Is Chocolate milk made from bloody milk?

Since the milk from our cows goes to Swiss Valley, this gallon of milk could have milk from my cows in it.
Since the milk from our cows goes to Swiss Valley, this gallon of milk could have milk from my cows in it.

The other day I was on a plane on our way to vacation. Instead of spending the 2 hours between Milwaukee and Denver reading or sleeping I had a great conversation with a woman from Colorado about food, farming, gardening and all kinds of other topics. I of course enjoy sharing the story of dairy and I picked up some great gardening ideas from her. Towards the end of the flight she asked me if she could ask me a question. I think you can probably guess what her question was. The idea that chocolate milk or strawberry milk is made from bloody or pus filled milk is something that has been floating around the internet for a while. If you google “is chocolate milk bloody” or “blood in chocolate milk” you will get a lot of websites that are anti-dairy helping to spread this rumor.  I don’t know where it started but I think it’s time to put a stop to it.

Let’s break this down into a few parts…  First, the logistics of how milk is handled. The very first thing that puts this rumor to rest is that if a cow did have blood in milk for some reason, the milk would be dumped out and wouldn’t end up in the bulk tank with the milk from the other cows. Cows can get bumps and bruises just like us and that could cause blood in milk but it doesn’t happen very often at all. Which leads me into my next point. If a single cow did have bloody milk and for some reason her milk wasn’t dumped, which again, it would be, her milk would go into the bulk tank with the milk from all the other cows on the farm. Then that milk would go into the semi truck tank with all the milk from the other farms that truck picks up every day. Finally that semi’s milk would go into an even bigger tank at the milk processing plant. There is no possible way that flavored milk could be made out of bloody milk because there is no way that milk would end up in a tank and there would be no way to sort bloody milk from the other milk. That should put this rumor to rest right there and if you don’t believe me check out Snopes.

So what milk do they make chocolate, strawberry or other flavored milk from? Regular old milk. The exact same stuff that is unflavored. Why do they make flavored milk? Hello! Because it’s super tasty, duh! My favorite way to drink chocolate milk is in my coffee in the morning. Instant mocha deliciousness.

I also like this stuff.
I also like this stuff. Not usually in the morning. Except maybe on a Monday or a Friday.

Do me a favor and share the heck out of this page. The more it is shared, the more people who read it, the more likely this post will come up at the top of the page when people turn to google to ask about chocolate milk instead of anti milk propoganda sites. Smokey the Bear says “Only you can’t prevent forest fires!” and I say “Only you can stop food rumors.”

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36 Comments on Is Chocolate milk made from bloody milk?

  1. The Queen
    February 4, 2013 at 7:20 am (7 years ago)

    Reblogged this on Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Country Life and commented:
    I have not heard this particular rumor but am not shocked that there are those out there who would believe it! Honestly, WHERE do these things come from?!! Everyone knows that chocolate mile comes from brown cows. Big Duh! 🙂 How do I know that? Well, I read it on the internet. Gotta run…my hubs just came in for breakfast. He’s a French model dontchaknow?

  2. J. Rhoades
    February 4, 2013 at 10:26 am (7 years ago)

    Wow, I can’t believe that people are actually thinking that! Although I’m sure it’s mostly innocent people like that poor woman who don’t know what to believe because there’s so much anti-ag propaganda on the internet. I’ll share this for sure!

  3. Kari Kay
    February 4, 2013 at 11:18 am (7 years ago)

    When I was a little kid, probably 3rd grade or so, I remember a girl telling us in the lunch room that she was drinking a glass of milk and there was a large piece of cow “skin” floating around in her milk, and that she would never drink milk again. I told her that there is no possible way that it could possibly happen. I after all was a dairy expert after my class trip to a dairy the year before, and had spent all my time studying farming since the field trip 😉 She was certain that it was skin in there I was almost in tears I was so worked up about the fact that there is just no possible way it could have been in there. I’m guessing my child hood passion for agriculture is probably why I am still passionate about getting the truth about farming and ranching out there even if I am still a town kid living in the country.

    • Cleopatra
      February 4, 2013 at 3:36 pm (7 years ago)

      Was she sure it wasn’t a band-aid that came off a kitchen lady’s finger!? LOL

  4. ida
    February 4, 2013 at 3:49 pm (7 years ago)

    I grew up on a dairy farm & we had every cow’s milk tested, Also the whole tank would be tested. If the bacteria count showed to high the whole tank would be dumped. The whole dairy set up was checked for cleanliness. We all worked hard to keep our operation superior.

  5. An Irish Male In America
    February 14, 2013 at 11:19 am (7 years ago)

    Ok, I eventually had to comment on this……… Do people who believe that Chocolate milk is cows blood pawned off on the public with some flavoring added…….. also believe that the moon is made out of cheese?? If so, I think they should probably use the game “Frogger” as a practical guide on how to safely cross a road…..

