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Aug 9, 2010 09:57 AM

New Jersey Cow Milk at Whole Foods

Consider me a softie for all things grass-fed, but I tried a sample of Highland Farms milk and it was very very yummy! The cows are grass-fed and supposedly some of the best cows in the country.

Spoke with the woman handing out sample- got a very interesting reaction when I asked her opinion of un-pasteurized milk. She gave a funny smirk and said "I have no opinion." AKA, it's not dangerous like media says... but it's illegal to sell in MA so I supposed she can't legally say it's safe.

Either way, I suggest you picking up some at Whole Foods. I got some chocolate milk too-- mmm! That's dessert in a drink! Had it for dinner last night. Filled me up til morning!

Also, note this is a review for whole milk. I don't drink skim/2% etc... Yuck! I'd prefer to be able to have babies when I'm older!

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  1. "I don't drink skim/2% etc... Yuck! I'd prefer to be able to have babies when I'm older!"

    Wait - what? Reduced-fat milk makes you sterile? This is news to me.

    Also, just to clarify: it's High Lawn Farm, and the breed of cattle that gives such rich, wonderful milk is Jersey, not New Jersey. Jersey heavy cream makes the best whipped cream ever.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Allstonian

      yeah Jersey cows, from "Old" Jersey. The island off the British coast where this breed of cow was developed.

      Although I was intrigued by the possibility of purchasing milk from cows with big hair and attitude.

        1. re: Suze123

          There is a difference between whole-fat dairy foods "promoting" fertility and what the OP implied, which is that drinking lowfat milk will prevent one from having babies. There is nothing in the article you linked to that indicates that drinking lowfat milk leads to infertility; rather than showing any harm in drinking lowfat dairy, it simply suggests benefit to full-fat dairy. The article states that "If women ate at least one portion of high-fat dairy food a day, their risk of anovulatory infertility was 27% lower compared with women who had one high-fat dairy serving a week, or even less." In other words, you can drink all the skim milk you want, but if you just ate a serving of ice cream a day, you'd still benefit from the increased fertility seen in the study.

          1. re: stomachofsteel

            Not only that, but the risk of anovulatory infertility is extremely low in the first place. Slightly less than 2.5% of the total number of women in the study exhibited anovulatory infertility; of that 2.5%, there was a higher proportion who consumed only low-fat dairy.

            1. re: Allstonian

              And my impression is that it's more of a concern for women who are actively trying to conceive, as opposed to someone who wants to have babies when they're older. And it's only one study.

              That said, if I needed an excuse for regular ice cream consumption, I think I've just found it. Better safe than sorry, right?

      1. You mean High Lawn Farm milk from Jersey cows, right? Jersey cows are not necessarily from New Jersey, they're a different variety of cow, light brown and very pretty instead of the more common and less flavorful black-and-white Holsteins. Holsteins produce more milk, which is why they're more popular, but the flavor and improved nutrient profile from Jerseys make it my favorite.

        Jersey milk yogurt like from Brown Cow is also really delicious.

        FWIW, Russo's and Volante Farm in Needham carry High Lawn Farm. Russo's is a little cheaper, I think.

        15 Replies
        1. re: Scruffy The Cat

          Brown Cow yogurt *was* delicious, before Stonyfield bought them out and added pectin, not to mention cutting their shelf space in favor of the Stonyfield brand. It's nearly impossible to find the plain, whole-milk variety. In any case I buy smaller-label jersey milk yogurts nowadays, from Whole Foods, but I can't remember the brand names---I think one of them has Jersey in the name.

          1. re: bella_sarda

            Crap, really? I won't buy them anymore. No pectin in my yogurt, please! I have been buying their whole Jersey milk yogurt for years and I could have sworn it didn't have any ickies in it, but I will double check. This is a voting-with-my-wallet thing. No crap in my yogurt, please.

            1. re: Scruffy The Cat

              Well, I am not 100% certain of this but I thought that last time I checked I saw pectin on the label. Pectin is not technically crap, as it is naturally occurring. I just don't like the texture of yogurt made with pectin---too gelatinous. Plus it's a cheating way to make your yogurt thicker. Not made with Jersey cow milk, but I love Narragansett whole milk yogurt from Rhode Island, and Liberte 2% plain yogurt from Quebec. Neither have any additives.

