Tag Archives: dairy

living on the edge : a raw milk melodrama

I guess you could say i live on the edge. I take vitamins with labels i sometimes can’t understand. I go to doctors that talk to my aura. I put raw egg yolks in my smoothies.

All of that pales when compared to my most daring pastime: drinking milk that has not been pasteurized.

ooooh yeaaaaah

For real though, I’m kidding. I play it pretty safe, so you know if I’m doing it, everyone can do it. Let’s talk about that raw stuff. Many of you might know about the raw dairy revolution that’s caught on throughout the nation – from states where glorious raw milk sells in stores to states where you have to buy your dairy from the neighboring state and pick it up from unmarked vans behind run-down steakhouses. there are people that are absolutely crazy about it, and there are folks that tout it’s unhealthy, dangerous potential [these folks, coincidentally, are the ones that make the rules, and therefore the consumption of raw milk is usually shunned].

all over Massachusetts, next to the "maple syrup for sale" signs.

Raw milk is where all of this began, for me. I visited my parents in North Carolina when i was in college and was surprised to find my refrigerator littered with different-sized jars of white liquid labeled “FOR PET CONSUMPTION ONLY.” My mother went on to explain that i was raw milk, and that it was perfectly safe for humans but only legal to sell if it was labeled as such. I had tried raw milk once before and was shocked by how real it tasted, how wonderfully smooth, crisp and rich it was, so hearing my mom explain the laws governing the sale of raw milk was incredibly fascinating. A year later I spent a short month in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, purchasing gallons of raw milk and fresh raw dairy from a shack down the road*. This milk was not labeled. Everyone knew it was safe and there was usually none leftover for the pets.

Since then I have moved to Northern Virginia, where the sale of raw milk is illegal. Purchased milk from other states is available, but there is a lot of legal jargon that makes it a little dangerous for farmers. They soldier on, though, and provide us with fresh, cold milk from grass-fed cows and goats. Unfortunately for the farmers and the consumers, though, the FDA [our big brother neighbor] is constantly spying on this process, planning midnight farm raids and actively cutting off family farm income sources.

Why does everyone care so much, you may ask? Raw milk is a polarizing topic for many reasons – but it really boils down to this: the product is safe and so incredibly beneficial, but broadcasting this information could cause financial harm the large milk-producing farms that congest the shelves of every grocery store. If you follow the money, the truth soon appears.

I think it’s important that everyone understand the true benefits of raw milk, and also be aware of why it is safe.

Understanding the Benefits of Raw Milk [in a nutshell] Continue reading

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