Tuesday, January 8, 2013

REAL® Seal

When I was in high school, I remember my mom sending me to the store to buy some whipped cream for a holiday dessert.  She said, "Be sure and buy some with the REAL® Seal.  Dad accidentally bought something that wasn't even a real dairy product."  The emphasis is mine.  Believe it or not, I asked my parents about this and neither of them remembered it.  I didn't expect them to - it could hardly be more trivial - but it stuck in my mind.  I must have known that someday I'd be blogging about it ...
I'd never noticed the REAL® Seal before.  This was new to me.  (I didn't do a lot of grocery shopping in high school.  Or college.  Or really, until I had three children depending on me to feed them.) 
Last year, National Milk Producers Federation took over management of the REAL® Seal program.  They wanted to revitalize the program because not only did sellers want to use it on their packaging, but they found 93% of consumers recognized it.  (I'd be part of the 93% post-high school, anyway!)
In October, Jerry Kozak, President and CEO of NMPF, said, "Imitation products made from vegetables and nuts, but packaged like real dairy products and often using dairy names, have proliferated in the last few years.  For example, frozen desserts made out of soybeans are packaged the same as real ice cream made from cows’ milk, with pictures that make it look like real ice cream. The only way a consumer would know the product isn’t ice cream is by reading the ingredients label.”
In 2012, frozen pizza was, he said, "essentially" the only processed food that used the REAL® Seal.  
Now it's 2013.  There's a site, www.realseal.com, there's a campaign, and I notice a difference! 
I bought butter last week.  At Wal-Mart, the packaging has dramatically changed.  From plain white to pictures of cows and the REAL® Seal.  Kroger - huge friend to our co-op - added the REAL® Seal, too.  (I didn't buy butter from two grocery stores to take this picture.  I did it because I buy from both stores, I forgot I already bought some for my Christmas baking, and I don't churn my own, haha.)
See if you notice the REAL® Seal on your packaging.  Maybe it'll save you from having to make a second trip.
They're still bringing more clay for the lagoon.  Truckloads and truckloads.  My son loves watching them dump it.   
They finished the agitation ramp.  It's the ramp that the manure pump will roll down. 
Here it is with Kris to show the size:
All of this - a part of dairy farming you don't normally see. Real cows, real construction, real manure to store, agitate, pump, and fertilize with.  There's a lot that goes into that REAL® Seal. 

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