Tag Archives: raw milk

Raw Milk

There’s an article on Salon about Raw Milk (warning: Nag ad click-thru needed) which should not be missed for those interested in said topic. There’s so much to talk about within the piece, that it would be impossible to cover it all in one post here.

Instead, I’m going to quote the item that caught my attention:

Meanwhile, the FDA has just announced that it’s safe to eat meat and drink milk from cloned animals. In such an Orwellian universe, where raw milk from cows that have two biological parents is considered dangerous, while pasteurized milk from cloned cows is safe.

I flip flop a fair amount on raw milk — I don’t believe it’s a drink that should be taken for granted. I have little doubt that the tasteless pasteurized milk is a safer product, especially if industrial dairies ever decided to get into the raw milk business.

Within the article, there’s a raw milk comparison to Sushi which I think is apt. A dairy farmer that has skills equivalent to those a Sushi chef, or heck, even a decent fish monger, would have enough experience to limit risk in the drinking of raw milk. Given proper attention to sanitary conditions, and respect for the cows and their environment and upbringing, I think a safe product could be brought to market. The amount of work and resources needed to create such a product would make it an expensive one, especially when taking the sort shelf life of the milk into account.

But in the real world, I don’t think the USDA or FDA would ever allow it. The primary influence upon food standards is what works best for industrial farms and dairies. And what works best for industrial farms is often counter-intuitive for the local small farms.

At any rate, there’s a fair amount of interesting bits in the piece. As a side note, this quote…

“Milk is big business. When you think milk, think Exxon.”

…is spot on. Or more to the point – Dean’s Dairy is to milk as Exxon is to Oil. In my opinion, they are THAT ruthless in their pursuit of profits.

Technorati Tags: Milk, Raw Milk


Why Does Industrial Dairy dislike Raw Milk?

What is it about raw milk that makes Big Dairy’s stomach turn?

What is it about? Money – Money disguised as health concerns.

First off, let’s be clear – there are health issues surrounding unpasteurized milk. The question I have us thus – if unpasteurized milk is treated with proper diligence (proper shelf life is kept, temperature kept below 40 fegrees F), is Raw milk any more dangerouse than eggs or shellfish? No one can seem to answer that.

But back to the money – Here’s why Raw milk is not considered a viable product for the industrial dairy industry.

  • The smaller the shelf life of any product, the more tenuous the profit margin of that product.
  • To ensure the safety of the milk, it would cost money to implement both processes and equipment.
  • It would cost money to add liability insurance to cover any health episode that might occur.

I could list several other reasons, but I think the point is made.

The next question I have is this – is it in industrial dairy’s interest to keep raw milk from becoming a viable alternative? Not at the moment. The raw milk movement is unorganized and fights many laws and perceptions that are both valid and invalid.

Via Megnut

Technorati Tags: milk, raw+milk, dairy


Washington Raw Milk Dairies

For you Washington State Residents out there looking for raw milk, a reference guide:

(Note: As this was published in 2005, many of these numbers are now out of date. Please refer to Google to a more recent number or point of contact).

Rainhaven Goat Dairy – Duvall (goat) Debbie Higgins (425) 788-7735

Garden Home Farm - Mt. Vernon (goat)

Conway Family Farms – Camas (goat) Shaun, Lorrie, Ashley & Amber Conway (360) 834-0315

Grace Harbor Farms – Custer (goat and cow) Tim & Grace Lukens (360) 366-4151

Our Lady of the Rock Monastery – Shaw Island (cow)

Estrella Family Dairy – Montesano (360-249-6541)

Firgrove Jersey Farm, Stan Holy 253-677-9106, 11719 242nd ave ct e, Buckley Wa

Sonshine Farmers, Lori Thornburg PO Box 645, Carson, WA 98610. Phone: (509) 427-5085. Website: www.sonshinefarmers.com. Goatshares available. 5B Farm, Gar & Luba Blackledge, Phone: (509) 235-8671. Raw milk from Milking Shorthorn and Jersey cows.

Rainhaven Grade A Goat Dairy is now licensed by WSDA to sell certified raw milk for human consumption. Farmer/cheesemaker: Debbie Higgins (425) 788-7735

Pine Springs Resort & Dairy Farm, 2471 Hwy 97 Satus Pass, Goldendale, WA 98620, Michael W. Vieira (509) 773-4434. goat milk

Sage Lake Farms, Snohomish County.

GardenHome Farm, Mt. Vernon -goat milk www.gardenhomefarm.com.

Preston: Greenbanks Farms Cheese, (425)222-5500.

Grace Acres Farm at 34714 50th Ave Roy, WA (360) 400-2793, www.graceacresfarm.com. dairy goats

Puget Sound Natural Markets Cooperative in Seattle area. http://www.pccnaturalmarkets.com/
. Raw Milk and Raw Goat milk.

Dungeness Valley Creamery, Sequim, WA . Jeff, Debbie, and daughter Sarah Brown family operate the farm. 1915 Towne Rd, Sequim WA 98382.(360) 683-0716.

The Lord’s Blessing, 38 Middle Valley, Skamokawa, Washington 98647, (360) 795-0823, Raw milk from grass-fed Milking Shorthorns.

