This week was very exciting for me!
Whenever I got around to writing my dairy post, I was going to complain that I was frustrated with trying to find a raw milk provider in my area. I no longer have need to whine to you guys. Indeed, I have found raw milk!
I had checked Craigslist first because once upon a time, when I didn’t have too much knowledge about the benefits of raw milk (and the dangers of pasteurized and homogenized), I found a listing that asked for $8 a gallon. I had been put off by the cost. Nevertheless, I was very willing to pay anywhere between $8-10 now, which seems to be the going rate. But alas, nothing on Craigslist.
So I Googled. All I could find was a ‘Meet-up’ group for those who value raw food, to get together and share recipes and stuff. But no actual selling of raw milk. Bah.
Then I found a big list of people who sell raw milk on realmilk.com, a project through the Weston A Price Foundation, which I found (surprise!) through my Nourishing Traditions book. I found lots of listings in the Portland Metro area, but I really wanted something within a 10 minute drive. Even 15 minutes would be acceptable. But almost none of the listings had addresses or websites. Some had emails and some had phone numbers. I skipped over the ones with phone numbers–would only call them when I got desperate. (Really don’t like calling on the phone, especially strangers for their addresses, especially when my phone is a staticky piece of crap). So I picked out two that I guessed would be the most convenient for me, and emailed them (thank you people who use email!).
The one I chose ended up being a 17-minute drive, driving kinda fast, in a neighboring city. My parents live right in the middle of the way there, so it’s an excuse to go see my mom, although I also plan to hit the farmer’s market on the way other side of town on the same day, which I just found out about. The only reason it would be worth driving all the way down there is if my little boy is going to his auntie’s house that day, because she lives not too far from the market. So I’m sort of envisioning this big, long, round-trip every Wednesday, where we go to his auntie’s, then the market, then the farm to pick up milk, then go to my mom’s. But that will never happen because the market doesn’t start until 3pm, and that’s his naptime. Plus, he won’t be able to go to his auntie’s every Wednesday.
Maybe if the USDA weren’t such sticklers about raw milk, then maybe this wouldn’t be so difficult! (Apparently the rules for selling raw milk are: You can only have two cows, you can’t advertise, and your customers have to come to you. No wonder I’m paying $9 a gallon.)
Anyway, the guy I’m getting milk from is Mike. He was really nice to meet. He showed me the pasture where the cows grazed, and I swear it looked like it was right out of a movie, it was so gorgeous, with a creek going by and everything. He pointed to another part of his land and said, “That’s the camels’ area over there.” What? Camels, you ask? I know, I wanted to ask, too. But all I could get out was, “You’re the one with the camels?” because my mom and I had just noticed them driving by the other day (before I knew the milk guy lived there) and saw these two camels by the road and were like what the heck??
Then he showed me the little “milk store” which is a tiny little building he made, about the size of a tool shed, but with a real front door with a keypad lock on it and a big stainless steel refrigerator inside. He gave me the code, so that on my milk day, I could just go in at my convenience and get my milk. There is a zipper pouch for people to put their money. Don’t you just love the level of trust in the system?
The milk comes in unwieldy gallon glass jars, so once I get some more quart-size mason jars from my mom, I think I’ll divide it into those. I love the thick level of cream on top. I plan to use this milk for the dairy recipes in Nourishing Traditions, but for now, we’re just enjoying the yummy, creamy milk that isn’t making me bloat the way pasteurized/homogenized milk does.
Well, except for the fact that hubby doesn’t agree with my spending $9 on a gallon of milk. 😦 I told him it’s only a little over a dollar a pound (about $1.13/lb) and that’s less expensive than most food I buy. He said I can’t compare it to other groceries, that I had to compare it to the inexpensive milk we have been buying at the store. But that milk has been making me sick, so I really shouldn’t buy it at all. If that was my only milk option, I technically should stop drinking milk altogether and fill those calorie gaps with other (more expensive) food. So there. That’s my financial argument.
At this point I’ve read so much good about raw milk and so much bad about commercial milk, that I can’t even remember my initial reason for wanting to make the switch. Right now I am hopeful that it will improve my digestion, allowing my body to assimilate the nutrients it needs for healing (I have a kidney issue I’m trying to resolve with the help of a naturopath). I would love for raw milk to be this magical cure-all for me, but it’s just possible that my issues run deeper than the type of milk I consume. Nevertheless, I do believe this milk is going to help me on my path to radiant health. That’s worth $9 a gallon, isn’t it?