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Cream top, low pasteurized milk? Here's what to know - and why you'll love it.

written by

Michelle Sroka

posted on

May 27, 2024

“Tell me about your milk.” That’s one of the first things I hear when customers walk into our farm store on Saturdays and see it lining the refrigerator shelves.

The next thing I might hear? “I tried your milk last time, and it was amazing. I’m back for more!”

Our milk from Ran-Lew Dairy is one of our top five best-selling items – because it’s different. So when someone asks me to tell them about our dairy, I have a lot to say!

One of the first things I could say? This is milk – like it used to be.  

Ran-Lew Dairy is one of the last small dairies left in our region in North Carolina. It’s truly a family-run dairy – Randy (a fifth-generation farmer), his wife, and the handful of employees that help them.

It’s not owned by a big corporation pretending to be a “family farm”. The dairy produces and bottles the milk right on the farm. And because of this, they can produce some of the best milk possible.

Ran-Lew’s milk is cream-top, low-pasteurized milk. This means that you have to shake it up, quite a bit, before you drink it. The official name for this is non-homogenized– and there’s an important reason for this.

When milk is homogenized, its molecular structure is changed to prevent the cream from separating. Although this can make it more convenient to drink, it also often makes it harder to digest. (Read our blog to learn more about this!)

This means that preserving the cream-top quality of milk isn't just an aesthetic decision, or a way to stir up nostalgia. It's an important nutritional decision. Keeping milk cream-top allows our bodies to absorb and digest milk, in its natural form.

Ran-Lew's milk is also different because it is low pasteurized. It's heated to a low temperature, very slowly, to kill harmful pathogenic bacteria while also preserving most of the beneficial bacteria and nutrients.

Low pasteurization not only protects the natural protein structure of milk, but also the vitamins and minerals within it. There's no need for synthetic additives - just what the cows naturally give the milk through grazing.

And our partnership with Ran-Lew Dairy preserves a local connection with dairy farmers, too.

It wasn’t that long ago that fresh milk was delivered to your door by the farmer, or a partner that helped them distribute it.  This way, the consumer received the freshest, most nutritious product, and that the farmer didn’t let their perishable products go to waste.

We go to the dairy every week to purchase fresh milk and bring it to your door. This partnership ensures that you’ll receive high-quality milk that will last a long time with excellent nutritional benefits.

But it also means that one of the last family dairies in our geographic region can continue to survive.

Without small partnerships like ours, farmers find it increasingly difficult to distribute their food. Stores that will sell this milk are few. Providing home delivery, whether that’s through farm driver delivery or shipping, is out of the question for many farms.

By partnering together, we create a more resilient system.

On our farm, we're able to access milk that we simply don’t have the land, expertise, or wisdom to produce on our own. Ran-Lew Dairy can deliver the milk directly to a larger community. And you can source milk that’s truly small-scale, wholesome, and delicious.

Small partnerships like these have been the backbone of traditional agricultural practices and farms for hundreds of years. We’re happy to continue the legacy by offering Ran-Lew milk.

And if you haven’t tried the milk yet? You should. Our customers tell us all the time – it’s amazing.

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