Written By: Ellie Wilson, MS, RDN Senior Nutritionist One of the great aspects of my job here at Price Chopper is being able to participate in the growing efforts of food companies reaching out to dietitians so they can share information about their mission, quality and health of their products. As we all become more interested in nutrition and food origins (yay!), helping to bring their stories to our shoppers is a great opportunity to share love of food and health. So, in late May, with community dietitian Christa Valentine, I drove up to meet with a group of supermarket dietitians from the Northeast, and our gracious hostess, Sara Wing, RD, Director of Health and Community Programs for Cabot. We began with a tour of the Cabot Creamery in Cabot, VT. This is the original site of the cooperative that was started there in 1919 by 94 farmers. They produced more milk than they could handle and wanted to make butter and ship it south to more urban areas. The cost to join? Five dollars per cow, and a cord of wood to fuel the boiler. In 1930, they started to make cheese. Our group got the “insider” tour of the original building, the Cabot town creamery, built in 1893 and modernized over the years. It is so sustainable that after they make the cheese and process the whey, they can actually rescue the water and purify it, then clean the pipes in the plant. Talk about being really green in Vermont! With their holistic attention to detail and process, they create wonderful varieties of cheese. As a dietitian, I really like the light cheeses, some of the very few in the market that bring together lower fat with melt-ability, (is that a real word?), which helps ensure people who are managing a health concern that requires attention to fat content, have viable, tasty and enjoyable choices. Cheese is gluten free naturally, and harder cheeses are naturally lactose free as well. We then had a cheese grading class with their cheese grader, native VT born and dairy-farm raised Craig Gile, and I fell into deep like with a variety I had not had before, Alpine Cheddar from their Farmers Legacy line. Swiss-Parmesan-cheddar-delicious-versatile-and hide in my purse-able. (I didn’t hide it really, I asked before I adopted the bar we passed around to review the packaging. Really.) We then wound our way through the Vermont hills to the Richardson Family Farm in Woodstock, VT. This fourth generation family farm was named Vermont Dairy Farm of the Year for producing high quality milk from their beautiful, doe-eyed Jersey cows. Jersey cows produce milk with a very high butterfat content. They graciously shared their farm with us, as well as coffee and a lovely apple crisp, and answered our questions about how they care for their “girls”. Children are part of the family team, too! Best of all, they are staunch Price Chopper shoppers, sharing back with me how much they like their local store (shout out to #123 Barre, VT!), which brings me full circle. This was a really relevant experience and helped me increase my knowledge about the quality and range of dairy items Cabot produces (cheese, butter, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, whey, and more.) I hope you explore their great products, found in our dairy and specialty cheese cases at your local Price Chopper. Tell us your favorite flavor of Cabot cheese for the chance to win a Cabot Farmers Legacy Cheddar gift pack! Leave your comment below to be entered and we’ll select one winner on Monday, June 30th!