It used to be milk! Since the mid 1900’s and the days of Grade B dairy’s, things progressed in the normal American downward spiral. A product is discovered to be a potential candidate for optimal wealth for those who can get their hands around it and guide it through some narrow parameters for safekeeping distribution methods. As capital increases, mega sales and mass distribution are key elements to grow the numbers needed for the idea. Control through efficiency and politics are always the main sources for Capitalist and Politicians to rally the movement.
Perishable products are always the most subject to contamination of their original, intended source and intention. Some foods store well without deteriorating. Milk is not one of those unless turned into a form that enhances its properties, such as cheese.
I remember the days of getting up early to milk the cows on our home farm in Virginia. A wonderful time for us growing up along the Appomattox river (google helped me spell that right!), swimming on the hot days after a load of hay was unloaded. For my family, the farm consisted of around 100 Holsteins, with a few of them pets. We were a typical dairy farm, before the mega dairies of today, with all of us joining in with the chores and farm work of tilling, planting, irrigation, and harvesting. My dad is still known for his good farming methods, and for the most part, has led the pack in a quiet way with conservation on his farm. Erosion is unacceptable to him and it always disappointed him when other farmers soil and animal waste washed down the creek that ran through our farm. His response to fellow farmers complaints of government invasion was to come up with your own rules of conservation and stay ahead of the problems rather than being sloppy and bringing the problem on ourselves.
The pasteurization of milk came in the mid 1900’s and was supposed to take care of some of the disease epidemics caused by pathogens. During this time, dairy farms were expanding while cement flooring and stainless steel pipelines were still undeveloped so cow hygiene and animal care in general was deficient in terms of germ breeding grounds. Stainless steel pipeline with direct flow into the cooling tank was still future so bacteria contamination was possible in a poorly cared for environment. Pasteurization became a huge advantage when shelf life was greatly prolonged with pasteurized versus raw milk. Homogenization of milk was also a barrier to the competition of cream content. As dairies increased their production and met sales demands, bottling facilities became opportunities to collaborate milk from multiple dairy farms and bottle it under one brand. This method of milk distribution with a premium on pasteurization and homogenization became the normal method for supplying high populations. Couple that idea with the political marriage of big business and big government and you have a real haven for the FDA.
By now, more and more people are becoming aware of the huge quality difference between pasteurized and raw milk. Many older people still remember that their parents purchased milk from a local dairy farm for their family. Children growing up and moving off the farm had to adjust to buying milk in the store. Many doctors, especially heart doctors discourage dairy products for their patients. Perhaps a direct result of this quality difference, although unknown to many, including the doctor. A very unfortunate situation!
Just what are the differences? Why raw milk? Probiotics are a key ingredient in milk. Pasteurization destroys probiotics. Milk contains many beneficial bacteria that inhibit the growth of many food borne pathogens. FDA refutes this as a possible solution to possible contamination. Big government needs big numbers and regulation that cover the entire scope of the industry, in this case, milk. When a method of process becomes the standard of the industry to inhibit or correct wrong practices and concepts, it adulterates and denatures the industry, limiting and crippling its ability to function as nature should. We call that a problematic solution that perverts the concept of the product in focus, in this case milk. The dairy industry is denatured to the point that we now have to use the term “raw” milk to specify what we are talking about. Just saying “milk” is not a complete enough term. Imagine that in vegetables. We are going to pick raw tomatoes out of the garden. We have raw potatoes on our grocery shopping list. We will stop at the farmers market this weekend and buy some raw onions. Doesn’t sound right, does it?
Pasteurized milk will rot instead of turning sour naturally like raw milk does. Milk, in its natural form is a raw product (uncooked) and the probiotics (beneficial bacteria) are good for the human body. Pasteurization destroys the good properties in raw milk, reducing vitamins such as B12, B6, probiotics, and damages fragile milk proteins and enzymes. Raw milk contains the enzyme phosphatase that helps in the absorption of calcium, and raw whole milk from pasture fed cows is also known to contain increased amounts of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and omega-6 fatty acid over cows fed large amounts of grain. CLA is thought to provide some anticancer benefits.
Here at Rosey Ridge Farm the cows are Jersey and Jersey cross and a few Brown Swiss. These breeds are much better at producing rich, high cream content milk. They are pasturized instead of the milk. :) They are pastured on green grass grown without chemicals and pesticides. It’s a great way to live with knowing the cows have a healthy diet and this translates directly into good milk. Raw milk produced this way is healthy.
One of our customers sent me an email with her testimony. I’ve quoted it below:
“At the end of my pregnancy I drank lots of milk as a labor prep (I used to take liquid calcium in past pregnancies but thought I'd try real food instead this time around. A midwife told me that if a mama is deficient in calcium she has more pain in childbirth and more severe after-pains). I drank over 1/2 a gallon of milk a day because that's what I craved! I still am drinking that much and I attribute my great labor, delivery and recovery mostly to the goodness of the milk. It is so delicious and thanks again for a fabulous product.”