Sunday, May 13, 2012

What's in a (local) name?

 So on our weekly trip to Meijer this week for groceries, Alyssa and I did our typical stroll through the dairy case for a few items, and to look at food in general (yeah, exciting life I live), when we made this discovery.

Now, at first glance, you say, wow, great, local, Michigan brand cottage cheese!! Finally, I can support a local brand for my cottage cheese needs!!

So, you spin the container around, and you see this....

Ohio, you say!??! What the hell, I thought this was a Michigan product!??! Ohio!??!

So you read down a little further, and you start seeing this plant number codes...

Plant Codes Here ^^^^

So what exactly are plant codes?? Well, my friend, the plant code tells you exactly where the product came from, mainly incase there is ever a recall. But for our purposes, it's going to tell us where the product was made, and most likely, where some of its ingredients came from. In this case, it came from plant 26-330. Using our handy-dandy link to the FDA's website we see that the first numbers, 26, signify a Michigan plant. The second numbers, 330, are the plant code; plant 330 is the Country Fresh plant located in Grand Rapids. This plant uses milk from many of my neighbors, and a lot of milk from West Michigan in general.

Same product, same plant, same milk.

The "Michigan" brand: 3.99

Country Fresh brand: 2.49

Just because the label says where it came from, in this case Ohio, that doesn't mean it actually came from there. When in doubt, check the label, and if you're still unsure, do a little research. The information is out there.