(Editor's Note: This post is the opinion of our guest author, Yueyun, who recently enjoyed the raw milk scene in Arizona.
While the health and economic impact of raw milk are interesting topics, MilkCritic does not have the expertise to validate this information from other sources. All we at MilkCritic can attest to is that there are some tasty raw milks available for our drinking pleasure.)
Danzeisen Dairy is the biggest local producer. It is based in Phoenix and available in most of the grocery stores. It is the only local milk in glass bottles and bottles can be returned. All the others are bottled in plastic containers. The bottle recycle is another evidence that Danzeisen Dairy has a relatively big operation and market. By the glass bottle packaging and market share, Danzeisen Dairy can be considered as the Straus in Arizona. In terms of flavor profile and consistency, it’s noticeably better than Straus.
Raw milk seems to be a lot more popular in Arizona than in California. There are a couple of small farms making raw milk. They all have excellent quality in terms of freshness and taste. In general, raw milk has a much shorter lifetime ~1 week. But (according to realmilk.com and raw-milk-facts.com) it can offer more nutrients including beneficial bacteria, enzymes, vitamins etc., compared to fully pasteurized milk.
According to realmilk.com, raw milk has a positive impact on the dairy industry from increasing milk quality to supporting local economy. The blooming of small family farms in suburban Arizona is a very encouraging scene. It makes very high quality milk available to the public for daily consumption at just slightly higher price. Although a trip to those farms is definitely worthwhile for educational and experience purposes, having raw milk available at grocery stores in the city brings the long lost privilege of drinking minimally processed milk to city people. Aside from the amazing flavor, (realmilk.com and raw-milk-facts.com claim) there are long term health benefits of regularly having raw milk.
More info on the process, nutrition and economical impact of raw milk can be found below.
There are also some local (ultra-)pasteurized milk producers in Arizona, e.g. Shamrock Farm, Hart Dairy etc. Some of their milks are even available in other States. But I didn’t get the chance to taste them this time.