Posts Tagged ‘raw milk’

Mooshining

Well, I warned you that I might get off-topic from gardening.  Might as well start now.

My family has been drinking raw milk for a little over 2 weeks now.  We are sold on it.  “S” put it perfectly when she said “It tastes like ice cream, Mommy!”.  Melted vanilla ice cream.  It’s wonderful.  Why am I just now learning about this? I can answer that myself.  It is illegal to purchase raw milk in the state of Alabama, or pretty much anywhere for that matter.  Raw milk, for those that do not know, is milk bottled straight from the cow.  No homogenization or pasteurization.  The deeper I got into learning about organic food and gardening, the more I started to find out about this whole world of food sold in its natural state.  Raw milk is just one of those things.  When I read of the nutritional health benefits of drinking it long term, I thought what could it hurt to give this a try.  People who have drank raw milk for long periods of time have claimed that it cured skin allergies, stomach troubles, insomnia…someone I read claimed that it cured their child’s mild deafness.  These are just a few of the things I read of raw milk’s benefits.  So far, I have noticed a bit more energy in myself since drinking it.  Time will tell how it affects our health long-term.

So, I’ll get on my soapbox for a minute.  Since finding out about raw milk and how to purchase it, I have found a local farmer who sells it and I buy from him directly.  I have to meet him one day a week in a parking lot to pick up my milk.  I feel like I am buying crack or something crazy.  He doesn’t like for people to drive out to his farm to pick it up to cut down on traffic so things don’t look suspicious.  The local health department paid him a visit a while back thanks to one of his neighbors making a phone call.  Granted, the health department didn’t ask questions about the safety of the milk he had, just whether or not he was “selling” the milk.  Isn’t the health department’s job to ensure public HEALTH safety?  Anyway, meeting him somewhere just makes his life a little easier, and I’m happy to do that.  I’ve wondered since my first purchase what would happen if I was caught with this stuff, pulled over on my way home or something.  Isn’t that sad?  I mean, come on.  It’s milk, people!  But, this is a national issue now made public with a case concerning an Amish farmer in Pennsylvania.  He has been arrested for selling raw milk across state lines.  A protest was held in his support, and for the support of farmers everywhere selling raw milk, in Washington D.C. on Monday called Rally for Food and Farm Freedom.  It was also to bring awareness to the lack of the public’s ability to make decisions about their own personal health.  Congressman Ron Paul recently put forth a bill called HR 1830, the Unpasteurized Milk Bill, which would forbid the federal government from banning the sale of unpasteurized dairy in interstate commerce.  This is a start.  My problem is that we, as Americans, can make personal decisions to eat McDonald’s every day or to binge on alcoholic beverages, but we can’t make a legal decision to purchase raw milk?  Hopefully one day soon, our government will make changes to current policies and will not be  jaded by dollar signs from large dairy farmers wanting to monopolize the market.  I mean, if it was legal for purchase, it could be taxed, so you would think they’d be jumping on that.

Reasons for raw milk being illegal is that the FDA believes that it can cause illnesses from salmonella and other food-borne illnesses.  We can purchase raw chicken, and I’m gonna bet that more people get a food-borne illness from raw chicken than raw milk every year.  Eating or preparing any raw food enhances your chances of getting a food-borne illness, yet milk is the only one of those that is illegal to purchase.  One thing that I hear repeatedly is “know your farmer”.  If your farmer handles his/her milk properly as soon as they milk the cow, then the risk of getting a food-borne illness is low.  So, as long as you know exactly what your farmer is feeding his/her cows and how he/she is handling the cow and the milk, making sure the milk is refrigerated immediately, then you should be safe.  I know my farmer is doing these things.  I certainly wouldn’t be giving this stuff to my child if I thought it wasn’t safe!

As a believer in and follower of Jesus Christ, I feel like God knew what he was doing when he created cows.  I mean, He is a genius!  He designed cow’s milk to be beneficial to our health and provide us with specific vitamins that our bodies need.  I’m going to put my faith in the fact that it is pretty good for me without killing all the good stuff that He intended to be in there in the first place through pasteurizing it!  I’ve come across several farmers that have this same focus.  Treating God’s creatures and land with respect as a Biblical standard.  It has put a whole new spin on eating healthy and growing healthy.  I will certainly be posting at greater length about this idea at a later time because I think most people don’t view food in this light, just as I didn’t.  God has been working on me in this area.