Thursday, February 19, 2009

You Don't have to buy the cow

In my opinion, organic milk is a must. It’s a basic and whether your kids drink it by the gallon or you only cook with it, find a healthy version.

That said, this is a toughie to do yourself. Not that we didn’t consider a dairy cow (for about 10 seconds). Milk has been made in to a bad guy with all the press about added hormones and antibiotics, so there are lots of companies now making organic versions. I have high hopes that as the competition increases, the price will come down. In the beginning I bought our organic milk at the grocery store, but I was troubled by the ultra pasteurization. It didn’t seem right that milk would keep for 3 months. That just couldn’t be healthy. After reading more about how ultra pasteurization kills not only bad bacteria, but all the good bacteria and enzymes, I began a quest to find an alternative.

Raw milk was very controversial, but since it is monitored and sold in my state, I decided we should try it. I’m not a big milk drinker. I love my yogurt, cheese, and ice cream, but plain old milk is not my thing. A couple of my kids are milk drinkers though and they were alarmed when I brought home raw milk. They liked the glass containers (claiming it keeps the milk colder), but they just couldn’t get past having to shake their milk before they drank it. We tried to make a go of it, even straining out the chunks, but it just didn’t work out. They became more and more resistant and at double the price of regular milk, I wasn’t ready to die on that hill.

I continued my search and soon found an Amish stand that sold milk made locally from grass fed cows. These cows are given no growth hormones or unnecessary antibiotics. They don’t have the green and white circle, but they are as close as you can come. The milk is sold in bottles that I rinse and return each week and it is a few cents cheaper than the organic milk at the grocery store. I had my answer! Everyone in my family agrees it tastes better and I’m at peace with the idea of local, happy pastured cows producing milk for us. I’m supporting my neighbors and offering my family a healthy food. I’m still paying more than regular milk, but less than organic. It works for us.

Each week I head to the Amish market with my empties and get my fresh milk. I’ve read that there are milk delivery services starting up in some cities. If we lived in a major metropolitan area, I’d search online. When I was a kid we got our milk delivered in a metal box that sat on our front porch. Funny, how progress sometimes leads us right back to where we started.

1 comment:

  1. I grew up on raw whole milk - as did all of my sisters and brothers - we lived on a dairy farm in upstate NY. I credit some of my healthy bones and teeth to that early healthy milk. I am adamant about organic milk and will trade off on other organic products in order to afford it.

    PS -Thanks for starting this blog, Cara.
    I don't have kids but this is a must read.