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Is your milk pasteurised?

Yes, it is. It is illegal to sell raw milk in Scotland. Mossgiel Organic Farm only sells pasteurised milk.

The milk at Mossgiel Organic Farm is pasteurised in a different way to most milk on the shelves. Milk produced by “Big Dairy” uses a system called “Continuous Flow Pasteurisation”. This quickly heats the milk to a very high temperature before cooling it again. The problem with this method is that it destroys the protein lactoferrin, and alters the taste of the milk.

We heat our milk to a lower temperature – around 68 degrees – but we hold it at this temperature for 5 minutes. This takes more time than the continuous flow method, but it results in no destruction of lactoferrin and tastes better too.

What is non-homogenised?

Non-Homogenised Milk

Mossgiel Organic Milk is ALWAYS ‘non-homogenised’, that’s a fancy way of saying – ‘not highly processed’ or ‘as nature intended’.

During the journey from cow to your fridge, BIG DAIRY wants to make sure the milk always looks nice and white – from the first drop out of your plastic bottle to the very last.  This looks lovely on a supermarket shelf and is designed to make you buy more, but it really does ruin the lovely, natural flavour of nature’s original superfood.

During the process from cow to bottle, milk is forced through a ‘homogeniser’ unit at MASSIVE pressure – just like if you were trying to squeeze milk through your car windscreen washer jets.  This breaks up all the tasty cream into microscopic particles, so the cream doesn’t float to the top and cause family disagreements as to who is getting the ‘best bit’ at porridge time.

At Mossgiel Organic Farm, we prefer our milk the way nature intended: cream intact and not broken. Baristas prefer our milk in large part for this reason. Because our cream is in its natural form, it is able to take on the flavour of their coffee better. Baristas tend to take an awful lot of trouble sourcing their coffee beans. Why would you want to pair an excellent bean with a sub-standard milk? It makes much more sense to pair a premium bean with a premium milk that can cope with all that flavour.

What is skimmed milk?

Skimmed Milk is when almost all of the Cream is removed. In the UK, Skimmed Milk is usually about 0.5% Cream.

Contrast this with the natural fat percentages of Milk from Ayrshire Cows, which are in the range of 4.5% – 4.9% depending on the season.

The health benefits of removing the Cream from Milk have been much disputed in recent years. So much so that only reasonable justification for drinking Skimmed Milk would be on taste. As it is the Cream in Milk that carries most of the taste, this is why Mossgiel Organic Farm does not produce Skimmed Milk.

What is whole milk?

We would say that it depends who you speak to! If you’re speaking to us then whole milk means exactly what you would expect – all of the milk that our awesome herd of Ayrshire Cows produce (pasteurised, of course). Ayrshire Cows produce between 4.5% & 4.9% cream, depending on what time of the year it is. At the height of summer they produce more cream than in the depths of winter because in the winter months they are in the barn eating the silage that has been cut in the summer. Milk is a seasonal product! In these days of highly industrialised Milk flooding the shelves, this is an idea that seems to have been forgotten.

Speaking about highly processed milk, what passes for whole milk in the supermarkets  usually only means about 3.6% cream. This is the minimum level that the current regulations require to be called ‘whole milk’, so that is the level that industrialised milk is standardised to.

Why is whole milk standardised?

Because cream is worth more than milk. It is more expensive. If ‘big dairy’ can get away with quite literally ‘creaming off the top’ with even ‘whole milk’ then it means that they can sell the cream as well. So, the reason is pretty simple – money. Whoever asked for semi-skimmed or, even worse, skimmed milk anyway? No-one that we know! We would argue that the cream in Milk is really healthy and the idea that ‘all fats are bad’ is complete nutritional nonsense.

This standardisation has led to the belief that Milk is somehow exactly the same all year round, which is also clearly nonsense. It leads people away from having a connection with their food and where it comes from. It is good to note though that an increasing number of people are becoming wise to this and beginning to ask far more searching questions about the provenance of what they put in their bodies: where it comes from, how it is produced, the environmental impact.