The Bay Area has long been a pioneer of the good food movement: food that’s good, good for you and good for the natural environment and the people involved in the production. Clover Sonoma has fit right in with that movement for decades, and now they’re flexing their calcium-strong arms again. The third-generation family dairy just released their first lactose-free milk, which is a big deal for our lactose-intolerant friends.
According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 65 percent of the US population has a reduced ability to digest lactose. To back up a bit: lactose intolerance is caused by the body’s inability to produce enough of the lactase enzyme to fully break down lactose, a natural sugar in milk. We’ll skip the details, but that’s what causes uncomfortable digestive problems.
Of course, whether or not you are one of the 30-50 million Americans that are lactose intolerant, you’ve probably noticed the plethora of plant-based milk alternatives available at your local grocery store. So what’s the big deal about a lactose-free milk when we’re living in the golden age of alternative milks?
Basically, not all plant-based milks are nutritious, so the more options we have, the better. One essential ingredient we need from dairy is calcium, which is necessary for bone health and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. But calcium from fortified foods or beverages may not be completely absorbed by the body like calcium found naturally in foods like dairy. And for those folks who like to avoid eating or drinking processed foods, some mass-produced alternative milks can contain a lot of food additives, not to mention sugar.
Clover Sonoma Lactose Free Milk is sourced from Northern California farms and is produced by adding lactase enzymes to fresh milk, which breaks down the lactose into two more easily digested sugars – glucose and galactose. Lactase can be comfortably digested by the body while also adding a sweetness to the milk itself (which would otherwise be lost without lactose). The end result is a milk that tastes similar to regular milk, but can be enjoyed without the gastrointestinal symptoms that those with lactose intolerance suffer from. The milk was recently brought to a Registered Dietician conference in Southern California and the they chose Clover’s Lactose Free as the most delicious.
For our lactose tolerant friends, there are other reasons to pick up a carton of Clover Sonoma: the Petaluma-based company was the first dairy in the United States to become American Humane Certified, they’re a Certified B Corporation, and their passionate support of animal welfare, sustainable business practices, and local community have always been hallmarks of their business.
You can find the new milk at your local grocery store in Whole Milk, Two Percent Reduced Fat, One Percent Low Fat and Fat Free, as well as a Chocolate Whole Milk Option.