… but if you took it away from me, I’d be pissed.
My Experience With Raw Milk
I don’t drink raw milk. I used to think all those raw milk people were crazy. This past spring I started getting raw milk locally, just to try it out. Now I use raw milk for making my yogurt and I can’t go back! If someone took away my raw milk, I would be the one going crazy!
Maybe it’s the fact that I’m so used to cooking everything from scratch, I want the raw ingredients to make my food with. Yogurt from store-bought pasteurized milk is just not the same. It’s amazing how much more cream you get separated in fresh raw milk as opposed to store-bought pasteurized “whole milk”. Even if you can find unhomogenized, organic, pastured milk at the store, I guarantee you it will not give the same results as raw milk.
I’m not even making raw yogurt, but instead pasteurizing the milk myself by gently heating it on the stove and then making yogurt from it. The fact that this produces a different product than what I can get in the store is proof enough to me that the industrial pasteurization process is altering our milk in an undesirable way. And I have access to good quality pasteurized milk from cows grazing on pasture, not given antibiotics or hormones, fresh from farms in Ontario. Now that I have raw milk, that pasteurized milk is just not going to cut it.
I have to think, what would people do if all eggs had to be sold already cooked? Since there’s a salmonella risk, we shouldn’t allow people to buy them raw right? We all know that most people cook their eggs and handle them properly. But, some people do eat raw eggs. Why don’t we pasteurize all eggs just so those people don’t accidentally get sick? That’s the current stance regarding milk. Since the general public can’t be trusted with raw milk, let’s not allow it.
Oh, wait, we’re already pasteurizing eggs… We’ve already pasteurized almonds too. What’s next, spinach? Yes, even vegans (including raw vegans) need to pay attention to what is happening with raw milk. Because when they’re done with raw milk, they’ll move on to eggs. And when they’re done with eggs, they’ll move on to vegetables, which have been implicated in far more cases of food borne illness than milk.
Raw Milk Issue
In my hometown I can only get raw milk if I sign up for a cow-share. I pay up front for a share of the cow, and then I pay a fee per liter to cover handling and distribution costs. Raw milk is not sold in stores here and I’m ok with that. Now, for cheeses that are ripened at least 21 days it is legal to sell them in stores. Proper cheese-making practices ensure the safety of those raw products.
I like getting my milk directly from a farmer that I know is raising his animals properly. I know how to handle the raw milk, am educated about the risks (and health benefits) of raw milk, and can make the decision for myself if this is something I want to consume. People who don’t know or care about raw milk are still buying pasteurized milk from the store. They’re safe, and I have accepted the “risks”. So why can’t this model be allowed everywhere? If someone is willing to go to a farm to buy their product, they should be allowed to buy it raw.
Raw milk is not legal in Canada and in most of the US. Farms are being raided and shut down for distributing such a harmful substance. Small family farms are being left without their inventory or any ways to support themselves, yet face huge legal bills if they want to fight for their right to sell raw milk and raw milk products that consumers are asking for.
Family Farms At Risk
At the conference, the Estrella Family Creamery told us their story about having their raw cheeses seized just within the week prior. This was in addition to Morningland Dairy having their cheese seized just two weeks before. Both farms were at risk of being ordered to destroy their entire inventory. What’s can we do to help? Let’s save those farms.
You can read more about both farm raids here: Save Morningland Dairy!
Let’s invest in these farms, so that we will have access to the food we want to eat. Let’s save these farms so that our children will have access to the food they want to eat.
Donate to Estrella Family Creamery
Donate to Morningland Dairy
You can also sign up for the Farm Raid Fund email updates. Anytime a farm is raided and in need of help you’ll be notified by email.
Cow Share Canada
For those in Canada who are concerned about the raw milk issue here, make sure to keep up-to-date on Michael Schmidt and the Cow Share Canada activities.
Another reason I haven’t posted much on raw milk? I can’t share any details about where I get it from, how the farmers run their operations, or show any pictures of the farms, for fear they will be targeted. I have it good in Ottawa with plenty of sources of different kinds of raw milk. Now we just have to figure out how to ensure the future of these farms.
Check out the other posts about the farm raids linked up at Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Save Farm Freedom Friday
Great post Kat. Hope it’s ok with you that I excerpted it for The Bovine!
@the bovine Absolutely! Thanks for sharing. I’ve been following The Bovine for a while, especially for updates on Michael Schmidt’s work.
Hey, Kat! I saw a comment from you over at another food blog. We’re close friends with the Estrellas and have been working to help them out. If you want to get more closely involved with helping them out, please get in contact with me. I’m sure that we can use your help.
This is interesting. My local grocery store has raw milk, but I’ve never tried it. Maybe I will get some to make yogurt next weekend. When I was growing up we used to get raw milk when we traveled to the tiny little town my dad grew up in. They had a lot of local farmers who sold raw milk. I remember my mom and I even scraped the cream off and made butter once.
Do you stir in the cream at the top in to make your yogurt, or do you separate it? My dad like to shake the container so the cream would mix back in before he drank it, but I always like to scrape it off.
@Tim Prussic Hi Tim, thanks for helping them out! I got to talk to them a little bit at the conference. I hope the blogging blitz today bring a bit more awareness to them. 🙂
@Sherry I dump the whole milk into a pot, so the cream does mix in. It tends to separate a bit when the yogurt is culturing, but it’s really good like that. You could scrape some of the cream off to make homemade butter with. I make a cultured butter sometimes, it’s delicious! I just add a small amount of yogurt to the cream, let it sit on the counter for the day, then churn it into butter.
Hi Kat! I found you on The Bovine – was so suprised to see your face –> “hey – I just had dinner with her a few days ago!”… didn’t realize you blogged…
Great post! So glad everyone is picking up the ball with the farm donation badges…
Anyway, my deer stew is needing some attention so I must run – glad to meet you!
@Janeen Covlin Thanks Janeen, I was surprised to see me there too, lol. I hope more people get behind these great farmers. I can’t imagine what they’re going through.
Nice post, but I don’t think raw milk is legal in Ontario, or Canada more generally. Guess big govt is looking out for your best interests, eh?
@upstater Yep it’s not legal yet, but it should be! In Canada most farmers who offer raw milk are doing so through a cow-share program. Members ‘buy’ a share of a cow, and then pay per liter for processing.
Hi, I would like to get some row milk to make some cheese and yogurt, but I do not know how and where to get row milk (please if you have any information contact me). This is really terrible what gouv. are doing to the farmers, they should help them to survive not to do opposite and destroy them.
@Tatjana http://www.realmilk.com/where2.html is the best source to find raw milk near you. You can also ask at farmer’s markets, even if the farmers there don’t sell any, they might know someone who does.