What the addition "hay milk" means to cheese and co
The term "hay milk" can always be read on milk bags, cheese packs or yoghurt cups. However, many do not know exactly what it means. Some claim that such products are more natural and healthier. But is hay milk really better?
Milk is considered a healthy natural product
Milk used to be the epitome of healthy eating. But there is now a dispute over whether milk is healthy or harmful. The natural product is said to strengthen bones and teeth, among other things, but studies may also favor diseases such as asthma. According to recent studies, milk is actually healthy. However, some experts believe that it is very important which milk is consumed.
Different varieties on offer
Some consumers swear by easily digestible thick milk, but fresh milk from the farm is also becoming increasingly popular. However, there is always a warning about gastrointestinal germs in raw milk. You should therefore always boil them before consuming them.
The term “hay milk”, which can be found on milk cartons, cheese packs or yoghurt cups, also seems to encourage consumers to buy. However, many people have little use for the term. There is an essential difference to conventional milk.
More and more hay milk products on the market
The range of hay milk products in the food trade has increased significantly in recent years. "Hay milk comes from cows that are fed exclusively with grass, legumes, cereals and hay," explains Andrea Danitschek from the Bavarian Consumer Center. "You don't get any silage, that is fermented grass or grain feed."
According to the experts, hay milk is considered to be of particularly high quality in terms of taste and ingredients. This milk also plays an important role in the production of raw milk cheese. Hay milk contains little unwanted bacteria that can interfere with cheese ripening. This reduces the risk of the taste being distorted or the cheese loafs becoming bloated.
Binding standards across Europe
The EU has now set binding standards for hay milk production across Europe through the "Guaranteed Traditional Specialty" seal of quality. “This also means that the cows are not allowed to receive genetically modified feed,” says the nutrition expert. There is still a transition period for this regulation until March 2018.
However, experts believe that hay milk is not necessarily healthier, more natural, more animal-friendly or more environmentally friendly. For example, feeding with hay does not say anything about whether and how long the animals are in the pasture. Feeding can also take place in the barn. (ad)