Thursday, March 31, 2011

raw cow's milk

Cows are cool. They can walk up a staircase but not down. They have no pupils so their peripheral vision is 100%. If your goal in life is to sneak up on a cow, get another goal. If mama has twins, and they are a boy and girl, there's a 90% chance the girl is sterile. They have four stomachs, one of which is slightly smaller than a five-gallon bucket. Cows can jump! They're usually too happy to ever need it, but they can easily clear four-foot fences if they have to. Cows are cool.

I got the above in an email from K.J., who takes care of our cow. Yes -- we, who live in the middle of Denver, have a cow. Actually, we have a cow-share and K.J. owns and operates the dairy and cow-share operation. So that we can drink clean, fresh, raw cow's milk in keeping with our efforts to eat and live locally.


Honestly, until we bought the cow share, I avoided milk as I didn't like the taste -- this from the daughter of a farmer/rancher. But then I started reading more and more about the benefits of raw milk and cheese from pastured cows and we took the plunge. We use it for drinking, in recipes, and making lattes. Sometimes I make yogurt and I've made kefir. I'd like to make cheese but just an itty-bitty mound of mozzarella takes a whole half-gallon.

I pick up our milk on Wednesdays and after I got home yesterday I saw several headlines about the situation with the food supply in Japan. The Fukushima region in Japan is a major source of milk and vegetables. According to The New York Times, the nuclear crisis is hitting farms up to 90 miles away from the nuclear power plants via high levels of radioactivity in milk and spinach. When the cows ingest radioactive grass and water, their milk is affected. And then when humans ingest the radioactive milk, they are affected.

I am still hoping for clean food and water for all.

14 comments:

liniecat said...

Lucky you and what a great idea to share milk resources and look after the cows in that way too.
We fought off a huge 4000 cow dairy being built on the south side of the river near us here in UK. There were thousands of signatures against it, but I believe there are many such dairies in the US.
I like to see cows in fields with barns to retreat to in bad weather and whilst there are farmers willing to bring them in and out each day, lets hope they remain a part of the british countryside.
Scary though that radiation is being found far and wide.

Blossom said...

This milk, indeed, is yummy! It would be wonderful if more people began to support local farmers and purchased their own share of a cow. Consuming raw milk from healthy cows is beneficial for our health in so many ways. We must continue the activism and awareness about raw milk to challenge the popular belief that pasteurization of store bought milk from well-known brands is healthy for us and our children.

Raw milk is the healthier way to go for our milk drinking bodies, minds, and souls!

woman with wings said...

Liniecat, yes -- happily, the share-ownership system is becoming more and more popular for vegetables, fruits, meats, milk, even wool! But sadly, the mega-dairy industry is alive and well here too, as in Britain. I love what you say about the cows in the fields and being able to retreat to the barn for shelter, etc. Just love that. Thanks!

woman with wings said...

Blossom, well said -- thank you! I think there is an almost palpable movement afoot for real, close-to-the-source food. Awareness grows every day . . .

Notjustnat said...

Peggy, it's amazing what you do, I'm in awe with respect. I would like to find out if there is a scheme like that in Australia. I don't like milk except in latte, but I might drink it if it's raw milk. What about the food they feeding the cows etc. Is that organic too?

Marie said...

When one of my sons was small, I would drive to a farm and pick up raw goats milk once a week. The farm had a refrigerator in a field next to some shade trees and there was a box where you dropped your money in. I never saw the farmer or goats. It was sort of funny the way it was set up.
I love the idea of supporting local farmers.
The situation with Japan seems much more serious than we are told and it is a wake-up call to everyone that we are all connected and affected.

woman with wings said...

Thank you, Nat -- I'm pretty sure there are cow-share dairies there. Take a look at www.westonaprice.org
-- in their paper publication, Wise Traditions, there are quite a few chapters listed under Australia -- so the website should have them listed, too -- and the chapters can direct you to raw milk sources for your area. And yes, these cows are pastured, no soy products, organic, treated herbally/homeopathically, tested weekly, if not daily, I forget. And it's a small operation, only 12 cows.

woman with wings said...

Marie, I loved reading about your goat milk pick-up site! We tried goat's milk in the 80's for a time and it was similar, only in a questionable area downtown in an apartment conversion up a creaky staircase where a hippie-ish woman collected money and handed over the milk in a paper bag. It was like a drug deal! Not that I would know what a drug deal is like. But I guess it was because raw milk was illegal, was sold only as "pet food." At least in CO it was.

With this nuclear fall-out, it's almost like we're waiting for the other shoe to fall . . . holding our breath . . . like you say -- breathe and focus.

Jo said...

When we lived in North Carolina, we would go out to a dairy farm and watch the farmer open the barn doors as the cows came walking up the hill. He'd clean each one, hook them up to a milking machine and we'd watch the milk go into a big tank. We brought gallon glass jugs to fill up. I'd skim cream off the top and make butter.

Recently I've been also reading about the nutrients found only in grass-fed meat and dairy. I hope your cow will get some grass this spring!

woman with wings said...

Jo, what a magical experience!

And yes, this herd is pastured year-round. Right out the barn door. It's pretty cool!

Morna Crites-Moore Wicked Waif said...

When we lived in Los Gatos, CA, we used to visit Mr. Peake on Sundays, when we bought our week's supply of raw milk. He had only about six cows, so we were lucky to be on the list of buyers. I never drank it, but my husband loved it. Mr. Peake was very special.

woman with wings said...

Morna, oh that sounds wonderful-- Mr. Peake on Sundays. I envision you driving up a winding road!...love milk stories...

helen said...

Just be sure you know the farmer that you buy a share from and exactly how the cows are tended to and fed, etc. We had some people get sick around here on "share" owned raw milk.Unfortunately, some farmers latch on to trends, i.e. organic food,, raw milk, etc. just for the money but really don't care, so like anything in life check it out first.

woman with wings said...

Helen, oh yes, most definitely -- in our case, we've been with this farmer, gosh, 3 or 4 years already. I should look that up. It's a small herd (around 12) and I feel like they're very conscientious. Sadly, they probably don't make near what they should for what they do...