Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My Meeting with the Kroger Execs

Well, it wasn't really a meeting (since they just happened to be in the dairy section when I was) and they weren't really executives (more like a shift manager or store manager, although, I don't know who they were or what title they hold other than they were dressed in slacks and wore a tie and had a nametag). I was there looking for cream or half and half for my coffee (I've quit using my beloved liquid non-dairy creamer since it is just about the most unnatural "dairy" product out there) when I realized that EVERY single organic milk product, as well at the nonorganic creams, half and halfs, etc. were all utra-pstuerized! Not a single one of them was just plain 'ol homogenized, pastuerized. The Kroger guys could tell I was spending way more time staring at the case than their normal customer and made a comment about the variety of products they carry. I decided that since I had their attention, I would ask them why they only variety they carry is this case full of worthless milk product...except I didn't say that. I merely asked why all of their organic and even nonorganic was ultra-pastuerized (with the exception of their regular store brand milk). They were apparently surprised by this as well. It seems they had never even noticed this was the case. Then they proceeded to tell me what I already knew. Ultra-pastuerization extends the shelf-life (by months even...months!!! Milk SHOULDN'T last months!). They also said it might be due to state laws since many of these products cross state lines. So why do I care if it is ultra-pastuerized, you ask? Ultra-pastuerized or UHT (ultra high temperature) milk is heated to 275 degrees F, which kills over 99.9% of the bacteria found in milk (both the GOOD, and bad stuff). What is left is basically just white liquid. Liquid that has an extremely long shelf life for milk, up to 3 months or more. Liquid that doesn't even need refrigeration. In fact, there was an entire display of Horizon Organic individual serve ultra-pasteurized milk unrefrigerated as I entered the store.
The purist wouldn't even drink pasteruized (heated to 161 degrees F) milk, or homogenized (which keeps the fat content equally distributed throughout the milk) for that matter. The purist would drink raw milk, and I'm quickly moving that direction.
However, I was pleased that the Kroger guys took my contact information and said that they would find out if it was possible to carry items that are not utra-pastuerized and let me know.


  1. You are right about milk should not last that long! I am curious to see if Kroger will be willing to carry something different.

  2. We actually started buying our milk at the Organic Farmers market. It is not ultra Pasteurized and it is non-homogenized (you just have to shake it before you drink it) It is slightly more expensive but the taste is amazing!

  3. Even at my health food store most everything - buttermilk, half and half, cream is ultra-pasturized. It makes me so annoyed! I would love it if Kroger offered a non-ultra pasturized version!