04:50 PM

              Cocinero Loco, I said Berkeley Farms.
              From the Berkeley Farms website:
              First paragraph.

              What you wrote refers to Organic Valley.

              Marco Flavio

              1 Reply
              1. re: sf_roma
                El cocinero loco Aug 16, 2006 11:07 PM

                Sorry Marco -- I misplaced the reply --I was actually replying to Ruth's comment regarding Organic Valley--"Organic Valley is a cooperative of producers around the country./ In California it comes from a producer in Southern California." I meant only to point out that they say the milk comes from the Central Valley foothills in Northern California

              2. f
                foodfight Aug 17, 2006 12:01 AM

                Any organic milk will be rBST / rBGH free, as this hormone is not allowed in organic dairy production. The USDA is currently debating strengthening the rules on both the grass-fed label (which does not currently include dairy products - only meat) and the pasture requirements for organic meat and dairy production.

                The best resource I've found is the Eat Well Guide. If you go to "advanced search" just below where you would type in your zip code, you can search for all of California by the type of production method you're looking for, and I suppose narrow it down to the Bay Area from there. Or type in your zip and make the radius large enough to include as much of the bay area as you'd like. http://www.eatwellguide.org

                1. s
                  sf_roma Aug 18, 2006 05:38 PM

                  Yes, I use the Eat Well guide. It is one of the 3 links I have on my blog. It is truly remarkable. If you guys ever want to talk in person or meet other people interested in these topics, you should check out the grop I started. It's open to all to talk seasonal and local food in the San Francisco area (in person, not online).
                  We meet next thursday downtown SF.


                  1. 3
                    33limes Dec 29, 2006 02:51 PM

                    I'm new to this forum, but I think I have some answers you might find useful. I believe Trader Joe's sources their milk differently depending on what part of what state you shop in. For the San Francisco stores it's evidence enough, for me, that the milk is delivered in Clover Stornetta crates that are piled up behind the building. The Trader Joe's brand milk also matches the Clover product line perfectly, and the label is practically word for word what Clover say's, only they've changed the name to Trader Joe's. It's cheaper too.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: 33limes
                      Robert Lauriston Dec 29, 2006 02:53 PM

                      Trader Joe's has two house brands of organic milk in this area. The cream-top (unhomogenized) is Straus.

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