Milk is Milk … or is it?

Milk is Milk … or is it?

We carry milk from 3 different farms/creameries here at Doorstep Dairy, all located here in Lancaster County. I often get asked what the difference is and which one is best. So let’s take a dive into milk.


Pasteurization is simply the act of heating to kill bacteria. Just like you might boil water that might contain bacteria. You know…if you’re hiking for days and don’t have a safe water source. Find a creek and boil the water.

In the world of milk, you have Raw Milk (unpasteurized) and Pasteurized milk. Now there are various methods of pasteurization, but let me just break them down into 2 categories. Low Temp pasteurization and High Temp pasteurization (sometimes called ultra-high temp or UHT).

  • High Temp kills the bacteria and then goes an extra step and basically sterilizes the milk. This process kills the good, the bad, and everything in between.
  • Low Temp kills bacteria but does not sterilize the milk…so there are still some ‘good’ bacteria remaining.
  • High temp milk has an extended shelf life …up to 6 weeks or more. (6-week milk is not very fresh in my opinion).
  • Low temp milk has a short shelf life … typically 14-17 days from the botted date. (this is much fresher)


Milk has fat (aka cream). It is natural for the cream to rise to the top of the milk. So if you pour yourself a glass of non-homogenized milk without first shaking it…you will get a glass full of cream. Homogenization is a mechanical process that forces milk through tiny orifices. The process breaks up the fat particles in the milk ultimately causing the cream not to separate. Non-homogenized milk is often referred to as Creamline because, in a clear bottle, you can see a distinct line of cream when it separates.

Standardized Milk

Standardization is the act of meeting government standards in regard to the fat content in milk. So Skim milk (aka fat-free) is milk that has had all the fat/cream removed. The cream is removed with a cream separator. The cream is separated using centrifugal force. Spin the milk at just the right speed and the cream will find its way to the outside of the separator. So standardized milk is milk that has had all the cream removed making it fat-free (0% fat). To create 1% milk, an appropriate amount of cream is added back into the skim milk. The same for 2% milk…just add a bit more cream. The government standard for Whole Milk is 3.25%.

The amount of fat in milk is determined by many factors including the breed of the cow, their diet, and overall health. Raw milk straight from the cow can have a fat content of 3% - 6%. So, by standardizing milk, a creamery can take milk that is 6% fat and use some of it to make other dairy products like butter, ice cream, and half and half. If you buy milk from a creamery that does not standardize its milk, your milk will contain more cream, it will taste better, and have a higher fat content.

Side note:

  • The standardized fat content of Heavy Cream is 36%
  • Half and Half is a mix of 50% Whole milk and 50% Heavy Cream and is typically 10% fat.

Okay, so back to the 3 milk options that we offer. So is all milk the same? Definitely not. And I’m not going to tell you one milk is better than the other. As you can see they are all unique.

PS: Here is a piece I wrote about Lactose-Free milk. If you have trouble digesting milk…we offer farm-fresh Lactose-Free milk that might work for you.

Farm Shares & Fruit Boxes

Order by noon on Friday for delivery the following week.
Next week’s predicted contents list for delivery between
Monday, April 24 - Friday, April 28

Fruit Box

  • Carolina Strawberries
  • Evercrisp Apples (Weaver’s Orchard)
  • Blueberries - USA

Regular Farm Share (Half Bushel Box)*

  • Tatsoi
  • Spinach
  • Mixed Radishes (French Breakfast & Red)
  • Green Beans - nonlocal
  • Cilantro - nonlocal

Large Farm Share (Bushel Box) *

Discontinued for the Winter

*All Farm Shares are sourced from Goose Lane Farm in Sinking Spring, PA

NOTE: This is a predicted list…items may change or be substituted.

Recipe Suggestions


Reading Soda Works offers a wide variety of carbonated drinks. Soda, Seltzer, and their Botanical Series.

Sold in 12-bottle cases. Stock up your drink fridge so you’re prepared when the temps rise!

Root Beer Mango Lime Stawberry Mint Lemongrass


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