FAQs

Browse our Frequently Asked Questions below or submit your own question using the form.

Milk FAQs

Why isn’t the milk packaged in glass bottles?

When the Kalona SuperNatural™ brand was launched, a significant amount of research was done regarding packaging options.  Although not a perfect solution, we believe that our current half gallon container is the best option available to us.  Here are few things to know:
 
Due to our national (or close to it) distribution method, the freight costs associated with glass packaging is cost-prohibitive for us.
In the dairy industry, if you choose to use glass, it must be virgin and not recycled glass.
Our clear plastic bottles allow customers to see our milk.
The plastic containers are BPA and BPS free.
Our half gallon bottles contain a special UV inhibitor that helps protect the milk from light.
Many retailers and distributors do not like glass packaging due to breakage and extra weight.

Are the milk bottles BPA-free?

Yes, all of our packaging is BPA and BPS-free.

What type of cows does your milk come from?

Several different types:

  • Holstein
  • Jersey
  • Brown Swiss
  • Red Devon

Why don’t you add Vitamin D to your milk?

Typically, organic customers do not want synthetic vitamins used in milk. And, like our customers, we prefer our milk to be left in as natural of a state as possible.

Do you add Vitamins A or D to your milk?

Vitamin A

Yes, we are required to add Vitamin A to our 2%, Skim, and 1% milks. When cream is removed from milk to lower the fat, you lose or lessen the natural vitamin A that is in it. We do not use Vitamin A from an animal source when we add it.

Vitamin D

We do not add Vitamin D to any of our products.

What is the average number of cows on the farms you work with?

We work primarily with small, family owned farms that own 35-40 cows, but we also work with farms that have as few as 15 or as many as 95 cows.

What is pasteurization? Why do we use the VAT process?

Pasteurization is a mandated production method for milks in the United States, where heat is applied to raw milk to decrease the possibility of food-borne illness and to increase shelf life.

We use a process called VAT pasteurization, where a fixed volume of milk in a vat is slowly agitated at 145° Fahrenheit; this process has a uniquely negligible effect on the pure flavor of the milk. Our end product is as close as pasteurized milk can get to farm fresh flavor.

We also choose the VAT process because we believe its lower temperature allows milk to retain more of its nutritional value than other methods of pasteurization (industrial-scale milk operations heat their milk to 161° or higher, Fahrenheit, HTST method, and from 265-300°, Fahrenheit, UHT method). The difference is very easy to understand; overcooked food loses flavor and nutrients.

 

What does “non-homogenized” mean? Why don’t you homogenize your milk?

We do not homogenize our milk, preferring instead to leave it in its natural form–a combination of nonfat milk and cream.

Homogenization is a process in which hot milk is pumped at high pressure through very small nozzles, tearing the fat globules into tiny particles and evenly dispersing them throughout the milk.

While homogenization blends milk, it also changes the flavor. Cream left in its whole form (globules) allows a natural creamy taste that is lost when it is broken down through homogenization. The cream in our milk will rise to the top because it is lighter than the nonfat milk from which it separates.

The cream at the top is a forgotten treat that kids and adults in earlier generations looked forward to when the milkman left milk on their front porch.

Why don’t you use glass bottles?

KSN milk is packaged using the best method available for preserving its unique freshness. We use a PET bottle that does not leach into the milk like softer plastic dairy bottles do. UV blockers in the bottle make it a better option than glass because milk is very sensitive to light. Just minutes of exposure to sunlight and to ultraviolet lighting in grocery stores induces vitamin degradation and light oxidation. Oxidation produces off-flavors (cabbage like, burnt odor) that shorten its shelf life.

What is the shelf life of your milk?

We use VAT pasteurization to bring the freshest milk to customers, not milk with a longer-than-natural shelf life. It is normal for milk to last 10-18 days. Our milk has an 18 day shelf life.

What are our quality practices?

We meet many standards for quality. FDA, State, Organic Certifier. We also meet Grade A Milk standards. We are certified organic through Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS). We meet the national organic program (NOP) regulations. We are also inspected by the FDA, USDA, Iowa Milk Shippers, and are Kosher certified by the Chicago Rabbinical Council.

Kosher Certified?

Yes, Farmers’ All-Natural Creamery products are certified Kosher by the Chicago Rabbinical Council (CRC).

Separation of buttermilk?

All buttermilk separates somewhat. You just cannot see it in the typical opaque packages used for buttermilk. Ours likely separates more because we prefer to not homogenize it so it can be left in the purest state. It easily mixes together when shaken. What sets our buttermilk apart is the low temperature pasteurizing process that we use. Also the fact it is non-homogenized.

Why is there a grayish look to milk?

It is not the milk that looks gray; it is our bottle that is slightly gray. Our bottle has a UV blocker in it to protect the milk from light which will oxidize it, and affect the flavor.

