Q: Your milk is labeled “whole milk.” What does that actually mean?

Our answer: Great question! We are glad you asked, because some clarification is helpful here regarding standard industry practice vs. our products.

According to federal regulations, in order for milk to be labeled “whole milk” it must contain a minimum of 3.25% butterfat. As we discussed in our recent butterfat blog post, cows naturally produce a wide range of fat content in their milk, based on a number of factors including breed, feed, and conditions. Our herd, for example, typically has at least 4% butterfat content in their milk, often more during certain times of the year.

The truth of the whole milk matter is that not all “whole milks” contain the same amount of butterfat. Since the industry standard is set at 3.25%, many dairy companies will remove the cream from the milk during processing and add it back in just up to the minimum requirement. The economic advantage is evident with such a practice.

But we handle the butterfat differently in our whole milk. Our belief that the most nourishing dairy is as close to nature’s design as possible means that we leave the naturally-occurring butterfat intact for our whole milk. No removing of the cream or adding it back in, and no skimping on the fat content. The amount of butterfat in the milk when it comes out of the cow is the amount that will be in the milk in your bottle. Since many of the key vitamins in milk are fat-soluble vitamins, like A, D & K2, they are only present in the fat, and our bodies can only absorb and use them in the presence of fat. When you’re aiming for optimal nutrition, like we are (and you probably are, too), these kinds of things become important.

Calling a milk “whole” seems to imply that it is complete, with all its naturally occurring components, like fat and fat-soluble vitamins intact. If you want the most complete nutritional package, then keep it simple and go for the most whole milk you can find!

Want to learn more about the benefits of whole milk versus non-fat, 1%, or 2%? Here are a few great places to get started: