The Origin of My Milk

23Feb12

Visit whereismymilkfrom.com

Dairy products go through several steps before they reach our table.  Now there is an online tool that can help us learn more about our sour cream’s long trek.  Where Is My Milk From was developed by Travis Fitzgerald.  It uses the state and plant code on the side of most dairy product containers to locate where the product was processed.

The milk in my fridge right now was processed in Reading, Pennsylvania.  My yogurt in Johnstown, New York.  My Whole Foods brand butter was shipped 2,800 miles from Modesto, California to chill on my butter shelf.

Before our milk gets to us, it must be transported from the dairy farm to a processing plant where it’s pasteurized and sometimes turned into cheese, butter, and other milk-based products.  Then the products get labeled with their brand (Tuscan, Cabot, etc.).  Then the products get transported to stores.

Milk from the same cows might be sold under different brand names.  The same processing plant might label many different brands.

Just one company, Dean Foods, controls an outrageously high 80 percent of milk processing in New York.  They sell dairy products under the Meadow Brook, Land-o-Lakes, Silk, Horizon, and Lehigh Valley brands among others.  The Dean Foods monopoly forces farmers to join it and profits while its farmers receive too-low prices.

Milk Not Jails encourages New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to investigate Dean Foods for anti-trust violations.  We also encourage projects like Where Is My Milk From that reveal a too-often opaque food system.



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