Raw milk

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Just the words strike fear into many it seems. Milk itself has been under attack for some time by vegans and others who consider drinking milk post baby to be absurd. Images of horribly treated animals, bovine growth hormones and cattle bred repeatedly to produce milk are tossed around while most have never really been around cattle, dairy or otherwise.

Raw milk is legal in the state of Tx under strict rules. Dairies are highly inspected and one of these rules regarding raw milk is that it Cannot be delivered, you Must pick it up at the farm. You can see how living in a city would make this difficult. These laws and rules aren’t set up to help farmers, their set up to help agribusiness. Do small dairy farmers have money for lobbyists? The milk lobby does. Got legislators?

I admit my ideas about food issues are strongly influenced by the writing of Joel Salatin.

I’d never had any raw milk until recently. I got a message from someone I know letting me know that someone was bringing some into the city. Feeling I was purchasing Afghani heroin I whispered to my wife and asked if she wanted to try “raw milk.” We won’t even cook it in a spoon, so pure it’ll just dissolve in water. So, we made our contacts, set up our pick up time and I drive in and wait. Drugs. This is buying drugs folks. It was day time but this distinctly felt like a surreptitious illicit transaction.

I had my cash ready and scored our teat juice and asked the guy who delivered it, “Isn’t this illegal?” He said that in fact the delivery is but he’s hoping the laws will change. I nodded, didn’t want to make too much of our drug deal and headed home to keep our milk cool.

I cracked open our gallon and it just looks like, well, milk. Same gallon plastic jug, same plastic top with that removable band. I poured it into a glass and noted that the pour was different, thicker. I tasted it and was delighted to see that this was more creamy than what I get at the store. Over time I’ve noted that since the produce isn’t homogenized it separates some, the cream tends to rise and I can shake it to mix it if I care to. Overall, it’s just milk. I find it creamier, richer in flavor and I really prefer it.

We’ve been drinking it now for a few months and my choice is the raw milk. Regardless of any concerns about health, pasteurization and such I think it just tastes better and that’s enough for me. It’s local, depending on how you define that, supports a neighbor farmer and his cows are hopefully well tended and cared for. Keeping money in the local economy is good and I don’t mind spending a few extra dollars on food that’s source is traceable.

I’ve had one glass of pasteurized Horizon organic milk since drinking raw milk. Only thing I could think was, “this tastes cooked.” Let your tastebuds and gut be the judge.

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