Calverts Castle. Featuring a UdderWhey Farm Store.cow share dairy Judy Calvert, phone: (509) 244-3884

Goatberry Farm, Nick and Dana Dixon, Phone (509) 893-0671, Goat shares available

The Paladin Family Farm, 4398C, Deer Creek Rd, 99181; phone (509) 258-9178 or (509) 937-4048 . cow share dairy

Schleh of GardenHome Farm, a certified raw goat
dairy in Mount Vernon, WA. Phone number is 360-424-4112.

Technorati Tags: Food and Drink, Milk, Raw Milk, dairies


When Good Milk goes Bad

One of the many odd things that are occurring in this repudiation of corporate food products is that many people are questioning previously held beliefs and discovering that some foods *gasp* used to taste better.

The best example of the above comes from the raw milk crowd. As reported in this Arizona Republic article:

consumer demand is brisk. Nationally and in Arizona, people are breaking the law to get their hands on raw organic milk, claiming it is superior in health and taste to the pasteurized, homogenized milk found on the supermarket shelf. They swear it tastes like melted vanilla ice cream.

There’s also a perceived health benefit from drinking raw milk, as some claim that “the beverage as the cure for everything from allergies and asthma to eczema and cancer”.

Most of these claims are most likely bogus, as there’s been no definitive test of raw milk against the above. Any claim of the health benefits of raw milk should be looked upon with great suspicion.

But there is the question of taste. Having tasted raw milk recently, both goat and cow, I can say that there is an obvious difference of taste between pasteurized and unpasteurized, my preference being for the latter.

So if we can rule out health benefits, the issue of raw milk comes down to the following two questions:

  1. How dangerous is it?
  2. Is the taste of raw milk worth the risk?

The issue with the first question is that no one can offer an unbiased, scientific report on raw milk. Without a clear answer to the first question, it makes it impossible to answer the second.

Of course there’s the government’s point of view. Here in Washington State, they require all raw milk sold commercially to have the farm where the milk is produced licensed through the state, and require monthly testing of the milk and inspection of the farm and milk bottling room.

Also, each bottle must contain a warning label stating “WARNING: This product has not been pasteurized and may contain harmful bacteria. Pregnant women, children, the elderly, and persons with lowered resistance to disease have the highest risk of harm from use of this product.”

About that warning label: It should be noted that pregnant women, children, the elderly, and persons with lowered resistance to disease also have a risk of disease from eggs, sushi, sage, and rare meat, and yet these products do not need to such warnings…yet.

Of course, people will say that raw milk has an increased risk of carrying salmonella and E. Coli. Yet so do bean sprouts and bags of lettuce. But is the risk more or less when compared against these products? All we get are shrugs and “I dunno’s”.

And the federal government? It’s difficult to take anything they say with great seriousness when they’re so compromised by their ties to Dean Dairy and the Dairy Lobby — who have a great stake in ensuring small farmers do not take away their customers.

What I would like to see is an honest debate where the following questions are answered:

  • How safe is Raw Milk?
  • Can the risks of raw milk be mitigated by the sanitary operations of the respective dairy?
  • If the risks can be mitigated by sanitary operations, how safe will raw milk be in comparison to pasteurized milk?
  • Is raw milk more or less dangerous than eggs, sushi, sage, rare meat, bean sprouts or bags of lettuce?

My suspicion is that a lot of the above will never be answered. That being said, I do plan on drinking raw milk in the future. But then, I thrive on taking risks. Even if it means that I’ll have to deal with Johnny Law on occasion

Technorati Tags: Food and Drink, Milk, Raw Milk


Tasting Notes: Raw Goats Milk

To those of you who are new to the site, Tasting Notes are my own reference notes. They are meant more for my future use and even my own edification than most of my other posts. Some people like these entries, others pass ‘em by. Feel free to do either.

For those not hip to the lingo, raw milk is unpasteurized, unhomogonized milk. It lends itself to a greater risk of bacteria and the like, but you get the taste of the milk back. Finding raw milk is damn near impossible unless your willing to head out to the farms on a regular basis.

Since I even get nervous when someone simply mentions the word “outdoors”, I have to wait until raw milk makes it to the stores I frequent. Last night, I was able to locate some goats milk at “The Creamery” at Pike Place Market. They are also taking orders for raw cows milk, if your so inclined. The bottle of milk (supplied by the fine folks at Rain Haven Farms) even comes with a warning label, letting us know that if we’re young, old, or pregnant, we should be careful. Thank you for your concern USDA!

Eyes: Not surprisingly, the milk looks like…well, milk. The only difference I can tell from the store bought moo juice is that when youswirl the glass, more milk hangs on the side of the glass.

Nose: Again, aside from the dairy/milk smell, there’s a bit more hiding underneath the aroma. It’s a tiny bit acrid, but not obviously so.

taste: I don’t think milk is for sipping, so I took a big ol’ swig of the stuff. The flavor I taste, aside from the silky milk taste that we’re all familiar with, is new to me in milk. The only other times I have tasted it before is in raw milk cheeses, but it’s not a “cheesey” taste. It’s akin to a “hay” type of taste, with a little kick of bitterness at the end, but not unpleasantly so. Some could mistake it for “sour”, but that description gives an incorrect connotation of state of the milk. It’s a fuller flavor for a milk, and it’s quite pleasant.

Overall: Milk with flavor! What an amazing concept! Here’s hoping it doesn’t kill me.