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Real Milk: The Cream Also Rises

Cows.jpgLast week I opined that pasteurized apple cider had all the charm of frozen orange juice compared to the fresh-squeezed real thing. The same goes for fresh-from-the-farm milk.

Every week we drive up to Four Corners Farm in Newbury, Vermont and buy about six gallons of straight-from-the-cow milk. The swirling milk in the large stainless steel tank has a pretty, light-yellow cast — the product of happy cows eating fresh grass. The list of uns is long: unpasteurized, unhomogenized, unfortified, and unskimmed (note: all big-dairy milk, even supposedly “full” milk, has its cream completely stripped from it when it arrives at the dairy; the cream is then added back in varying percentages later in the industrial cycle).

The flavor awakens a certain primordial pleasure: the rich, clean fullness in the taste will restrain you from ever again using the adjective “milky” to describe store-bought milk. When was the last time that you had a glass of milk that was so satisfying that you felt compelled to tell the people around you what you thought of it?

Milk Jugs2.JPG

The cream rises to the top, and can be stirred back into the milk, or used for coffee or poured on fresh berries.

I’ll forego a recitation of the health benefits of raw milk; they are many, to my mind, but still unproven. Suffice it to say that drinking something natural wins out any day over a processed industrial product.

For those of you cringing over the supposed health risks, it is indeed true that raw milk produced in unsanitary conditions can carry salmonella, listeria and e-coli bacteria. However, the same is true, according to the previously linked USDA web sites, of “any raw food of animal origin, such as meat, poultry, … eggs, seafood, and some fruits and vegetables.”

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