              1. re: bella_sarda

                Also, Butterworks Farm in Vermont...They have whole milk plain, and whole milk sweetened with Maple Syrup...Plus low fat ones...No pectin, no nuthin'...definitely thinner than what we've been conditioned to, and tarter...And better! (IMHO, of course...)
                They use really old cultures, and went small when Stonyfield Farm went big...They actually ARE a farm...just one....

                Stonyfield Farm
                1050 Perimeter Rd, Manchester, NH 03103

                1. re: galleygirl

                  my problem with pectin is that it's cheating, not that it's not natural. But I will look at the label and decide.

                  I like Butterworks Farm, too, but I don't buy it at WF here because I have trouble finding the particular one I like. Of course, at this very moment, I don't *remember* the one I like, but I know it's one they have at Mehuron's Market in Waitsfield, VT but *don't* have at the Newton WF because I've asked for it. I thought it was the whole milk plain but since you mention it, maybe they're now carrying it?

                  Where do you buy the whole milk plain?

                  1. re: Scruffy The Cat

                    I've seen the Butterworks Whole Milk (made with milk from Jersey cows, I think) at the Harvest Co-op in Central Square; I *think* I've also found it at some Whole Foods, but I can't recall which ones - a lot of WF stores just have the sweetened and the lowfat. Very good stuff, I agree. I also really like Seven Stars Farm - which is available pretty widely at Whole Foods. I think it's from Pennsylvania but that's local enough for me. My new favorite is that Narragansett Creamery yogurt that bella_sarda mentions above. A little more expensive but really delicious.

                    1. re: MichaelB

                      I've purchased the Butterworks Farm stuff (plain, whole milk) at Whole Foods in Central Square and also River St., and also bought Seven STars plain whole yogurt at the same places. I haven't done so very recently but I think they still carry these products, both of which I like a lot.

                      1. re: bella_sarda

                        Newtonville, Whole Foods too, I think...And maybe fresh Pond...

              2. re: Scruffy The Cat

                I got some off-the-scale-wonderful real (nothing added, just stuff from the cow plus cultures) yogurt at Arax last week. The brand was something like "Yoruk" (it seemed to be a Turkish name, but it definitely is a domestic product). The container was labeled something like "Old World Style". It was mild and creamy and thick without pectin. Delicious! If any Hounds go looking for it, another clue is the drawing of a woman in traditional (don't know whose tradition, but definitely "old country") dress on the container. Yummy yummy yummy.

                1. re: PinchOfSalt

                  Where is Arax? I had that yogurt in NY someplace yrs ago and it wonderful! I really want it again! TY

                  1. re: veggiequeen

                    Arax Market is in Watertown, on Mt. Auburn Street, steps away from two other Middle Eastern markets, Sevan and Massis. If you have never visited that area, you are in for a treat.

                    Arax Market
                    585 Mount Auburn St, Watertown, MA 02472

                  2. re: PinchOfSalt

                    Arax carries several yogurts that are amongst my favs available in Boston.

                    1. re: StriperGuy

                      So do tell! Which others should I try?

                      1. re: PinchOfSalt

                        Don't even remember which is which. I just try different ones. They all tend to be very tangy which I love and taste like (crazy I know) yogurt not stabilizers, etc.

                        1. re: PinchOfSalt

                          I like the 'Abali" I think it's called brand, available at Arax. It's def. the best yoghurt in the Boston area, but a hike to get there, just for yoghurt.


              3. For the record, these are NOT "grass fed" cows. They do eat grass and graze, but to qualify as "grass fed" that has to be their entire diet. These cows are also fed other things, specifically, according to their website, hay and corn.

                The meat and milk from totally grass fed animals has very different properties than today's cattle that are fed a more "modern diet." You can check out those qualities by Googling "grass fed beef." FAR healthier, no cholesterol problems, Omega 3s and such, and just far all around better for you.

                You built up my hopes I could just tag on down to Whole Foods and get grass fed butter instead of paying $12.00 a pound for it by ordering on the web and paying shipping. <sigh> I'll keep hoping to find it locally. SOMEDAY!

                12 Replies
                1. re: Caroline1

                  I'm sorry Caroline! The woman I spoke to told me that they are grass fed. I didn't check their site to confirm.

                  Still though, I would assume that these cows are still a better option than conventional milk... it certainly did taste great!

