Cream in my coffee- regular v. organic

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I have purchased organic cream before. The only one I could find here was 10% fat, and at that time, I was really used to 18% fat cream (coffee cream). So I wasn't crazy about it. Plus, here's the thing: we only drink coffee at home on the weekends, so we've been pleased with the shelf life of non-organic cream: it lasts for weeks in the fridge through our sparse use of it on the weekends. Either that or our grocery store sells less of the organic cream so we always seem to find it at the end of its shelf life, with only days before it goes "bad".

As I've mentioned previously, the only dairy I allow myself each day, as dairy does not-so-nice things to my guts and my complexion, is cream in my coffee. Buying non-organic cream is really not my preferred choice. I would much rather buy cream from a farmer whose cows are well treated, grass fed and not constantly treated with copious amounts of antibiotics (that really concentrate in the cows' milk). So in an effort to convince myself to live with having to pick up coffee cream more often, I decided to review the ingredient list on Sealtest cream—a pretty popular one in my area.

Ingredients: milk, cream, mono and diglycerides, disodium phosphate, sodium citrate, carrageenan.


Now if I look at the organic brand I had been buying...
Ingredients: Organic cream.

That's it. So, let's look at all the other things in the non-organic version.

Mono and diglycerides: Simply put, mono- and diglycerides are fats. They are made from oil,usually soybean, cottonseed, sunflower, or palm oil, act as emulsifiers (provide a consistent texture and prevent separation), and are used in most baked products to keep them from getting stale. In ice cream and other processed foods, including margarine, instant potatoes, and chewing gum, they serve as stabilizers, which give foods body and improve consistency
Disodium phosphate: Another ingredient intended to improve suspension, prevent separation, etc. It's for texture.
Sodium citrate: Acts as an emulsifier, used as a buffer to modify tartness and regulate and enhance flavors, enhances the body and texture of the final product, buffer controls pH
Carrageenan: a seaweed extract similar in properties to gelatin, used as a stabilizer and to give body (to increase viscosity)

Okay, so after searching through all these, I have come to the following conclusions:

1) The additives don't appear to be of the harmful variety (which is great!)
2) Um, if the organic cream is just that—cream—then why do the other guys have to add all that other stuff to it? Does it really make it that much better?

I'm not going to stress about it, but in the end, I like to know that the cattle producing the cream in my coffee were given lots of outdoor access to graze on grass - NOT CORN. I also like to know that the cream is not full of antibiotics, antibiotic-resistant bugs, genetically-modified organisms, and growth hormones. Don't happy, healthy cows make better milk? Seems pretty simple to me. My next carton will be organic, and I'll report back on the taste and texture...

Anyone have any comments one way or the other?


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