Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Where is your milk from?

A friend showed me a very cool website yesterday, For any of you in the US who are trying to purchase more locally produced food, or who are just curious about where the cows who made your milk are from, this website is for you!

It's super easy. All you have to do is find the code on the side of your milk (or yogurt, cheese, cream, ice cream, etc.) container and enter it into the milk box on the website. Most codes are easy to find, they're usually right next to the sell-by date. The one on my box of The Organic Cow milk reads 36-4016. So I entered 36 4016 (no dash) into the site and it spit this factory out at me:

The code for New York, the site tells me, is 36, the first two numbers in the series on the box. I'm a little disappointed since The Organic Cow claims to be "New England's Original Organic Milk" it says so right on the carton. But, last time I checked, Elma, NY, was not in New England. In fact it's about 482 miles away by truck from Ipswich, MA!

My family doesn't follow a strict 100 mile diet but we do like to try to buy food from New England, since it's a pretty small area of the country and is a good limit to focus on.

This doesn't mean I'm going to stop buying the Organic Cow all together, but I'll definitely be entering codes from other organic milk products I can find into to help me make better decisions when I shop. A little code cheat sheet for fellow New Englanders out there:

25 = Massachusetts
23= Maine
44=Rhode Island
33= New Hampshire

I'm going to try to stick with those numbers!


  1. The only milk I drink (other than soy milk) is one latte in the morning and it's from a local dairy (Edaleen). I'll ask for the code on the back but they are located in Lynden, just up the road from Bellingham, so I think I'm safe.

  2. Thanks for sharing this, I never would have known about it otherwise. Cool !

  3. DJan: I'm with you on drinking milk, gives me a nasty lactose reaction....but my toddler goes through 2 gallons a week. That's cool you can buy a latte from a local dairy!

    Nedine: you can thank my friend Rachel for putting the site on her Facebook page (she's someone I'll never "hide" :) I just bought some Stonyfield milk and it's from Hood in Oneida NY, thought it strange that they buy from Hood, but at least it's organic.

  4. I would love to be able to do that. Goodness knows where half the stuff comes from in France - given the Nuclear infested European community... Having said that - we buy organic too. Most of the milk is pretty certain to be from Normandy - the South being too dry for many dairy cows here.

    Kate, I've been dying to ask you something. Your petition to Line dry - is it for REAL? I can not imagine anyone not being allowed to line dry their clothes...

  5. Ange: yes, that petition is for real, sad I know. In most towns you can line-dry as you please. But, there are private condo associations and housing associations (private developments and such) that don't even allow you to park in front of your house, have a kiddie pool on your lawn, plant a vegetable garden or line dry your clothes. I will never, ever, live in a place like that, but I know people that do and I don't know how they manage it. crazy huh?

  6. Do you know if you can get local milk delivered from any nearby dairies? There's a dairy in Dracut that delivers (organic) milk to Acton. One of the other moms out here called them b/c we weren't on their distribution route, but they added it once she convinced ~15 other families to sign up. I bet you could do the same in Ipswich!

  7. Abigail,
    I'll look into that, but I also found out Green Meadows Farm (where we get our farm share) if going to start carrying a local organic brand from southern Maine as well, another excuse to take Lizzie there to see the sheep and pigs :)


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