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Old 11.02.2020, 12:29
Aujourdhui Aujourdhui is offline
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

OP here. Very appreciative for all the responses. Am replying to a few below but appreciate all the responses.

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There's the nub. Trying to differentiate on grounds of 'quality', based on farming practices is in no way guaranteed to make the end result taste better, and differences between milk from different regions of, say France, will be much greater than between Bio and non-Bio production.

Or is there another definition of "better" involved here?
Agreed. I'm interested in both health and taste "betterness," a question that can pursued along different tracks if results diverge. Am asking partly for the sake of our milk-loving toddler, and partly to settle a dispute with a EU-native friend new to CH who's fanatical about such things (and insists without much evidence that we buy only bio milk even here).


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Suisse ones were chosen among all of our extended family, 100% of the time.

I noticed this in the US last year too, that our kids immediately reacted to organic milk that they didn't enjoy it
I've always thought that Swiss cows have the "best" (or at least unsurpassed) conditions so must produce the best yogurt, too, but surprisingly have come to prefer Monoprix bio plain yogurt over just about any Coop/Migros plain yogurt I've tried. I've also been really puzzled by the list of ingredients on Swiss plain (Nature) yogurt labels, which almost always contain "Milchprotein," "Magermilchpulver," and/or "Rahm" -- in addition to Vollmilch. Shouldn't Vollmilch be the only ingredient? Why are those other milk byproducts added? Is this just a different labeling practice?


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There is very little practical difference between Switzerland and the rest of the EU/EEA members in such matters. Directive 81/602/EEC prohibited the use of substances having a hormonal action for growth promotion in farm animals and that was introduced in 1981. So by 1986, it is reasonable to assume that it's contents were in force in most states of the EU/EEA/CH.

So by now it is reasonable to assume that non bio milk is ok in this respect.
Thanks for this reference. Do such food regulations for the EU/EEA automatically apply to CH as well (since CH doesn't strictly belong to those entities), and/or does CH usually follow suit in such matters while drafting its own regulations, or does CH have separate and perhaps still stricter policies? As part of the bigger picture, I'm wondering about the extent to which the perception of Swiss food purity (compared to the rest of the world in general, not just agribusiness-fraught US) is grounded in real policies/practices.


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Irish butter (from Germany) seems to be equal or better than Swiss butter, from this point of view.
Interesting; I too have heard it said in CH that (Irish brand, also sold in the US) Kerrygold is the best-tasting butter around.


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German non bio is very bad. Swiss bio is the best in the world. Would not trust German bio
Do you mean you believe food regulations are weaker in DE, or the cows there graze on duller grass or…?

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Dairy farm conditions are tightly regulated and monitored. The quality of milk is checked daily and farmers suffer financially if they're milk doesn't meet standards. The farms here are smaller here so cows get more individual attention.
Thanks, also helpful to know.

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From what I heard from some colleagues meat and meat products are better in CH because almost all the "bad stuff" used on animals is banned and their standard is higher even than the one of the EU.
....
As a lactose intolerant person I have to say that the Coop Lactose-Free milk is one of the best I've drunk in terms of taste and texture (doesn't seem white water with a sort of milk taste like some other brands). One of the reasons the debate Migros or Coop for me it's easy to answer is that I prefer their milk.
Agreed on Coop LF milk, and we also ended up shopping at Coop more often than Migros due to the milk.

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In last years I stopped prioritizing bio products after having long discussions with Swiss friends and few farmers:
- as said before, acquiring bio sign is prohibitive expensive for small producers
- I find it ridiculous to buy BIO beetroot singly packed in plastic wrap in Migros

- my priority now is buying from local and/or known source
Thanks to this comment and several others pointing out the barriers to bio certification. Agreed on beets in plastic, though I continue to buy them.

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I had exactly the same question some time ago to the local farmer from whom we buy our milk and he told me that actually there's less demand as the Swiss are apparently drinking less. However, these dairy farmers are somewhat stuck with their cows and supply seem to be pretty static and are driving prices down simply due to oversupply. I have no figures to back this up, just the story of the local guy which does look credible
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Some farmers around us (central Switzerland) are switching from milk production to other farming including raising beef cattle.
Thanks for these and subsequent posts re: the low prices. Fascinating background and slightly sad. This encourages me to drink more milk while we’re still here!


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what I would consider as the best normally available Organic Milk at a national level is Horizon Vitamin D. Of course at a local level better choices may be available for the proper price.
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I do like the Horizon Full Fat 3-4% Vitamin D...
But, I will definitely say the Swiss Milk Bio (is definitely better) Non-Bio, (probably still better)
Among US organic milks I like Horizon as well as Organic Valley, Maple Hill, and Amish Country Farms (available on the east coast), but yes, the milk enthusiast in my family agrees that Coop bio full milk is still better taste-wise than those.
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