I recently discovered http://whereismymilkfrom.com/ and spent some time recently scouring local grocery stores answering that question. The site is really nifty – you put in the code (in the form XX-XXX) from the carton of milk, cream, yogurt, or even soy milk, and it will tell you the dairy or plant that produced it.
If you’re looking for locally or regionally-produced foods, the news is quite good. Most of the milk I found was from Michigan or an adjacent state. Organic milk tends to come from further away (Minnesota or Colorado). I don’t think any of the cow’s milk I found in Meijer or Whole Foods came from any further away, though there was some goat’s milk from California. None was from another country.
On a very interesting note, two organic milks at Whole Foods (365 Brand Organic and Organic Valley) were from the exact same dairy…but the price difference was $1 per gallon. The 365 Brand non-organic milk and the Country Dairy non-organic milk were also from the same dairy in New Era, Michigan, but I don’t recall if there was a significant price difference. Certainly worth checking!
After the cut is the list of brands and dairies as of Oct. 24, 2010. I bet this changes frequently, especially with store brands, so you might want to re-check periodically. An easy guideline is that Michigan’s state code is 26, so if you want milk from Michigan, look for codes in the form 26-XXX. (See the full list of dairies and codes here.)
After the jump, I’ll list a few brands and their origins from Meijer and Whole Foods.
- Meijer store brand: Central lower Michigan
- Horizon Organic: Eastern Wisconsin
- Gurnsey Farms: SE lower Michigan
- 365 non-organic (Whole Foods store brand): West Michigan
- Country Dairy: West Michigan (exact same dairy as 365 non-organic)
- 365 organic: Central Minnesota
- Organic Valley: Central Minnesota (same dairy as 365 organic)
- Calder Dairy: SE Michigan