When we are choosing milk our preference at Dormouse is organic, local and non-homogenised.
It's only fairly recently that homogenized milk has become the norm in the UK. When the majority of our milk came from the milkman then it was all non-homogenized, when we gave up that great institution and started buying it in the supermarket, then we didn’t just change the delivery method but also made a switch to homogenization.
You may be suprised to learn that homogenization has no health or storage benefits to the milk. It’s only purposes are aesthetic and the fact that you don’t need to shake the bottle to mix the cream. Homogenizing milk involves the breaking down of fat particles to such a small size that the milk looks nice and smooth with no chunks of cream, but these smaller fat particles can permeate the intestines and end up in your blood stream causing high cholesterol. It has also been suggested that the tiny fat globules can carry the deadly enzyme xanthine oxidase which damages artery walls. Fresh non-homogenized milk from the farm with its cream floating to the top is natural and not a harmful form of fat. The larger fat molecules pass through the digestive system and nutrients are properly absorbed without fat entering the bloodstream.
So, what do you get by buying non-homogenized milk, you get the kind of milk that you will remember as a child. Non-homogenized milk has that cream line at the top, so that everyone (who likes milk) wants to the one who gets to open the next bottle or carton and get the lovely fatty creamy bit.
Apart from the creaminess and the nostalgia of it, there are a number of other reasons why we prefer unhomogenized milk.
A lot of people and a few studies believe that there are health benefits associated with non-homogenized milk. Homogenized milk is supposedly easier to digest and there is some evidence that it is more likely to trigger allergies, and that homogenization can contribute to atherosclerosis. None of this evidence is overly strong, but why pass any foodstuff through a process that adds no positive health benefits, and may or may not add negative ones.
In the kitchen, because it has bigger fat molecules, unhomogenized cream takes about half of the time to whip that homogenized cream does, which is handy.
Apart from anything else though, and most important of all, is the fact that unhomogenized milk and cream simply tastes better! So why not order a pint or two from your milkman today!