How much cream per SKU?

Whole 3.5%, 2% , 1%, Skim has .1%

Why is it important to have pasture-fed cows?

Over the past few decades many studies have revealed that pasture-feeding is much healthier for the cows and for the consumer.

Greener Pastures: How Grass-fed Beef and Milk Contribute to Health Eating by Kate Clancy is the first study to synthesize the findings of virtually every English-language study (25 were chosen for analysis) comparing the amounts of total fats, saturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) in both pasture-raised and conventionally raised beef and dairy cattle. The report also combined analyses of the nutrition, environmental, and public health benefits of grass-based farming techniques. The report found that grass-fed milk contains higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, the so-called beneficial fats. Grass-fed milk tends to be higher in an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) that scientists have demonstrated reduces the risk of heart disease. And grass-fed milk also is higher in CLA, a fatty acid shown in animal studies to protect against cancer. CLA was discovered in 1978 by Michael W. Pariza at the University of Wisconsin while looking for mutagen formations in meat during cooking. The most abundant source of natural CLA is the meat and dairy products of grass-fed animals. Research conducted since 1999 shows that grazing animals have from 3 to 5 times more CLA than animals fattened on grain in a feedlot. Simply switching from grain-fed to grass-fed products can greatly increase your intake of CLA.

Why does the milk sometimes have a yellow color?

Our grass-fed cows are raised on family farms where they graze heavily. The natural yellow color of grass-fed milk is actually an indication of its superior nutritional value, and is due to the high amounts of beta carotene.

Have the cows' horns been cut?

Most of our farms do cut the cows’ horns. It is done to protect people and other cows. Injury can happen very easily because cows affectionately rub their heads towards people. They also like to spar with other cows in their herds.

If I am lactose intolerant, can I drink your milk?

We have no research that explores this. However, we’ve heard countless stories from people who say they are able to drink our milk, despite having/being lactose intolerance. If you have lactose intolerance and you try our milk we would welcome you to share your experience with us.

Why don't you fortify your milk with Vitamin D?

While Vitamin D fortification of milk is common, we chose not to fortify our milk because we feel that food should be eaten as close to its natural state as possible. The following information from our nutrition consultant, Jessica Forbes, MS CCN, also informed our decision to not add Vitamin D to our milk.

‘Fortified milk contains a mixture of Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol – synthetic Vitamin D) and Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol – activated Vitamin D). Synthetic Vitamin D has been linked to heart disease, hyperactivity, and allergic reactions and may be toxic in large doses. Our milk naturally contains small amounts of Vitamin D3. The rest of a person’s Vitamin D needs should be easily obtained by regularly eating D-rich foods including pastured eggs, fatty fish such as mackerel, cod, and salmon and by spending at least 45 minutes per week outside with face and arms exposed to sunlight. By way of comparison, a cup of fortified milk contains 100 IU Vitamin D while a fair-skinned person can make 15,000 IU or more during 30 minutes of sun exposure. Vitamin D production is different for each person depending on their complexion, sun exposure, and where they live. If you feel you need to supplement with additional Vitamin D, we suggest incorporating cod liver oil into your routine as a whole food source of Vitamin D3.’

Is Vitamin A or D added to your milk?

We are required to add Vitamin A to our 2%, Skim, 1% milks. It is required because Vitamin A exists in the cream or fat part of milk so when you remove cream to lower the fat, you lose or lessen the natural vitamin A that is in it. We do not use Vitamin A from an animal source when we add it. We do not add Vitamin D to any of our products.

How many cows do you have on a typical farm?

Typical 35-40 cows, Range 15-95 cows.

What is Pasteurization? Why do we think VAT is better?

Pasteurization is a mandated production method for milks in the United States where heat is applied to raw milk to decrease the possibility of food-borne illness and to increase shelf life. The Kalona SuperNatural dairy uses a process called VAT pasteurization, where a fixed volume of milk in a vat is slowly agitated at 145 degrees Fahrenheit—this process has a uniquely negligible effect on the pure flavor of the milk. Our end product is as close as pasteurized milk can get to farm fresh flavor. Our Creamery also chooses the VAT process because we believe its lower temperature allows milk to retain more of its nutritional value than other methods of pasteurization (industrial-scale milk operations heat their milk to 171 degrees or higher, Fahrenheit, HTST method, and from 265-300 degrees, Fahrenheit, UHT method). The difference is very easy to understand; overcooked food loses flavor and nutrients. A well known example of the impact cooking has on food is its effect on vegetables. Raw or gently cooked vegetables have more flavor and nutrients than overcooked vegetables. We believe the same is likely true for milk. Most milk available today is pasteurized at temperatures significantly higher than 145 degrees Fahrenheit. By doing this, dairies sacrifice the fresh flavor and nutritional value of milk for a longer-than-natural shelf life.

