Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Switch to Raw Milk

Today we bought a share of cattle from River Cottage Farm. Because we are now owners of a cow, we get one gallon of raw milk a week. We have gone back and forth for the past couple of weeks about what dairy we as a family are going to include in our diet. The Paleo diet does not include dairy, but after a lot of research we were confident that if we were going to drink milk (which we decided we were going to do, with me eating and drinking dairy only occasionally for now) we needed the dairy to come from grass fed cows. One very important aspect of this diet is we don’t need to eat or drink anything that ingests grains in an unnatural way. Cows are not supposed to eat grain, so we don’t need to eat or drink from cows that eat grain.
We were going to go with raw milk from a local farm, but after learning they give their cattle some grain and getting some cautious advice from a friend we decided against it. Not feeling comfortable with the store-bought options because it is very difficult to find milk from grass-fed cows, we decided to buy a half-gallon of low temperature pasteurized, non-homogenized milk from another local farmer. They too give their cattle some grain, so we weren’t feeling too confident with that choice either. I had just about given up hope and thought we were going to have to give up milk altogether, when I learned about River Cottage Farm. They have grass-fed cows and lambs. They also raise and sell pastured chickens (and eggs), pigs, rabbits, and turkeys. After going out to their farm and talking with them about grass-fed raw milk, we decided it was the right move for us. Sure we know there are risks (which mostly occur when grain is involved) and we know it’s definitely not the norm, but knowing that the cows that provide our milk are antibiotic free, hormone free, grass-fed, and well loved makes us happy to own a share. Oh, and if you have never tried raw milk, it is absolutely delicious!

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