Cholov Yisrael Milk
I live in rural Montana where the Cholov Yisrael milk is difficult to obtain and very expensive. So I drink regular milk. What is your view on this?
The Aish Rabbi Replies:
Jewish law requires that there be rabbinic supervision during the milking process to ensure that the milk comes from a kosher animal. In the United States, many people rely on the Department of Agriculture's regulations and controls as sufficiently stringent to fulfill the rabbinic requirement for supervision. Many people, however, do not rely on this, and will only eat dairy products that are designated as Cholov Yisrael (literally, "Jewish milk").
The main reason for requiring Cholov Yisrael is to make sure that no non-kosher milk is mixed in. For this, it is enough to be certified as genuine cow's milk. That is why you will see many products in America with a 'D' next to the kosher symbol, as even though the milk was not watched by a Jew, it can be assumed to be kosher.
Rabbi Moshe Feinstein wrote that under very limited conditions, like an institution which consumes a lot of milk and Cholov Yisrael is generally unavailable or especially expensive, American milk is good enough, as the government supervision is adequate to prevent non-kosher ingredients from being added.
All other dairy products like cheeses and butter, which may have non-kosher ingredients added, always need kosher certification.
There are additional esoteric reasons, and because of this it is advisable to try and use only Cholov Yisroel dairy foods.