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Old 10.02.2020, 10:35
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Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

Are Swiss standards of (non-bio) dairy production any higher than the EU? Are they as strict or almost as strict as those of US organic dairy? Or ought one stick with bio varieties if resolutely avoiding any possible adverse traces (hormones, etc.)? Coming from the US, Germany, and France, I've always had the impression that milk/yogurt/etc. here is reliable pure -- equivalent even to organic dairy produced by US cows, and certainly tastier than the milk in DE/FR -- so have fuzzily concluded that there's no great advantage to be had by buying bio. Can anyone offer details?
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Old 10.02.2020, 11:09
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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Are Swiss standards of (non-bio) dairy production any higher than the EU? Are they as strict or almost as strict as those of US organic dairy? Or ought one stick with bio varieties if resolutely avoiding any possible adverse traces (hormones, etc.)? Coming from the US, Germany, and France, I've always had the impression that milk/yogurt/etc. here is reliable pure -- equivalent even to organic dairy produced by US cows, and certainly tastier than the milk in DE/FR -- so have fuzzily concluded that there's no great advantage to be had by buying bio. Can anyone offer details?
Sorry to break your bubble, but the US cows are injected with growth hormone which is the reason why US milk is banned in EU. Dairy is of very high quality in Switzerland, something the Swiss take great pride in and it's justified.
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Old 10.02.2020, 11:14
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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Sorry to break your bubble, but the US cows are injected with growth hormone which is the reason why US milk is banned in EU. Dairy is of very high quality in Switzerland, something the Swiss take great pride in and it's justified.
I'm afraid you misread my post, which asks whether CH conventional / non-bio / non-organic dairy is of higher quality than EU/US bio/organic dairy. US non-organic dairy is out of the question for the reasons you cite.
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Old 10.02.2020, 11:28
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

As far as I am aware of (what the farmer from whom we buy raw milk told us sometime ago) hormones and antibiotics are banned in Switzerland.
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Old 10.02.2020, 11:40
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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.

Last edited by Axa; 10.02.2020 at 13:01. Reason: wrote rowmilch twice
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Old 10.02.2020, 11:50
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

Is bio from coop noticeably better than the non-bio from coop?
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Old 10.02.2020, 12:03
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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Is bio from coop noticeably better than the non-bio from coop?
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?
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Old 10.02.2020, 12:19
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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As far as I am aware of (what the farmer from whom we buy raw milk told us sometime ago) hormones and antibiotics are banned in Switzerland.
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.
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Old 10.02.2020, 12:24
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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Is bio from coop noticeably better than the non-bio from coop?
It depends on what you mean by better...

They should be the same in respect of the non use of chemicals etc., but preference often depends on taste and that has more to do with the environment where the cows live.
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Old 10.02.2020, 12:36
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

My father loves yogurt and has particularly been smitten by Perle de lait (Nature). He performed a blind taste test between Perle de Lait (Suisse) & same brand but bought from France that actually use French milk/cows

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
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Old 10.02.2020, 12:38
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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Sorry to break your bubble, but the US cows are injected with growth hormone which is the reason why US milk is banned in EU. Dairy is of very high quality in Switzerland, something the Swiss take great pride in and it's justified.
TBH, I don't care that much either way. But is the use of growth hormones in the US any worse than the practice of artificially inseminating cows and then taking their babies away so that high quality milk can be provided to consumers in the EU/Switzerland? IMHO the heavily-subsidized Swiss dairy industry is nothing to be proud of nor justified.
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Old 10.02.2020, 12:50
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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Yes, you're right, the US cows are having great orgasms from their bulls and enjoy all the time they need with their calfs.
To be clear, I am not defending the US dairy industry and am well aware of the use of artificial insemination in use there. But just because the US milk industry is more fuc.ked than here doesn't make the Swiss system something to be proud of and justifiable.
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Old 10.02.2020, 13:27
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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TBH, I don't care that much either way. But is the use of growth hormones in the US any worse than the practice of artificially inseminating cows and then taking their babies away so that high quality milk can be provided to consumers in the EU/Switzerland? IMHO the heavily-subsidized Swiss dairy industry is nothing to be proud of nor justified.
Perhaps you don't realise it but in the US they do both, remove calves and growth hormones. You don't have a dairy industry without removing calves from their milk supply.

As to growth hormones - read up on it. I would certainly prefer to avoid so I'll take the Swiss system, thanks.
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Old 10.02.2020, 13:43
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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so have fuzzily concluded that there's no great advantage to be had by buying bio. Can anyone offer details?
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.

That's one advantage.

As for taste, I've always thought it tasted better but I really ought to do a double-blind tasting to confirm.

As for animal welfare - that depends on the morals of the farmer as much as anything else.

My sister has a dairy herd on the Welsh borders and they went from non-organic, to organic and back to non-organic. In the end it's a business and the numbers matter.

Apart from the lengthy transition times from non-organic to organic certification, the cows still ate the same grass and ran around in the same fields, and came from the same herd, either way.
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Old 10.02.2020, 14:27
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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Perhaps you don't realise it but in the US they do both, remove calves and growth hormones. You don't have a dairy industry without removing calves from their milk supply.

As to growth hormones - read up on it. I would certainly prefer to avoid so I'll take the Swiss system, thanks.
Perhaps you could read the post right above yours. Or don't. I don't really GAF.
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Old 10.02.2020, 14:32
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

Cheap butter from Germany seems to contain more water.

It takes longer (at room-temperature) to get soft than Swiss butter. I assume that is because of the amount of water.

Irish butter (from Germany) seems to be equal or better than Swiss butter, from this point of view.
But I honestly can't see a point transporting butter all over the continent when you have cows around on the continent almost everywhere.


Rohmilch is on a totally different level, taste- and texture-wise.
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Old 10.02.2020, 14:37
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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.

I think this also reflects on the other animal-related-non-meat products like eggs and milk.

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.
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Old 10.02.2020, 14:58
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

German non bio is very bad. Swiss bio is the best in the world. Would not trust German bio
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Old 10.02.2020, 15:26
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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.

That's one advantage.

As for taste, I've always thought it tasted better but I really ought to do a double-blind tasting to confirm.

As for animal welfare - that depends on the morals of the farmer as much as anything else.

My sister has a dairy herd on the Welsh borders and they went from non-organic, to organic and back to non-organic. In the end it's a business and the numbers matter.

Apart from the lengthy transition times from non-organic to organic certification, the cows still ate the same grass and ran around in the same fields, and came from the same herd, either way.
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.

I have no qualms with artificial insemination. The advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
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Old 10.02.2020, 15:39
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Re: Dairy quality higher in CH than EU/US?

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Cheap butter from Germany seems to contain more water.
It takes longer (at room-temperature) to get soft than Swiss butter. I assume that is because of the amount of water.
- butter with MORE water is softer, i.e. to make easily spreadable butter you soften it and mix with water or oil, or both

- fat content varies much more with smaller producers between the batches

- taste / quality of the butter is not connected to the fat content (if we stay inside norms). both 80% or 85% butter will be good enough.

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
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