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Raw milk and colostrum at the farmers market


Fresh milk

“Fresh from moo to you” is over-simplified and inaccurate, especially if it comes from another animal such as sheep or goat. Raw cow’s milk, however, is nothing new or trendy; it’s the way milk really is without the “benefit” of homogenization, pasteurization, irradiation or other synthetic intervention. There is a difference between the gallon of non-fat milk from the corner grocery and a product that arrived at today’s farmer’s market from today’s milk farm; cream separates naturally, rises to the top and the lighter milk remains below. For higher-fat milk, you must shake the bottle. Alternately, you can skim the cream off and use it for making butter, baking, and even whipping into that familiar foamy ice cream topping.

There are perceived illnesses that may be transmitted through insufficient treatment, so the FDA reluctantly permits the sale of raw milk. However, there are very strict rules on the care of milk producing animals as well as regular health certifications to prevent contamination. There have been no deaths from raw milk bourn diseases, and many of raw milk’s cultures and bacteria assist in digestion and improve intestinal health. Proponents of raw milk point out that over-processing for cosmetic and textural reasons might yield longer storage, but at the cost of the milk’s true essence.

Colostrum is, as in humans, the first milk, produced by the animal after giving birth. It contains denser natural antibodies and is higher in nutrients, providing for the accelerated development of the newborn. At the farm, the new calf is given all it requires; it is the excess that goes to the consumer. Evidence supports that colostrum is beneficial to immune health support and is safe and beneficial to human health as well.

Use raw milk for cooking and drinking; even freeze it for prolonged storage. To defrost, simply thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours then shake to recombine and enjoy. The taste is slightly stronger than commercially processed milk and you may have to adjust your recipes for the richness, but try it--you just might like it. You can purchase it at many Farmers’ Markets around the area and many organic food markets.
 

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