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Questions about our Ingredients

Why are there 7g of sugar in the plain kefir?

The sugar listed is lactose that occurs naturally in the milk. We do not add sugar.

Why are there 7g of sugar in the plain yogurt?

The sugar listed is lactose that occurs naturally in the milk. We do not add sugar.

Do you offer lactose free products?

Goat milk naturally contains less lactose than cow’s milk, but it is not lactose-free.  Our goat milk yogurt and kefir both contain about 2% lactose.  Under our sister brand name, Green Valley Organics, we produce lactose-free real dairy yogurt, kefir, and sour cream made with cow’s milk.  Visit the website to learn more about these delicious, award-winning dairy products:  http://www.greenvalleylactosefree.com/.

Does goat cheese have lactose?

Goat milk and goat cheese naturally contain less lactose than cow’s milk, but it is not lactose-free.  Aged, hard cheeses naturally have less lactose due to the production process compared with fresh cheeses.

What is dairy? Is goat cheese dairy?

Dairy refers to milk produced by an animal, specifically a mammal such as goats, sheep, cows or even camels and water buffalo. Is goat cheese dairy? Yes!  All mammalian milk is considered dairy but there are differences in butterfat content, lactose, and protein.  That is why some people that are allergic to cow dairy or lactose intolerant to cow dairy can use goat dairy successfully and enjoy the many goat dairy products available.

Why are you not non-GMO verified?

At Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery we are deeply concerned about the widespread use of GMOs in our food system and the lack of GMO labeling. We fully support the Non-GMO Project and the different state initiatives seeking the labeling of GMOs.

Our position is simple: We do not support genetic engineering of food products. The ingredients we use in our goat dairy yogurts, kefirs and cheeses (such as sugar, vanilla, cultures etc.) do not contain DNA from GMOs. All of our ingredient suppliers provide specifications, which ensure non-GMO status.

Our goats’ diet consists of 70% hay and brush, and 30% grain. The vegetarian grain formula we feed the goats contains no hormones, antibiotics, animal by-products or preservatives. At this time, we cannot guarantee that the goat feed is always free of GMOs.

We are actively working toward becoming organic and non-GMO in the future for the benefit of all. At this time, we are in the process of evaluating what the transition process will involve for the farms and for the creamery. If we find that becoming certified organic is feasible (and we very much hope we will!), it will take some time – most likely several years.

What type of rennet do you use and is it Gluten and GMO free? Are your cheeses kosher?

Rennet is an enzyme used to coagulate milk in cheese making. We use a vegetarian rennet or microbial enzyme which meets kosher standards, is gluten-free and GMO-free.

Why do you add pectin and tapioca starch to your products?

Our yogurts contain small amounts of tapioca starch and pectin to add texture, and to minimize excess whey. Tapioca is a natural starch derived from the root of the Cassava plant, and our pectin is citrus based, primarily lemon. Our kefirs do not contain any tapioca or pectin.

Do your products contain lactose or casein?

Goat milk naturally contains less lactose than cow’s milk, but it is not lactose-free. Our goat milk yogurts and kefirs both contain about 2% lactose. Under our sister brand name, Green Valley Organics®, we produce lactose-free yogurt, kefir, and sour cream made with organic cow’s milk. Visit the website to learn more at Green Valley Lactose Free.

Casein in Goat Milk: Casein is a natural protein that is found in all milk.  Many people have difficulty with Casein especially the Alpha S1 casein found in cow milk and so are allergic to cow dairy. Studies have shown that goat milk is very low in Alpha S1 casein and primarily contains Alpha S2 casein.  That is why many of those allergic to cow dairy may be able to use goat milk products in their diets successfully.

Are your goat milk products Kosher?

Our products are Kosher-Certified for year round use, exclusive of Passover, by the Orthodox Rabbinical Council of San Francisco.We are not Chalav Yisroel certified because it requires that a rabbi be present to supervise the milking and transportation of the milk to the creamery, something that is not financially and logistically feasible for us at this time. RHF Kosher Certificate

Do your products contain gluten?

Redwood Hill Farm dairy products do not contain any gluten. At our certified organic creamery, we do not produce any products that contain gluten. Yogurt, kefir and cheese are naturally low glycemic foods.

What is in your “natural ingredients”?

For our flavored goat milk dairy products, we use fruit preparations that are at the bottom of our yogurts as well as blended into our kefirs. The preparations provide concentrated flavor to our yogurt and kefir, resulting in a better fruit taste. Natural flavors are part of the fruit preparation recipe and serve the purpose of enhancing specific flavors, such as strawberry or blueberry. It is important to know, that these natural flavors are directly derived from fruits or fruit juices, vegetables or vegetable juice, root, leaf or plants. The significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional, i.e. beet juice, annatto extract, etc.

The companies that produce the fruit preparations are very protective of their recipes as they are not able to patent them.  The FDA has very specific regulations ensuring natural flavors ingredients meet its standards, but does not require these companies to disclose their recipes. Of course all ingredients must also meet USDA Organic Standards.

We have been quite frustrated with this policy because transparency is of utmost importance to us. Our goal is to make the least processed most natural and delicious goat milk dairy products we can. We are working closely with the company that makes our dairy fruit blends and they are aware that we intend to share information on all ingredients in our products fruit blends, including the natural flavors used. We hope to be able to accomplish that in the future.

What are probiotics? How many probiotics are in a serving?

Probiotics literally means “life giving,” and our kefir and yogurt contain live and active cultures, also referred to as “friendly bacteria”. For more information visit www.probiotics.org, a website devoted to probiotic research.

When testing our products for probiotic amounts, we use newly made product as well as product at the end of its “shelf life.” We then average these numbers because batches and probiotic counts can vary.

Kefir – 11 different probiotics = 589.68 billion probiotics per 8oz. serving (average)

Yogurt – 5 different probiotics = 340.2 billion probiotics per 6oz cup (average)