When my first son was born I discovered the joys of organic produce and milk home delivery (aka not having to schlepp a ton of weight home from the store.) We’ve been having Smith Brothers deliver our milk for years now, moving to their organic milk when it finally became available.
But then one night of research lead me to consider switching to raw milk. Close your mouth – yes I said raw milk. It makes total sense to me. If heat destroys the nutrients in fruits, vegetables and grains why in the world wouldn’t it destroy the nutients in milk? Haven’t you been asking yourself how the country with the highest rates of calcium supplementation and a huge thirst for the food source of another mammal’s offspring can still have one of the highest incidences of osteoperosis? And those rates are rising, both in supplementation and disease?
Clearly something is broken in the milk chain. It could be that we drink too much soda, coffee and tea and those things are leaching calcium from our bones. It could be that we don’t eat nutrient-dense food any more since everything is grown now for appearance and shelf life. And if could be that nutrients in your milk were destroyed before it ever even made it into that cardboard box and was trucked to your store, only to sit on their shelf for a month and in your refrigerator for another month.
There are stores that sell raw milk in Seattle, although they are probably all PCC markets. With two small kids guzzling milk faster than a ’57 Chevy guzzles gas I could see that wasn’t going to fit in with our new food budget. You see, I convinced my husband that it would cost us less to eat sustainable, seasonal, local food then it was costing us to buy the junk I was buying. It wasn’t really junk but now that I’ve gone farm-fresh old organic is new junk if you follow me.
So I found the Kenmore Milkshed. There I am able to buy (at wholesale prices mind you) fresh raw milk from Dungeness Valley Creamery in Sequim as well as fresh raw goat’s milk from St. John’s Creamery in Everett. They also have many other small perks that make the minor monthly membership fee totally worth it.
We’ve been drinking raw milk since the second week of January. I know it’s only been a few weeks but it feels like forever. There is no comparison to the sterile tasting milk you buy at the grocery store. The milk is creamy, fresh and lovely. I find myself craving full glasses of milk like I have not done since my high school track days.
I use the milk for drinking, of course, but I also use it to make our kefir and yogurt. You can find instructions for making those two simple things in the book http://www.cheesemaking.com/ by Ricki Carrol. I have plans to make cheese with both the cow’s milk and goat’s milk which I will write later postings on. My first attempt at the 30 mozzarella did not come out so good so I’m planning to try it again and try the other mozarella recipe as well.
There is a great kefir forum you can find at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Kefir_making/. There you will find tons of ideas, directions, background, and a lively forum of very knowledgable folks who love to share their grains with you. You can also email me for free grains in Seattle – they grow very rapidly.
You can easily make your own yogurt using a few tablespoons of store bought yogurt as a starter. Just be sure to buy yogurt with live active cultures. There are directions all over the internet, or they are also in the Home Cheese Making book.
If you still feel uneasy trying raw milk after reading about it on http://www.realmilk.com/what.html then please try to find some pasteurized milk that has not been homogonized. Any dairy farmer who has gone to the extent to sell milk in that manner will at least have great milk.
Someday I will have a cow and a goat but for now I have the Kenmore Milkshed.