Raw Milk Vending Machines in France
Because I skipped the Back to Basics post yesterday (Sorry! Busy lately)…here’s an article (by NaturalNews) that I’ve read recently…it’s quite interesting, and I’m quite jealous:
“While California persecutes raw milk farmers, France unveils raw milk vending machines for happy, healthy consumers”
Check out this graphic by NaturalNews.com which shows a great & simplified comparison of Raw vs. Pasteurized milk
Back to Basics: The Organic Milk Deception
Organic milk (from a grocery store) may not be what you think it is. It really makes me sad to see people at grocery stores spending double the price of regular, pasteurized milk, because they think they are doing good for themselves by buying “organic” milk. See, the problem is that organic milk brands such as Horizon and Organic Valley ultra-pasteurize their organic milk, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. (NOTE: Organic Valley DOES sell organic milk that is traditionally pasteurized, & not ultra-pasteurized, but I’ve noticed most stores only stock the ultra-pasteurized variety. Look out for that and if it’s ultra-pasteurized, don’t buy it. At least I wouldn’t…what a waste of money.)
“Organic” milk can easily win a consumer over by the USDA Organic stamp alone. But those won over simply by the idea of organic, ultra-pasteurized milk probably don’t completely understand the process of ultra-pasteurization, what it does, and how. Here’s the breakdown:
The cows are hormone, anti-biotic, and steroid free. (This is, obviously, a good thing, and is better than the antibiotic and hormone laced milk we get from conventional store bought milk). However, ultra-pasteurized organic milk is pasteurized even more than the regular, non-organic milk (which doesn’t make any sense to me!). — The milk is heated beyond what it needs to be heated to in order to sell regular, pasteurized milk (hence the name, ULTRA-pasteurized). The organic milk is heated to a temperature of 280 degrees (F), in comparison to regular pasteurization temperature of about 161 degrees (F). The high temp pasteurization kills so much of the natural nutrients & enzymes in the milk itself that the milk you end up drinking is completely dead and nutrition-less. The milk is so dead that the ultra-pasteurized milk sold by these brands does not even need to be refrigerated. They have an extended shelf life, and can remain unrefrigerated for up to 6 months — ever see those little individual cartons of Horizon or Organic Valley milk that are sold on the shelves/in the aisles of grocery stores rather than in the refrigerated section? Yep, that’s why. And the 1/2 gallons and gallons of ultra-pasteurized organic milk that is sold in the refrigerated section is only to appease the minds of consumers, and to have the product be sold where the other milk products are sold — not everyone feels comfortable buying milk that hasn’t been refrigerated…and rightfully so.
Additionally, milk proteins are very fragile, and high heat such as the heat ultra-pasteurized milk is subjected to, damages milk proteins so badly that our bodies can no longer properly digest or recognize that protein. Because our bodies enzymes can only properly digest undamaged milk proteins, the milk proteins end up undigested and often leak into the bloodstream. (Since practically all of us who have had been eating a modern day diet have some form of what is called “leaky gut”. - find out more about how this works in the answer segment here). When the proteins enter the bloodstream, your body creates an immune response since it cannot recognize those proteins. The immune response your body creates turns out as the many symptoms of auto immune disorders, including: allergies, asthma, fatigue, eczema, infections, headaches, etc. The immune response your body creates can possibly, overtime, create dairy allergies and intolerances.
But of course, regular pasteurized, hormone and antibiotic filled, store bought milk from confined cows isn’t healthy either. So what’s the best option?
Raw Milk fresh from a farm! Raw milk is the most nutritious milk you can get (talk about getting your money’s worth…), and It’s really not much more ($) than the ultra-pasteurized organic milk you may have been buying already…really! It may even be around the same price depending on where you live. There are most likely farm co-ops that deliver to your area, or even to your door, so seek one out (no excuses)! If farm fresh raw milk is absolutely not an option (maybe your not as lucky as I am to have local farm co-op’s deliver when the nearest farm is way too far), shop for low pasteurized, organic milk! It DOES exist, but you’ll have to go out of your way to find it. It most likely also has to come directly from a local farm, but check your local Whole Foods. Whole Foods stocks local products, so that may be your best bet if you can’t find it at a farmers market. If I run out of raw milk, I either go without, or buy Natural By Nature organic, grass-fed (grass-fed is also an important factor of any dairy product!…more on this another time), low-pasteurized milk . And it’s local too!
Sh*t Crunchy/Natural Mamas Say - Part 2!
Because I posted part 1 previously, I feel obligated to post the newest one.
Check out part 1 here.
Farm Fresh Milk Warning
Nourishing Our Children shared this picture via Facebook so I had to post it here.
Check out Nourishing Our Children’s overview of raw milk vs. pasteurized milk here.
Back to Basics: How to Make (Liquid) Whey
Liquid whey is much different from whey protein (in powdered form), which is derived from whey and is often used as a supplement by many health enthusiasts. Powdered whey, however, is denatured and often toxic, and contains MSG (although it will not be listed on the label, since the MSG is a byproduct of the manufacturing process and is not added). Whey protein is extremely delicate and should not be subject to heat processes such as those used to make whey protein powder in order to separate the protein from it’s food source.