  6. Laurie Sudrla (@lauriesuds)
    February 15, 2013 at 3:44 pm (7 years ago)

    How do you know if a cows milk is bloody prior to milking in order to hook it to the “dump tank”? Is each cows milk tested before hooking them up to the milking machine each time they are milked? With the antibiotics, I understand the medicated cows have red bands on their legs so they automatically get “dumped” until tested neg for antibiotics. I just don’t understand the process of knowing if milk is bloody or has pus in it prior to actually milking? So are they each checked somehow every time prior to hooking up to milking machine?

    • dairycarrie
      February 15, 2013 at 4:10 pm (7 years ago)

      Laurie, yes cows are usually “stripped out” by hand before the units go on. On our farm each teat is foamed with an antibacterial light iodine solution, we wipe that off and then milk a few squirts out by hand from each teat. This allows us to catch any signs of mastitis or anything else it also encourages the cow to let her milk down. She learns the process and her brain says “ok, it’s time to milk” when this happens. After she is done being milked we apply the foam again to keep her teat from being subject to any contamination until the sphincter that controls her teat end has closed up again.

    • Laurie Sudrla (@lauriesuds)
      February 15, 2013 at 4:40 pm (7 years ago)

      Honestly, it’s pasteurized anyway so I wouldn’t think some blood is a problem…we eat it in our meat!

      • Katy
        August 14, 2014 at 9:21 pm (5 years ago)

        Hi Laurie,

        I realize this is over a year old, but Carrie just re-shared this piece and I just saw this comment and had to clear the air. There is no blood in meat. All animals are exsanguinated – so while you see “red juices” it is not blood. It’s the myoglobin and myostatins in the muscles. No blood :-).

  7. Marshall
    February 23, 2013 at 12:39 pm (7 years ago)

    Well, there’s always something to be surprised about. As your other comments mentioned it’s really hard to believe how naive some people are about farming. But they are! That’s why we have to continue to get the truth out there and politely answer any questions people might have.

  8. Kat
    July 6, 2013 at 12:48 am (6 years ago)

    Hi I was trying to do research on a similar topic and I came across this page. My friend swears by this organic milk, it says horizon on the carton but other than that I’m not sure of the brand… Regardless I asked her why she always had that milk wherever she was and she told me that its safe and clean and the regular swiss valley or store brand milk in the regular cartoon is full of blood and bad stuff because they leave the machines on the utters for days and give the cows medicine and chemicals and I suppose this is similar. Now I trust that you don’t do this, cause you seem nice plus why would a horrible farmer like that have such a cute blog but is that even legit or possible or anything? I was skeptical when my friend said that, but I guess it would be possible…? Thanks for reading & answering:-)

    • dairycarrie
      July 6, 2013 at 7:13 am (6 years ago)

      Hi Kat, I’m really glad you found my site, please share it with your friend. What she thinks happens at a conventional dairy is just wrong. Organic or conventional no dairy cow is milked for days on end. In fact each cow only spends about 20 minutes out of 24 hours being milked. The other 23 hours and 40 minutes they spend time eating, sleeping and just hanging out. That has nothing to do with size of farm or organic, it’s just how it’s done on all farms.

  9. Georgie
    July 26, 2013 at 4:34 pm (6 years ago)

    Grew up milking by hand; the cows on our farm – when My older brother went to college, Dad got a milking machine…we milked around 20 cows, morning before school and in the evening before dark…washed the udders and then milked them… and then put the milk in cans that were then hauled to the milk cooler to be collected by the milk truck – except for the ones that we skimmed off the cream to make ice cream…YUMMM….If a cow had a problem, the milk was put in a special bucket and given to the barn cats and dogs….they were healthy as could be!
    Peta has done a lot of propoganda to try to make everyone become vegans…but let me tell you they will have to pry my fork out of the meat…raised on a farm and proud of it! We let our chickens run free and they were great at eating behind the cows….and they tasted good! So, watch where those free range chickens have been..ha.ha.

    • Dee
      December 1, 2014 at 3:48 pm (5 years ago)

      Hahaha I grew up as we were switching to those individual milking machines where you got one bucket of milk at a time and poured it out, put the machine on the next cow, etc… I remember my dad hand-milking a fresh (ie cow who had just given birth) cow. There’s often a bit of blood along with the colostrum, so the milk was pink. My dad told me that’s where strawberry milk came from and even though I knew he was totally BSing me I’ve never, ever drank strawberry milk… shudder… This is also the man who told me to ‘open your mouth and close your eyes and you will get a big surprise’ from the far side of the milking parlour… I got a face full of milk straight from a teat… What a guy.

