The Milk

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.

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14 responses to “The Milk

  1. This is very useful information, and important to get out. As I understand the research suggests that Pasteurized and homogonized milk is responsible for intolerances, allergies, etc. People that have problems do not have problems with raw unaltered milk. Homogenization breaks the fat molecule into tiny sticky molecules that end up on the walls of arteries, where larger heavy molecules of fat (the cream on top) are normally digested with no stickiness. I have drunk raw milk since I was a babe and the risk is in the sick cow that is grain-fed(organic too), and overbred, possibly hormone induced and often on antibiotics for some recent disease outbreak. This doesn’t happen in small farms with the care and low farmer/animal ratios. Yep, that should cost more, and my health is worth it.

  2. sustainableeats

    Thanks Gil, I wish I had known about raw milk earlier! It’s so amazing and getting it through the milkshed is actually not much more than buying organic sterile milk from the store.

  3. I absolutely love your blog! I am a huge fan of raw milk, kefir, natural foods. . I believe everything you want to know about raw milk can be found at http://www.westonaprice.org/ . Also have you discovered the ‘Nourishing Traditions” cookbook by Sally Fallon? Amazing!

  4. sustainableeats

    Thanks Beth! I just ordered a copy and haven’t cracked it yet but I have learned quite a bit about some of it already through other blogs. I’ve started soaking the bread the night before and trying to eradicate all the plant based oils (except olive) that we have.

    We are 2 months into this and already more energy then I thought possible for someone on hardly any sleep with two small kids, early 40’s in the dead of winter LOL. I give the raw milk kefir credit for that – all those B vitamins I was lacking before.

    Are you around Seattle at all?

  5. I’m in Ohio. We have to go over to PA.,(only 1/2 hr. from us) to get our raw milk. Sales are against the law in Ohio.

  6. sustainableeats

    I have a friend in Kansas who drive out of state to get it too – amazing that it is contraband, isn’t it? It must really make you want to get a cow!

  7. Crossed my mind! But we are seriously considering a couple of dairy goats. 🙂

  8. sustainableeats

    VERY cool! I want a goat but it’s not really very practical for us in the middle of the city as we are. However, I finally talked my husband into chickens as soon as it warms up enough. Not quite as cool as a goat but I’ll take what I can get at this point!

  9. Woohoo! We are getting a dozen or so chickens in April. Finishing up the chicken house now. I am pumped! Lol!
    We live in the country, so we have the room. Just trying to be as considerate of the neighbors as we can and still be sustainable. We do have a few neighbors and friends who want to purchase our eggs when the girls begin laying.

  10. sustainableeats

    Will it be warm enough in April or do you need to have a heat lamp in there? Still designing ours and trying to make it as simple as possible since my dh will be doing most of the work. Dang wish I had taken woodshop in HS but I never thought THAT would come in handy LOL.

  11. We are getting pullets, so they should be fine in any cold we have left here. And there should be plenty of daylight to encourage laying by then.
    We have been picking the brains of everyone we have come across who raise chickens for the past year or two. Can’t wait to just settle in and do it! Lol!

  12. I am really happy to have found your blog, it’s great. I am trying to find kefir grains in the area, I live in Kirkland, does anyone have some to share or sell? I would really appreciate it.
    Susana

  13. sustainableeats

    Hi Susana,

    I have kefir grains and would love to share them with you, or I know of someone in Bellevue who gave me her starters. I am taking some to someone this morning and one other person tomorrow morning – why don’t you email me (annettecottrell{at}yahoo.com) and then I’ll have a better idea if I have enough left right away or if I need to wait a few weeks but I think I do. Talk soon!

  14. Pingback: Unprocessed « Methylgrace

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