When Katie Herrmann, co-owner of Longmont Dairy, received a call from Channel 7 News, for an interview about clarifying the definition of “milk,” she was happy to help. The story concerned a new comment from the FDA about enforcing the definition of milk. The FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) regulates food and drugs in the US to ensure purity and labeling compliance so that consumers know what they are buying.
The definition from the FDA (in the Title 21 CFR code) says “Milk is the lacteal secretion . . . obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows.”* In other words, we get milk by milking cows. It further says it must be pasteurized, a process that makes it safe to drink.
So why all the fuss? For some time, the FDA has not enforced the definition by allowing crushed and juiced beans, nuts, and seeds to be called milk. While these non-dairy drinks don’t meet the definition of milk, they are usually promoted as a diary replacement.
Of course, Longmont Dairy has its own cows and delivers real milk, but we also sell other non-dairy beverages that their manufacturers call “milk.” “I am supportive of the FDA enforcing this definition of milk,” says Katie. “I don’t have anything against non-dairy beverages—in fact, we carry some of them on our trucks—I do however believe in honesty and transparency in labeling.”
In the interview Katie says, “I think when you have greater transparency in your labeling, customers will trust your product more.”
The controversy may still continue, but to old dairy farmers, milk is still milk, and it has always come from cows the way nature intended it.
*See the FDA Milk Definition at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=131.110