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May 20, 2011 12:47 PM

100% grass-fed, PASTEURIZED milk and cream in San Francisco?


I'm looking for 100% grass-fed milk and cream, but not raw. Straus is not 100% grass-fed. What are some good places to buy this in the city? Thanks for your help.

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  1. Strauss and Clover Organic are the best you're doing to do locally. This time of year, the cows are out in pasture chomping on the last of the green grass. Nobody around here has green pastures in summer, so they can't call their stuff grass-fed on the labels that they have to use year-round.

    6 Replies
    1. re: SteveG

      I'm not sure there is anywhere in the US where you can graze cows year round -- pastured milk is always going to be seasonal. Here's what Straus has to say about feeding their cows:

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        There must be such places Ruth, otherwise how could you buy 100% grass-fed beef (which I have seen in many places)?

        1. re: akdinvites

          Straus says "Feeding grass alone is not possible in our area because grass does not grow year around." and the same is true in Nebraska, of course, the season for grass is just reversed to summer rather than winter as it is here. Grass fed beef has not been finished on grain, but that doesn't mean the beef eat fresh grass all year long. Marin Sun Farms, which markets 100% grass fed beef, says "In addition to grass, and an organic mineral mix, our cattle are supplemented with hay and/or silage when the pasture nutrient density is low."

            1. re: Junie D

              Right. I guess hay and silage are technically grass -- they're just not fresh grass. But also, cattle that are being raised for meat don't need as concentrated nutrition as dairy cattle that are producing milk every day.

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                Agreed, dairy cattle are usually fed quite a bit more than beef cattle to keep their production at high levels. It isn't strictly necessary to supplement their diet with "grain" (usually corn, soybean hulls, and other industrial agriculture biproducts), it is just how most farmers stay profitable.
                The USDA has a claim standard for grass fed which states that the animals feed is limited to grass and forage, and they must have access to pasture, not that they are fed exclusively from pasture. While the USDA definition may be a minimal standard, and does not explicitly require feeding from live pasture when possible, it is reasonable for the digestive health of ruminants. It is the supplemental grain (not dried versions of the forage in their natural diet) that alters their digestive systems (and fattens them up). As others have mentioned, grass is seasonal, and this is actually considered a feature in many products--summer vs. winter parmesan or butter, for example.

      2. So I don't know about in the city, but at Sigona's today I saw a new product: "Humboldt Creamery 100% grass fed milk". I didn't buy it though... (still had some straus at home).

        1. Here's a link to Cornicopia's survey of dairys - they evaluate on a bunch of criteria that pretty much add up to "happy cows."