Monday, April 05, 2010

Anyone know where to get raw milk?



I'm looking for a reasonably priced source of raw milk. I'm entirely priced out of the brands available at Mother's Market, ($12/gallon!!!) so I think what I'm really looking for is someone with a cow. :) Does anyone know a sister of a friend of an aunt of a cousin who might be able to point me in the right direction? So far the best I've been able to find is raw goat's milk at Heavenly Acres, but I drank enough goats milk as a child to last the rest of my life (and then some). :) I'd love suggestions!

20 comments:

Muse Mama said...

I know where to get it in Minnesota for about half that price. Raw milk is awesome!

candace said...

Try this site to find a dairy in your area:

http://www.realmilk.com/where.html

onetallmama said...

When I looked for it a few months ago all I could find was a dairy up in the Fresno area. They carry it (ORganic Pastures) in Henry's but it was waaay too expensive for our budget! Good luck finding someone with a cow. :)

Ma Torg said...

a list of places in CA

http://www.californiarawmilk.org/site/_documents/news/Crema_-_Master_-_List_by_City_Sheet1.pdf

Might I ask why you want it?

Amber said...

It costs $16/gal up here at the local crunchy food store, so you're getting a deal!

We're thinking of getting goats or a cow in the next year or two, personally... although we have a friend up here who bred her two cows and I think we'll be able to get some from those cows once it is available. Doesn't do you much good though... although I've read you're able to ship frozen raw milk so long as it is for "pet food". *grin*

We're thinking about trying the raw milk cheddar from Azure this month, even though it costs twice as much as the cheese from Costco. But I'm still stalling a bit at the $5/lb cost.

Good luck! And good to see you blogging again. I've missed you! :-)

Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

Thanks for the comments! Nice to know that people didn't give up on me during lent and are still reading. :)

Pamela, Organic pastures is one that I found, too, but yeah - too expensive!! Especially with how much milk/yogurt my kids are consuming right now.

Ma Torg,
I want it because I'm trying to move our family's eating habits more in a whole foods direction. This is just one in a long list of "baby steps" (ok, this one isn't really baby!) that we've been taking. Almost all our produce is organic now, as is our whole wheat flour. I'm trying to cut out HFCS wherever possible.

The sticking point for me is price - there is just only so much I can afford to pay for our groceries. So organic meat, organic and/or raw milk, and raw cheese are pretty much out of reach right now. I'm still hoping to find some more affordable ways to get them.

Amber said...

It is frustrating how expensive the meat, milk and cheese are, isn't it. I know exactly what you mean. Doing the quarter of a cow has been a big help for us, but it is still a lot more expensive than CAFO beef. We eat almost no chicken, turkey and pork because we haven't figured out a source for that yet. We're hoping to buy a half a pig in the fall which will be a nice addition.

Because of bioaccumulation, I rather wonder if it is perhaps more important to be eating non-CAFO meat and dairy products than it is to be worrying about the veggies/fruits/grains and beans. But of course that is going to depend on the percentage of diet that comes from these various sources... this is one big reason why we used to eat almost completely vegetarian though. Now that we have the beef, it is almost a little strange for me - I'm having to learn to cook it!

I wonder if as these items grow in demand if they will come down in price, or if it is just simply so much more expensive to produce that it will always be several times as much as the CAFO alternative.

OK, I really should be doing the dishes now! :-)

Meg McElwee said...

You should go vegetarian - it does save a ton of money, so we can splurge on raw milk. :) We just started a raw milk/egg CSA. In North Carolina we pay $8 a gallon, so it's much more reasonable. I've been making yogurt like a mad woman ever since Finn decided that he loves it!

Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

Meg, we actually ate vegetarian during Lent, and you're right, it does make things cheaper. I think my husband would object to being permanently vegetarian, though, so we'll stick with "half-veg". :) $8/gal is definitely more manageable. I would give a LOT for a milk/egg CSA!!!!

Amie said...

I have been looking for the same thing as we move to whole foods as well. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Grinding my own flour (this is a pretty managable baby step for us anyway) and we are raising chickens for eggs but milk is a hard one for us too...still looking for a cow...although not for the backyard

katie said...

Complete vegetarian is a huge step, but I do agree with other commenters that cutting down on meat is what allows us to afford the organic animal protein sources, along with cutting out prepared foods. I try to just buy single ingredients. Much cheaper. I have found that the percentage of our budget that goes towards food is higher now, but we've tried to live more simply in other areas- driving less, biking more, no new clothes, no cell phones...-so that our overall budget is about the same. Also, if you're interested in going towards organic cheese and yogurt then making your own definitely cuts down on the cost, even if you're using raw milk that is expensive.
You might try that raw goats milk. The taste is so dependent on what the goats eat. You might like it from a dairy where their food is a bit more controlled than yours were growing up. That's been my experience, at least. Good luck!

