Trite but true. Watching Food, Inc. did me in.
I told you a few months ago about our approaches to food . . . How we tried to focus on whole foods and cooking from scratch and buying organic when we could.
And then I watched Food Inc., and read Michael Pollan and really started to get the real food movement. It occurred to me as I was watching Food Inc., that here I sit, in the middle of Oklahoma - Oklahoma, y'all! - surrounded by farming and agriculture and a collective tendency to honor all things local. The horrifying images of and the brutal life lived in CAFOs stood out in stark contrast to the pastoral scenes of cattle grazing grass that I pass by when I drive one mile past our city limits. I realized how absurd it was for me to be a willing participant in the broken food system in our country when I am literally surrounded by other choices.
I had already found several local sources for pastured eggs. I didn't even realize how spoiled I had gotten to their rich, yummy taste until, in a pinch, I had to get some supermarket eggs. They were bland and pale and tasted bitter - almost alkaline, for lack of a better word. Buying pastured eggs was an easy change for me.
The raw milk? I was a bit slower to come around to.
My dad has a Masters in Public Health and has taken all kinds of food science classes. He has said more than once, "Never ever drink milk that hasn't been pasteurized!" But I couldn't help but to be curious. If a dairy farmer's family could drink it with no ill effects, why not mine?
I dug around a little at RealMilk.com and read up on what my favorite real food bloggers had to say. When I discovered there was a dairy farm just outside of our little town selling raw milk, I knew I had to at least try it.
I drove the girls out to this dairy farm, and we all fell in love. It's run by a Mennonite family, the husband and wife of which had long dreamed of running a dairy. After years of scrimping and saving, it is finally up and running and they are living out their dream. Their children always come out to play with mine, and the multitude of cats to be found around their house is pure nirvana for zoologist Dacey.
Mrs. U told me that they had started with Holsteins, but that most Holsteins were "just lookin' for reasons to die." They switched to all Jerseys soon after that, and those gentle girls are always within sight each time we have been out there.
The milk is rich, creamy, and whole in every sense of the word. It didn't take too long to get used to shaking the jug before pouring to mix the cream back into the milk. We serve it cold cold cold because it does tend to acquire a little bit of a grassy taste when it warms to room temperature.
Interesting sidenote - AJ has never been a big fan of drinking milk. She heartily rejected it, in fact. But since we have switched to raw milk, she asks for it all the time. We are going through more milk per week than ever before because both girls absolutely love it. Obviously a two year old doesn't know, understand, or care about the differences in her milk, but I think her enthusiastic acceptance of it says something. (Just don't tell my dad, okay?)
We are taking some even more significant steps on this path to more real food in our homes and in our tummies.
I'll be sharing more in the coming weeks . . .photo credit iLoveButter
Food Inc. link is an Amazon Affiliate link