Where can I return my milk bottle(s)?
You can return our bottles to any store that sells our milk. For our half gallon bottles you are charged a $2.00 deposit and then it is refunded to you when you return it. We collect the bottles from the stores, wash and sanitize them, and then reuse them.
What is the plug on top of my milk when I open my glass bottle?
That is the cream! We do not homogenize our milk allowing the cream to rise to the top naturally. When opening your bottle we suggest you shake the bottle. We have customers shove it down in with a butter knife and others take it out with a spoon and put it in their coffee. However you want to enjoy it is good news to us.
Are Hartzler's cows grass fed?
Our cows are pasture-raised. More specifically, our cows graze on grass that is without pesticides and herbicides in warm months, and receive pesticide-free hay and silage grown on our own farms during snowy winter months.
Does Hartzler's give their cows any artificial hormones?
We never use drugs to increase milk production in our animals. Our cows are naturally happy, grazing freely in grass pastures during warm months, and enjoying pesticide-free grasses, hay and silage - grown on Hartzler's own farms - during winters. Because our cows are artificial hormone-free, so is our milk.
Do you give your cows antibiotics?
Because we do not stress our cows with artificial hormones--they tend to stay healthy most of the time. However, when there is a case when a cow will get an infection, mainly mastitis, we do treat the cow with an antibiotic but it is milked separate from the herd and that milk is thrown out. We return the cow to the herd only after the required withdrawal time has been met. Every load of milk brought into our plant is tested for antibiotics. We have never failed this test in over 20 years of processing.
How does Hartzler milk compare to raw milk?
Pasteurization is required by the Food and Drug Administration to kill potentially harmful microorganisms. Raw milk is not pasteurized and illegal to sell in the state of Ohio. Hartzler's low-temperature method complies with all FDA regulations and has always passed quality and safety inspections. Hartzler's uses a low temperature vat pasteurization process where the milk is gently heated to 145 degrees and held in a vat for 30 minutes. This method kills harmful bacteria but leaves enzymes and amino acid chains and other nutrients intact. We also do not homogenize our milk which is breaking down the cream into small particles.
Why is there no cream at the top of my milk?
We have had a few customers who regularly buy our products but when they opened their milk, there was no cream (yet). They were concerned that we had changed our processing, but rest assured we will continue to low temperature vat pasteurize our milk and leave it non-homogenized, providing the most health benefits.
Here is the real reason why the cream wasn't there: Hartzler's milk is processed 3 times weekly and shipped to stores either the same day or the following day. If you buy the milk when it has only been out of the cow for a couple days then it is so fresh that it hasn't had time to separate yet. This can take up to 5 days sitting on the shelf.
If you give it time to settle in your refrigerator then the cream plug should have time to form or you can try to buy an earlier date at the grocery store that has already had time for the cream to separate.
Why glass bottles?
While some folks love the nostalgia of our glass bottles and seeing the cream line at the top, there are actually some very important reasons why our milk is sold in glass bottles.
The first is that it prevents the absorption of unwanted chemicals from seeping into your milk. Most plastic bottles and jugs leak measurable amounts of chemicals into the liquid they contain.
The thick glass bottles we use also keep milk cooler, adding to its freshness.
And last, but by no means least, our philosophy of doing things "as nature intended" also applies to the way we treat the earth. Instead of further adding to landfills, we collect, sanitize, and reuse our 1/2-gallon glass bottles. you only need to return them to any location that sells Hartzler milk, and you'll receive a deposit and the bottles will be picked up by our drivers to take back to our plant and be reused.
Do you add any vitamins or minerals to your milk?
The whole milk, because it contains all of the cream, does not need vitamins added. Because we take some cream from the 2% and all of the cream from the skim, it is required by state law that we add Vitamin A and D back into the milk.
How long is the milk fresh for after the sell-by date?
Although we test our milk for safe consumption, there is no way (without testing) that we can say how much longer it is good for after the code date. That is because we have no idea how the product was handled after leaving our truck. Even a slight warming of the milk can affect it's shelf life. Our best advice is to trust your nose! If it smells different in any way, the best bet is to dump it and replace it with fresh.
Why does Hartzler's not offer Raw Milk?
Raw milk is not pasteurized and illegal to sell in the state of Ohio. Pasteurization is required by the Food and Drug Administration to kill potentially harmful microorganisms. Hartzler's low-temperature method complies with all FDA regulations and has always passed quality and safety inspections. Hartzler's uses a low temperature vat pasteurization process where the milk is gently heated to 145 degrees and held in a vat for 30 minutes. This method kills harmful bacteria but leaves enzymes and amino acid chains and other nutrients intact.
Is the chocolate milk gluten free?
Yes it is!