Friday, July 30, 2010

Raw Milk Moooooves Me.

Since I seem to be on a roll, I thought I'd add my two cents to the blogosphere on the subject of raw milk.  I have done a lot of reading on this subject, and I have had some very 'interesting' discussions about it.  Personally, I am a big fan and I drink raw milk.  I'm sure that some of the impetus that got me going in that direction - besides the superior taste and health benefits - is that, once a hippie, always a hippie.  By that I mean that I still bristle at what I feel is too much government regulation of my life and likes.  Some of those 'likes' are long gone, but I am still very much interested in small farms/farmers, natural health care, organic/naturally grown good food, and supporting anything that will bring us back to some sense of peace and natural order.  I am very lucky to live in a very small town, in a very rural area.  My friends and neighbors are small dairy farmers, organic vegetable farmers, raisers of pasture-fed poultry and beef.  Most of my friends now have bees, good-sized gardens, and are good friends to their communities.  I have a sweet Jersey heifer named Jasmine, who is due to freshen sometime in February.  When she does, I will have a sumptuous supply of rich, creamy Jersey milk with which to make cheese, butter, yogurt -- the possibilities are endless!  Until she freshens, I barter for milk with the farmer who is housing her for me.  I help at the farm, give them eggs, bake something for the barn every Sunday morning. 
     As with all things controversial, I am a firm believer in every person's right to choose what is best for them.  I listened to a recent news 'blip' on NPR recently, where they discussed -- well, discussion is not what the radio offers any longer -- let's just say that they presented two, short, unsurprising viewpoints from two unsurprising sources.  Neither did the subject justice.  On the Pro side, there was a new-agey mother who gallops off to the local dairy (in another state) with her two-year-old to buy raw milk for his snack.  She is outraged that she can buy fast food around every corner and not find raw milk in her neighborhood.  She does not explain in any detail why she feels she needs to drink raw milk.  As a matter of fact, she doesn't indicate whether she drinks it herself.  On the Anti side, they dusted off a government official who said what all government officials say - "we are protecting you from yourself; we know what's best; you will get sick and may die if you drink raw milk."  I was very disappointed that NPR did not take the opportunity to illuminate more of the benefits with someone knowledgeable on the topic, while finding someone who could make a more compelling argument for why one shouldn't drink it.  (Hippie me speaking here again.)
     I ordered The Untold Story of Milk by Ron Schmid from the library, as I read a review by Joann Grohman, written in her unmistakably intelligent and well-informed manner, and it piqued my interest.  It is a very compelling read.  If you are interested in the subject, I would suggest you read this book, as well as any one of Mrs. Grohman's articles on the subject.  You can find her web site here:  She is the poster woman for a raw milk diet.  In her early 80s, she writes and commentates on a variety of subjects, while milking her own Jersey cow twice a day, every day, in every kind of weather.  She has, if you will, written THE book on milk cows and raw milk.  For anyone seriously considering adding raw milk to their diet, I would say this -- make sure you are informed.  Doing your due diligence, using common sense and making informed decisions will keep you in good stead.  I know my farmer's cows, I have watched him milk them, he and his father and his grandfather before him have raised their families on their own raw milk.  That's good enough for me.


Mama Pea said...

Just another vote for the benefits of drinking raw milk. Or perhaps it's more a vote against the detrimental aspects of drinking the other stuff that has been so artificially modified and changed that it's not even milk anymore.

Erin said...

Most of the dairymen we know in the central valley of CA drink raw milk straight from their tank. They milk thousands of cows daily, that live in confinement facilities (aka not very clean), and raise their families on the milk. If I had to guess I'd say it's not nearly as clean as smaller dairies, and they're still just fine health-wise. There's a place for pasteurization, but it should be the consumers choice which they buy.

Susan said...

Erin and Mama Pea, I absolutely agree. I, personally, am of the opinion that all the hyper-clean rigmarole that goes on in most households with most children, leaves us more susceptible to every bug that comes along by stripping out our natural immune system. There are lots of good bugs in our guts and when they are eliminated, it causes no end of havoc.

sheeps and me said...

Just want to let you all know that I have been drinking raw milk for many years and guess what?????? I'm still alive. I wish the government would just keep their nose out of our lives.

Susan said...

Sheeps and me, amen to that. Living in NY is a real challenge - the incompetent rule and regulate everything you touch taste and breathe.