Linds said...

Unfortunately, the price of organic goods doesn't tend to be inflated all that much - it's the price of non-organic goods that is falsely low (as with most goods, actually) - when items are grown properly and fairly traded, they're more expensive because food's just more expensive to grow and harvest ethically.

As for raw milk - we've had a lot of problems up here with kids getting sick and even dying because of raw milk. What's wrong with pasteurized organic milk? Half the price and far less risky, right?

Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

Linds, do you have links to documentation for the sick/dying kids? I haven't been able to turn up anything like that in my research. I'm all for getting all sides of a story - but at this point, I'm really leaning towards raw milk because I want to stay away from all kinds of processing in all my food. I think pasteurizing, homogenizing, reducing fat content, and then adding extra vitamins (that now can't be absorbed as well) just doesn't make nearly as much sense as drinking what God made, the way he made it.

Sara in Seattle said...

Emily, I'm pretty ignorant in this regard... is there a reason why you want to avoid just the standard organic milk and you are choosing to go raw? We've switched to organic but it's a lot cheaper than the price you quoted for raw (here it's 2.79 per half gallon if you don't get a sale... I think a bit cheaper at costco if you don't mind 2% lowfat). I'd love to know the health benefits of raw milk vs. organic.

Elena said...

Linds, you're absolutely right about the dangers of raw milk--it's quite literally alive, so you really do need to be extremely careful about where you're getting it from. Raw milk from abused cows is absolutely deadly.

On the other hand, milk from abused cows is always unethical and unhealthy, however it has been processed.

And if the cows are healthy, all the good enzymes and probiotics in raw milk are amazing--switching to raw milk (along with cultured milk such as kefir) has transformed my digestive system, and my health as a whole. I don't ever want to go back.

In Texas, you're only allowed to buy raw milk straight from the farm--it's a pain in the rear, but there's some wisdom in it, too. We've met the sleek, happy cows, and the conscientious farmer, and we buy the milk straight from the sparkling clean walk-in fridge adjacent to the nice sanitary milking machines. Besides, the health department is in there every other day, and trust me, they wouldn't be in business if there was anything nasty in the milk! =) The hygenic standards are so high, that I actually feel a lot safer about this stuff than anything from the grocery store, especially since there is nothing to prevent contamination after pasteurization, since all the protective beneficial microorganisms have been killed.

It's all in That Hideous Strength, actually. Lewis was absolutely right. Our culture has an obsession with death, as manifested by our need to kill everything. Everything must be completely sterile and completely under our control--even if it ends up killing us. I know this sounds really crazy, but for me at least, the decision to switch to raw milk is deeply rooted in my theology. I realize that my opinions vastly diverge from the mainstream, but I'm comfortable with that, because the disagreement goes right down to the core, to underlying principles that I'm perfectly ready to stake my life on.

Emily, I sure hope you can find a safe and affordable milk source nearby. I think I saw raw milk at Trader Joe's when I visited last year... but if I remember correctly, the cost was extremely prohibitive... =(

Amber said...

Elena, that was a fantastic comment!

As an aside, a book I found quite interesting regarding all of this is Real Foods, What to Eat and Why. I'd love to find a book that discussed these issues from a more theological standpoint, but I haven't found anything. From a more political standpoint, Crunchy Cons by Rod Dreher is an interesting read.

Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

Amber, thanks for the book suggestions. And if you do come across anything from a theological perspective, let me know because I'd love to read that, too!

Linds said...

Elena,

I like the theological argument a lot. However, doesn't it have a bit of an ostrich sticking its head in the sand component to it? That argument could become ridiculous if taken too far - we shouldn't wash our hands, develop vaccines against deadly diseases, seek medical aid, etc. Way back in my family, we had some religious zealots who thought along those lines - they believed it was a lack of faith to seek medical aid. My great grandpa died because of it. God gave us brains and the ability to improve the world around us on purpose.

If pastuerized milk is truly far less nutritious than raw milk, then sure, we're sterilizing ourselves and that's bad. But that's highly debatable as a scientific claim. And it's debatable whether or not pasteurization significantly restricts the nutritious nature of the milk itself. Choosing organic milk, then, seems an acceptable choice.

I'm totally with you on the homogenization and addition of vitamins, though. :)

Linds said...

Em - I'll track down those articles for you, but here's a story from today:

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/pittsburgh/s_677255.html

Linds said...

Here's the case I was thinking of. There wasn't a death associated (I think that case was in Europe), but four kids got E.coli bad enough to require hospitalization.

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5608a3.htm?s_cid=mm5608a3_e