Wednesday, April 8, 2009
This is a picture I took one morning of our breakfast. The eggs, bacon, sausage, and milk were all our own, grown and produced right here on the farm.
Raw milk is always hotly debated. Raw milk is basically milk straight from the cow, completely unadulterated. It hasn't been pastuerized or homogenized. It is vitamin and mineral rich and raw milk from cows grazing green grass is also a good source of essential fatty acids, CLA's, beneficial bacteria like probiotics plus loads of active enzymes. Many people who are lactose intolerant find they can drink raw milk.
It makes sense to me, you want to eat food that is as close to its natural state, with as little processing as possible. That is no secret, so why should milk be any different?
There are some cautions, however. Milk that is produced in large confinement dairies for instance probably shouldn't be consumed raw. There are different standards in place for milk that is to be pasteurized, lower standards, and raw milk, higher standards to adhere to. In general large dairies are supplying milk to processors who are going to pasteurize and homogenize. Organic Pastures in California is perhaps the largest raw milk dairy and have excellent quality milk.
Raw milk tastes better too. If you've never had it before, at first it will seem so rich and earthy. You never knew milk tasted so complex and delicious! The flavor can change daily according to what species of plants the cows grazed that day. It certainly changes with the seasons. If you are lucky enough to find raw milk from pastured Jersey cows you are in for a real treat. If not homogenized a thick layer of rich cream rises to the top and can be skimmed off for your coffee, or to make butter, or just stir it back in and enjoy your whole milk.
There is an article at www.chelseagreen.com titled " After Illicit Drugs, Raw Milk is the most briskly traded illegal commodity" you can read about it here.
It is illegal in 42 states but luckily not so here in Maine. You can purchase raw milk from us and others in Maine, on the farm and at Farmer's Markets and even in retail stores from those of us who are licensed to sell raw milk.