                  $12 a pound for butter?! Oh my... with how much butter I use, I'd be homeless in no time...

                  1. re: your_outreach

                    You shared some really good information, for which I'm grateful! But Poor Baby! All the flack you're getting for trying to be helpful. Shame on us! The terms for foods and meats and such can get kinda tricky. Thanks for the alert!

                  2. re: Caroline1

                    Since High Lawn Farm is in Massachusetts and you're in Texas, I very much doubt that you can find these products in your local WF in any case.

                    1. re: Allstonian

                      Ya think? I was hoping that *IF* WF does carry grass fed milk and butter in MA, then maybe it was a national policy and I could fiind an equivalent at my local store. The manager there is kinda tired of me calling and asking if they have any grass fed milk and butter.

                    2. re: Caroline1

                      Yes, the meat and milk from grass fed animals has very different properties from today's cattle that are fed a more modern diet --- they don't taste nearly as good! Steak needs to have some fat, and completely grass-fed animals don't have enough fat. A good steak should be finished on corn.

                      Similarly, I don't get this idea of "cheating" with using pectin to make the yogurt thicker. If the yogurt is thicker, it's thicker. It's one thing to change brands because you don't like the taste, but if you like the taste of something but suddenly find they are using pectin (to make it taste better!) you'd switch? I don't get it.

                      1. re: lipoff

                        There are those who disagree with this statement: "A good steak should be finished on corn." There was a VERY long thread on another board, too lazy to find it now, where another poster was talking about some of the amazing, high end, grass fed beef available in Las Vegas and South America...

                        1. re: lipoff

                          Grass fed tastes and cooks differently from corn-fed beef. Certainly if you use the same techniques to cook both, you will ruin one. Grass-fed beef, if cooked appropriately, is wonderful, if you like its flavor, which is definitely more intense. I love the grass-fed hamburgers that come as part of my meat CSA - great deep flavor and not at all greasy, but you have to cook them very quickly to a medium-rare. Likewise the steak tastes great if you take care to cook it quickly and stop when it gets to medium-rare. Folks who prefer well-done meat probably would not enjoy grass-fed beef, but please do give it a chance if you like your beef to have a bit of red in it. If you are like me you will be smiling....

                          The thing about yogurt is you can get nice thick yogurt by using high-quality milk (like Jersey milk, which has more solids) and/or draining it. Or you can make yogurt thick by adding pectin. Manufacturers who do that are saving money and you are paying for a product with a higher water content. That might not matter to your tongue when you are eating your morning or lunchtime yogurt but if you are cooking with yogurt it can make a very big difference. And then there is the thought of paying for water instead of for milk.

                          1. re: lipoff

                            To lipoff: my issue with pectin is that it affects the texture of the yogurt, making it more gelatinous, less creamy. If I couldn't tell the difference, I probably wouldn't care. But I can tell the difference.

                            1. re: bella_sarda

                              Yah, pectiny yogurt is icky. Not because pectin is inherently bad (apples are a major source), it's that the texture it adds to yogurt is not... yogurty.

                            2. re: lipoff

                              Good question and here's why I said that. Let's use the yogurt example: If I like the taste of ayogurt and it turns out to have pectin or an artificial flavor or something, I still will stop buying it because I don't like training my taste buds to like the cheaper product. I hate that my taste buds have been dumbed down by the products available out there. There's also an element of voting with my wallet for products that don't take shortcuts. So for me it's not only about taste, it's about the decisions that have gone into making that product. So that's why I would stop.

                          2. After reading this discussion, we finally bought some High Lawn milk at WF. Chocolate milk and low fat. The chocolate milk we began drinking right at the store. Indeed, it is crazy rich and chocolaty. Really, really good.

                            At home, I tortured my family with one of my taste tests - comparing the High Lawn low fat milk with what I had just bought at the Danvers McKinnon's, which was Richardson's Ice Cream's milk. Winner: the Richardson's milk. Of course my testers were only three people - but, Richardson's does compare quite favorably in flavor to High Lawn (which is quite good). See:

                            Richardson's Ice Cream
                            156 S Main St, Middleton, MA 01949

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: nlg

                              The other thing that is interesting is that I am a bit lactose intolerant and I have no problem drinking Jersey/High Lawn Farm milk. Milk from Holsteins makes my tummy pretty unhappy.

                              Fun to do the taste tests though.