What is non-homogenized? Why do we think non-homogenized is better?

We do not homogenize our milk, preferring instead to leave it in its natural form–a combination of nonfat milk and cream. Homogenization, developed around 1900 in France, is a process in which hot milk is pumped through very small nozzles at high pressure, creating turbulent pressure that tears the fat globules into tiny particles, evenly dispersing them throughout the milk. While homogenization blends milk, it makes milk taste bland. Cream left in its whole form (globules) allows a natural creamy taste that is lost when it is broken down through homogenization. The cream in non-homogenized milk will rise to the top because it is lighter than the nonfat milk from which it separates. The cream at the top is a forgotten treat that kids and adults in earlier generations looked forward to when the milkman left milk on their front porch.

Many customers say they like how in one way our milk feels lighter in the mouth, but it also has a full, creamy flavor. Customers also say our milk is cleaner on their palate.

Is your milk raw?

No, it is not legal to sell raw milk in most states. We use the lowest temperature (VAT) process allowed with pasteurization laws to bring the closest to farm fresh milk as possible.

What is the shelf life of your product?

Vat process is used to bring the freshest milk to customers, not milk with a longer-than-natural shelf life. It is normal for milk to last 10-18 days. Our milk has an 18 day shelf life.

Is your bottle recyclable?

Yes, # 1 recyclable – the most widely recycled plastic.

Why don't you use glass bottles?

Kalona SuperNatural milk is packaged using the best method available for preserving its unique freshness. We use a PET bottle that does not leach into the milk, like softer plastic dairy bottles do. UV blockers in the bottle make it a better option than glass because milk is very sensitive to light. Just minutes of exposure to sunlight and to ultraviolet lighting in grocery stores induces vitamin degradation and light oxidation. Oxidation produces off-flavors (cabbage like, burnt odor) that shorten its shelf life.

Why is there a plug on top of the milk?

When milk is not homogenized the cream rises to the top of the milk because it is lighter than the nonfat part of milk. If it is not being used and shaken daily, the cream to thickens at the top. Many of our customers find the cream to be quite delicious. In fact, one of our customers, who is originally from Europe, told us that as a child, his family used to have fresh milk delivered to their door. The entire family competed to be the first to get to the milk so they could enjoy the cream at the top. He even described wanting it so much that he and his brother would sneak to neighbors porches to eat the cream off the top of their milk!

What kind of cows do you have?

Holstein, Jersey, Brown Swiss, Guernseys, Ayrshire, Milking Shorthorned, Scandinavian Red, Montbeliard

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Yogurt FAQs

Are there live cultures in your yogurt?

Yes, there are Live active cultures – s. thermophilis, l. acidophilus , bifidus, l. bulgaris.

Why isn’t your yogurt fruitier?

Our yogurts will have comparatively less color and it will not be as sweet as most yogurts found in the United States. We add less fruit to allow the cultured milk taste to stand out, instead of the taste of a lot of sugar. Most customers who eat Kalona SuperNatural™ regularly say their taste buds are transformed. It is very hard to eat a yogurt with 20-35 gram of sugar when you are used to eating our yogurt with just 7-12 grams of sugar per serving.

My yogurt texture looks thinner than it usually does, is there something wrong with it?

No there is not wrong with it, our yogurt is thinner because we don’t add thickeners or stabilizers. It is just pure, cultured, non-homogenized organic milk. The lack of stabilizers can cause the appearance of our yogurt to change with the seasons as the cows’ diets (pasture) change with the seasons.

Kalona SuperNatural™ will look different because it is different. Typically yogurts made in the United States have textures that are smooth, thick, or whipped. You see these textures because thickeners or stabilizers are added to mask the natural marbled texture of the cultured milk.

Is the milk you use to make your yogurt pasteurized?

Yes, the milk for our yogurt is Vat (145 degrees) pasteurized before we start making the yogurt.

 

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Egg FAQs

What is the shelf life of the eggs?

Each state has different regulations regarding the shelf life of eggs. Please consult your state requirements.

What do the birds eat?

The birds eat a diet made up mostly of corn and soybeans. Vegetarian just means that the feed is free of any animal byproducts.

White vs. Brown Eggs?

White and Brown eggs only differ in color and breed of bird. White birds lay white eggs and all other breeds lay brown. Brown eggs have slightly thicker shells.

Cage-Free vs. Free-Range?

Cage-Free Birds are fed a vegetarian diet, free of hormones. These birds are housed in open barns where they have room to move about and engage in natural hen behavior. They have 1.25 to 1.5 sq. ft. per bird of floor space.

Free-Range Birds are fed a vegetarian diet, free of hormones. The birds are housed in open barns like Cage Free Birds with the addition of 2 sq. ft. per bird of access to the outdoors. (Note: all organic eggs are required to be free range.)

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