I just wanted to put a quick post out there to comment on the most incredible milk I have ever had. I realize that may sound a little…odd, but there it is.
Let me explain.
Last September I was visiting a friend out of town and, while waiting for her in some doctor’s office lobby, I had picked up a health magazine and had started reading a fascinating article on the benefits being found in dairy products from grass-fed cows. You mean organic? No, grass-fed. And yes, there is a difference.
In brief, cows that are raised on pure-pasture diets (read: absolutely no grain or horomones – in other words, the way God intended) create much less milk than the average giant corporate dairy farm cow, but everything coming out of what the grass-fed cow produces (cheese, milk, butter, and yogurt) is far healthier. Grass-fed dairy products contain more beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E for starters. They also have less fat, fewer calories, more balanced output of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, and carry as much as 500% more CLA than grain-fed cow products.
CLA stands for Conjugated Linoleic Acid which, studies are showing, may lower the risk of cancer as well as heart disease. And if that isn’t enough, they’re also finding it helps reduce body fat. Most of the references out there are highlighting the weight-loss benefits – let’s face it, there’s big money in peddling products to help burn fat – but I think the other two far outweigh.
Tack onto all of this that to support the grass-fed dairy industry is to support sustainable farming which, in our green-conscious society, makes for a nice side benefit.
Okay, so back to my story about the amazing milk that I started off this longer-than-intended post…
So I read this article and immediately set out to see what I could find out about possible grass-fed dairy products in my area. Naturally there are no products on the shelves in the grocery stores, so I started looking for dairy farms. I live in Bucks County, after all – there must be a dairy farm still in existence around here.
Sure enough, I found one. Birchwood Farm Dairy is located in Newtown not 15 minutes from my house and they supply a full-range of grass-fed products from their Jersey cows which munch happily on the pastures covering the farm. Thrilled, I headed over there to buy some milk only to discover that I had to be put on a waiting list! On one hand, I thought this is great because it shows that their supply isn’t as great as their demand and high-demand is a good thing. On the other hand, I wanted some milk.
Instead, I went on the waiting list.
My waiting ended last week when I got a call from the farm saying that they could move me onto their pick-up list if I was still interested. Yay!
So last Saturday I went over to pick up my first gallon of insanely fresh, grass-fed milk. Let me tell you – this milk is the most incredible milk I have ever tasted. It’s almost sweet and dessert-like…and yellow! Yeah, apparently milk isn’t supposed to be that pure white color we’ve all gotten used to. Who knew that cows raised on genetically engineered corn and dried hay would produce milk that’s less nutritious, less tasty, and then also be the wrong color?
Anyway, I can’t say enough good things about this milk. It’s a little more expensive, but man, is it worth it. And of course it’s just me, so it’s not like I go through milk that quickly – a gallon will likely last me a good 2 weeks so I’m set for a twice-a-month pick-up. Incidentally, I also tried some of their cheese. Double-yum.
A quick word of advice – if like most of America, milk is a staple in your fridge, check out Eat Wild – their site is filled with interested facts about grass-fed products as well as a directory of farms by state. If there’s one near you, go check it out. You’ll be doing your health, the environment, and a local business good.