  10. debbie seitz
    August 14, 2013 at 9:56 pm (6 years ago)

    thank-you very much for the information on the chocolate milk l am sick of arguing over this issue.

  11. Peter
    September 25, 2013 at 4:23 pm (6 years ago)

    My economics professor used this claim as a tangent in one of his classes (he always gave us stories that would wind around to a point about the topic that day on economics and it was a super interesting class). He claimed a woman who’s father was a dairy farmer stood up one day and mentioned this fact about her father’s dairy farm. He insisted it was true (he emphasized the “it’s sterile so it’s ok” part) and I had no reason to not believe him. I don’t care for chocolate milk anyway (but I’m sure it is great for those who like it), so I had nothing to lose. That being said I have mentioned the story to others on numerous occasions until now. I think I’ll stop my part in the rumor mill!

    Thanks for sharing!

  12. Sandy
    October 14, 2013 at 7:20 pm (6 years ago)

    I was a lab tech at a cheese making plant. I was also a milk supplier for this plant for 10 years. You were talking about bloody milk as chocolate milk. It just isn’t going to happen. Each tank full of milk has a snap test done before it is put into the tanker truck. This tests for antibiotics also a cmt paddle test is done. Any mastitis would show on that. Cheese is a “live” product. and antibiotics would kill the enzymes used to make the cheese. Most dairies are cleaner then most houses. You are paid for quality and cleanliness as well as protein and quantity. We are proud of our products. So rest easy. We wouldn’t sell a product we wouldn’t consume ourselves.

  13. Theresa
    December 9, 2013 at 12:41 pm (6 years ago)

    It’s hard for me to believe there’s folks dumb enough to think that’s true. One of my favorite treats is our local Gustafsen farm dairy chocolate milk. It’s sooo thick and rich! It’s difficult to change ignorance when there’s college professors spreading lies with their authority though.

    Love the blog!

  14. Rebekah Ann Callen
    December 9, 2013 at 10:33 pm (6 years ago)

    I had to set a few friends straight this year at our county fair. I had never heard this rumor before, and was shocked that people would believe such a silly notion!

  15. Shannon D. Balthazor
    December 10, 2013 at 4:18 pm (6 years ago)

    Dairy Carrie, I am taking a bet on you so don’t let me down. Yours is the only website I have ever let onto my facebook page, exposing me to the big, scary internet as well as my true feelings about a topic near and dear to me. But I feel your voice must be heard as a counter voice to all the nasty rumors and fear mongering that has been popping up about was does and does not go on in the dairy industry and why. So far, your explanations and clarifications are accurate and informative, keep up the good work and don’t let me down! Shannon

  16. goodislove
    July 18, 2014 at 2:16 am (5 years ago)

    This is brilliant. I had never heard that before. Hoping I can find someone who actually believes that to talk with. This is really interesting.

  17. Samantha Lee
    August 21, 2014 at 3:57 am (5 years ago)

    Everyone knows chocolate milk comes from brown cows!

  18. Adam
    September 7, 2014 at 9:22 am (5 years ago)

    “The very first thing that puts this rumor to rest is that if a cow did have bloody milk for some reason, her milk would be dumped out and wouldn’t end up in the bulk tank with the milk from the other cows.”

    “There is no possible way that flavored milk could be made out of bloody milk because there is no way that milk would end up in a tank and there would be no way to sort bloody milk from the other milk.”

    These comments conflict with one another. First one says if there was blood it would be dumped, well that is separating it from the good whole milk.

    Second comment says there is no possible way to sort the bloody mild from the other milk, but you just said that if there is blood in the milk they would dump it.

    I know they use the bloody milk for chocolate milk, not every companies but for sure some. As long as that milk is boiled there is no harm what so ever and that is why the FDA allows it

    • dairycarrie
      September 17, 2014 at 3:54 pm (5 years ago)

      Adam, I think you missed the context of the post between the two parts you pulled out. The first quote refers to the practice of dumping poor quality milk during the milking process. The second quote in context with the rest of the post refers to having a different handling system (tank, truck processor) for poor quality milk. Go back and read the post again.

  19. Kate
    September 9, 2014 at 3:05 pm (5 years ago)

    Wow just wow, shows how far removed people are from agriculture and how things are done when it comes to the food we eat. I enjoy reading your posts, with all the negativity and anti ag organizations out there we need more people telling the truth about all aspects of agriculture. Thanks you

  20. e
    January 7, 2015 at 4:21 pm (5 years ago)

    A guy in my class told us today that chocolate milk was made from bleeding cows and that this site dairycarrie was his legitimate sourse.

  21. Cathy
    January 25, 2016 at 3:59 pm (4 years ago)

    I’ll never drink chocolate milk again

    • dairycarrie
      January 25, 2016 at 4:11 pm (4 years ago)

      Why is that?