Raw milk

A long time blog reader commented on Facebook the other day, “Wait, I thought you didn’t drink milk?”


Touché!

I used to be totally anti-milk.

So, I can admit when I was wrong.  But here is where I was coming from…

As I understand it, the enzyme we need to properly digest milk is gone by the time we are four years old.  (That makes sense).  Because of this dairy ends up creating excess mucus in the body.  This is why I NEVER… EVER switched from the breast to a bottle of milk for my kids.  Some swear by it… I do not.  And I believe this is why I have been able to avoid a childhood full of ear infections and goober coughs for my children.  With five kids and nine and half years of motherhood I have had to deal with two mild ear infections.  Praise the Lord.

Back in the day I was an advocate of soy milk.

Oops… too much estrogen.

Then I switched to rice milk… ooops… too much Carageenan.

Then when I was pregnant this last time I was crazy for milk.  I just enjoyed the taste of it so much but as I learned about Pasteurization and it’s effects on male muscle tissue (learn more here) I became once again discouraged and I began to hunt for a raw, organic milk farmer in the area.  It was a challenge.  It’s something not everyone wants to openly discuss even though it is legal in this state.  “They” watch the farmers like a hawk and rumor has it, it’s only going to get worse.

Vintage French Milk Bottle

BTW… You can find milk bottles like mine and this to-die-for blue and white one here.

I am surrounded by dairy farmers living steps from Wisconsin – couldn’t I just knock on their door and drink any old raw milk?

Not a chance.  For me it would be better to live dairy free than consume traditional dairy sold at the grocery store down the road or even from the conventional farmer across the way.  This milk (and subsequently butters and cheeses made from this milk) comes from cows injected with bovine growth hormones.  rBST or rBGH.  Both encourage the cow’s body to make… LOTS OF MILK and bovine growth hormones are connected to breast and prostate cancers in humans.  If you think we can feed this to our children with no side effects I ask you to think again.  Research the surge in early puberty for example.  (BTW, these hormones are ILLEGAL in over 27 other countries!)  Not to mention these cows are fed genetically modified feed, crammed into barns and forced into heavy milk production which leads to udder infections… like puss in your milk people.  Gross.  I’m serious.  Cow boob infection puss in your milk.

Yes, I know it’s called an udder.

These are the cows that provide us with three gallons of milk a week.  Aren’t they gorgeous?  Someday I will have my own.

Grass fed cows milk

Am I pragmatic?

You bet.

When you eat organically but on a budget pragmatism reigns supreme.

Grass fed cows milk

Raw organic milk

I don’t have the budget to purchase enough milk to make all my own dairy products so here is my list in order of importance when it comes to milk…

#1 Raw, local, organic milk (though USDA certification is not something I am impressed with.  I know my farmer, I’ve seen how she runs things)

#2 If I buy dairy products at the store and I can afford them –  I buy organic.

#3 If I CAN NOT buy organic then I insist on my dairy products being growth hormone free.  (I DON’T shop at Whole Foods… I’m not talking about spending a fortune.  For example, I believe Dean’s dairy farmers do not use growth hormones).

That’s about as complicated as it gets.  I know there are TONS of health reasons for consuming raw milk but it’s pretty simple for me.  As with anything I eat I am interested in consuming milk in it’s purest state and from a source as close to my home as I can find.

Now that we’ve dispensed with that – let’s get to our home dairy course… and no, you don’t need to use raw milk.

Let’s see your milk moustache!

Parisienne Farmgirl

 

Beginner Cheese Making