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Old 10.02.2020, 16:42
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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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.
Switzerland does not have the monopoly on that. I know people here like to think it's true but it's not.

There are lots of small farms in the U.K. too where animal welfare is of the utmost importance. On some of them, lots of the cows have names and distinct characters.


On the photo below - it's an English farm. The milk from these actual cows produced some of the products sold at U.K. Starbucks.

It's not all bad in the rest of the world.
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  #22  
Old 10.02.2020, 16:44
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

How do black cows produce such brown calves?
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Old 10.02.2020, 16:52
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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How do black cows produce such brown calves?
They're mixed race.

No actually the calves are Jerseys and the older ones I think are a Gloucestershire cross-breed.

They're together in the same field along with a few sheep too.
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Old 10.02.2020, 17:03
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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Switzerland has the monopoly on that. I know people here like to think it's true but it's not.

There are lots of small farms in the U.K. too where animal welfare is of the utmost importance. On some of them, lots of the cows have names and distinct characters.


On the photo below - it's an English farm. The milk from these actual cows produced some of the products sold at U.K. Starbucks.

It's not all bad in the rest of the world.
Shouldn’t your first sentence be ‘Switzerland doesn’t have the monopoly on that.’ ?
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Old 10.02.2020, 17:11
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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Shouldn’t your first sentence be ‘Switzerland doesn’t have the monopoly on that.’ ?
Yes, thanks!


On the topic of milk here though, and having talked to local farmers here. They have the same problem as those smaller farmers in the U.K. - namely they don't make much money, if any from milk production.

It always amazes me how cheap milk is. Would anyone stop buying it if it was twice the price? I wouldn't.
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Old 10.02.2020, 17:15
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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Yes, thanks!


On the topic of milk here though, and having talked to local farmers here. They have the same problem as those smaller farmers in the U.K. - namely they don't make much money, if any from milk production.

It always amazes me how cheap milk is. Would anyone stop buying it if it was twice the price? I wouldn't.

Indeed, 1.20 CHF per liter
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Old 10.02.2020, 17:39
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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It always amazes me how cheap milk is. Would anyone stop buying it if it was twice the price? I wouldn't.
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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Old 10.02.2020, 17:52
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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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
Some farmers around us (central Switzerland) are switching from milk production to other farming including raising beef cattle.

But making the transition is expensive with medium term losses so I guess some are indeed reluctant to switch.
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  #29  
Old 10.02.2020, 23:05
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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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
Yeah and the natural response would be to scale up the farm to still make a margin on volume, driving the prices further down. That's what happened in the EU. And then after trying to put quotas they started dumping it in Africa. Swiss milk is better because it doesn't destroy local farmers in africa and does not contribute to creating famines and poverty.
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  #30  
Old 10.02.2020, 23:34
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

I lived in the United States most of my life, back before they started experimenting with food, and in Switzerland for last 5 years.

Without any further discussion needed...

The dairy products including milk are by far better here in Switzerland than the USA.

I visited the US just a few months ago and 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.

https://horizon.com/organic-dairy-pr.../organic-milk/

Coop charges about 10 francs for 6 liters of Swiss Bio milk, which is about 1.5 gallons in the US. Horizon Organic milk will command about the same equivalent cost of about $10 for about the same amount.

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)
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Old 10.02.2020, 23:58
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

I would also add that the Chicken Eggs in the USA are basically terrible compared to Swiss Bio Eggs.

Here one can purchase Swiss Farm fresh eggs (10-12) for about 6 francs or so maybe a bit more. They will have a golden sunshine like yolk and cook well and leave one satisfied.

In the US the crap they are calling eggs these days should be illegal. A dozen eggs for $1-2... yah right???

Best I could find in the local area of the US I visited recently, was Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs about $6-7 for 12.

https://peteandgerrys.com

They were about 95% the same as a person can get from Swiss Bio Eggs.
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  #32  
Old 11.02.2020, 07:56
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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Hey, look for one of the rohmilch (raw milk) automats where you can buy milk directly from the farmer. The amount of fat and taste in the milk is awesome. It's not BIO because farmers and customer don't want to pay for certification and labeling, but it tastes better than BIO.
Raw milk (if that's really what it is) carries a much higher risk of carrying dangerous bacteria for no real benefits. https://theconversation.com/raw-milk...re-real-124595
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Old 11.02.2020, 09:27
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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Raw milk (if that's really what it is) carries a much higher risk of carrying dangerous bacteria for no real benefits. https://theconversation.com/raw-milk...re-real-124595
The risks are mitigated with proper care which is being taken when you buy directly from the farm automats which are both sterile and if i remember correctly at a constant 4c. Re benefits, i keep culturing raw milk and making cultured butter from raw milk simply because the taste and texture are very different from the pasteurized milk. Our family have been drinking it for years, well before we came to Switzerland and see no reason whatsoever not to continue. Cultured raw milk butter is something that literally has nothing to do with the butter you buy from the shelf.
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  #34  
Old 11.02.2020, 09:40
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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Bio milk from the supermarkets comes in HDPE bottles which out of all the plastics, is the most efficient, and most effective to be recycled.

And the worst regarding to preserving quality of the milk.
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Old 11.02.2020, 09:48
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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In the US the crap they are calling eggs these days should be illegal. A dozen eggs for $1-2... yah right???
.

Similar here though, Migros do 15 imported eggs for chf3.30
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Old 11.02.2020, 09:49
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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And the worst regarding to preserving quality of the milk.
Wrong. It comes also in carton containers!
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Old 11.02.2020, 10:00
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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And the worst regarding to preserving quality of the milk.
Why do you write that?
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Old 11.02.2020, 10:50
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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Raw milk (if that's really what it is) carries a much higher risk of carrying dangerous bacteria for no real benefits. https://theconversation.com/raw-milk...re-real-124595
Thanks for worrying but we boil it before drinking it. After boiling it, a thick fat layer forms at the top, remove it, add some sugar, spread it on bread....heaven
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Old 11.02.2020, 12:29
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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.
[...]
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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