“I have to say that I feel funny about buying the supermarket raw milk. I am uncomfortable about the fact that I don’t know the farmer, and thus know almost nothing about the farm where the milk is produced. I can tell that the milk isn’t as high quality as my farmer-supplied milk. It doesn’t taste as good, doesn’t have as much cream, and it begins tasting sour within a week of purchase.
I also feel funny about not being as loyal a private buyer as I would like from the farmer. But I do pay a price–sometimes the farmer has milk for me, and sometimes, when I call in advance, I’m told there won’t be enough, since the regulars have to be served first. What’s fair is fair.
Still…I highly value having the option of being able to obtain my milk from the farm or from the store. To me, the raw-milk-quality-difference isn’t unlike it is for other foods–those items produced in large quantity for supermarket distribution generally aren’t of the same quality as items only available at the farm.
I guess where I’m going with this is to agree with many of those who commented following my previous post that it’s going to be very difficult for the Raw Milk Institute to represent the needs of both the private and the public raw milk marketplaces.
My sense is that RAWMI’s founders and its board members (including this one) failed badly to anticipate the divergent requirements.
It’s not just the requirements of the large, Organic-Pastures-type dairy that operates in a highly regulated marketplace, versus the small dairy that serves herdshare members or operates under state regulations to sell directly to customers who visit the farm. It’s local versus mass market. It’s private versus public. It’s community-based versus general market. It’s unrated versus nationally standardized….”