Liquid whey cannot be store bought (it can only be “homemade”), and is filled with good fats, vitamins, minerals, and healthy probiotics. This real, live whey promotes a healthy gut by protecting it from pathogens, and helps aid digestion. It can also benefit those with gut dysbiosis (which is the underlying cause of many auto-immune diseases) by helping to re-balance the good bacteria in the gut in order to promote healing.
Now, onto how to make Liquid Whey!
You will need:
1. Raw Milk (directly from a reputable farm, this milk must be grass-fed and unpasteurized) -or- if raw milk is not an option, organic yogurt will do, but you will not get as much whey out of it as you would with raw milk.
2. Cheesecloth or a clean, thin dishtowel (tea towel)
3. A bowl
Step 1: Allow raw milk to clabber. To do this, allow the milk to sit on your kitchen counter for 1-4 days, depending on how long you’ve had your milk for at this point. The milk solids will begin to separate from the liquids and you will be left with curds & whey. Curds = the solid, clumps, and whey is the liquid that is left. (Sidenote: You absolutely cannot do this with pasteurized milk!! Do not try it, the milk will just go bad!)
Step 2: Spread cheesecloth or tea towel over a bowl and pour the clabbered raw milk over the cheesecloth/towel. This will strain the liquid from the solids.
Step 3: Gather the excess cheesecloth/towel to lift up the cheesecloth out of the bowl — use a rubber band to tie the ends of the cheesecloth together and use the rubber band to tie the cheesecloth (now filled with the milk solids) to a kitchen cabinet handle, or secure it any other way that you can in order to suspend it so that it is hanging over the bowl.
Step 4: Allow this to hang there for a few hours, with the bowl underneath, until the liquid is completely strained form the solids, and the cheesecloth is no longer dripping.
Step 5: The liquid you have in the bowl is your whey! Pour the liquid whey into a jar/container and keep it in the refrigerator. This will last for about 6 months. The strained solids that you have in the cheesecloth are now homemade, real, cream cheese and can be sweetened naturally with maple syrup and/or fruit (mixed together in a food processor) and can be used as you would store bought cream cheese, for up to about 2 weeks.
I’ve used this liquid whey for a few different real food recipes thus far and intend on using it for many more! I wanted to post this basic post today so that when I post recipes in future Back to Basics posts, you can have this to refer to when I mention liquid whey as one of the ingredients.
Whey can be used in many homemade recipes to add probiotics to things including homemade condiments (will cover in future Back to Basics posts), smoothies, to lacto-ferment fruits and vegetables, and even to make ricotta cheese.
Back to Basics: On a Quest to Eating Traditionally…
I’ve previously posted an introduction to my new venture in life: eating traditionally (video included). Today’s Back to Basics post is in regards to some of the changes that I’ve made so far in my quest for a healthier lifestyle. Most of the changes I’ve made are small things here & there, removing some ingredients used & replacing them with healthier, less processed & unrefined choices. All of these things are simple steps to take in order to begin traditional eating. Most importantly, remember: Any positive change (big or small) is better than none at all.
Here are some of the things I switched out over time:
- Conventional fruit & vegetables to organic. As much as possible.
- Pasteurized milk to raw (unpasteurized) milk. Raw milk must be grass-fed/fresh from a farm.
- Anything white to anything in it’s whole (unrefined/less processed) form. This includes white flour -> whole wheat flour, white rice -> whole grain rice, white bread -> whole grain bread, white sugar -> sucanat/or other natural sweeteners. (I did switch to Sugar in the Raw before I realized even that wasn’t sugar in it’s purest form…just marketing at it’s finest).
- Conventional, store bought (factory farmed) dairy to grass-fed/pastured only dairy. Including: Eggs, Butter, and Cream.
- Store bought (factory farmed) meats & eggs to local/farm meats & eggs.
- Prepackaged/processed snacks/foods to made from scratch foods.
- Vegetable Oils (rancid) to healthy oils. Corn, canola, & soy oils are oils that I never buy, no longer cook with, & always look for in the ingredients lists of any packaged foods that I might still buy (such as bread, mayo, ketchup, salad dressings — If/when I don’t make my own). These oils are replaced with coconut oil, olive oil, sesame oil.
- Regular/processed Apple Cider Vinegar to Raw Apple Cider Vinegar.
- Regular/processed honey to raw honey.
- Table salt (iodized) to Sea Salt.
- Improperly prepared grains to traditionally (properly) prepared grains. With anything I make from scratch with grains, I make sure to properly prepare the grains first. I’ve also been switching from regular whole grain store bought breads & bagels -> only traditionally prepared (sprouted) whole grain breads & bagels.
- Store bought items with High Fructose Corn Syrup to items with only natural sugars. This includes pantry items that have High Fructose Corn Syrup as a main ingredient, such as: Jelly (Grape) -> natural/organic grape jelly.
- Pam cooking/baking sprays (oil in a can) to oil in a Misto oil sprayer. The mistro sprayer allows you to use any oil that you want, without the use of toxic chemicals and propellants in the can.
- Canned vegetables to fresh or frozen (organic).
Items I added to the pantry & shopping lists that I never used to use before:
- Grade B Maple Syrup (not grade A!)
- Fermented Cod liver oil
- Butter oil
- Liquid Whey (homemade only)
- Arrowroot powder
- 100% Cacao (REAL cocoa)
- Molasses (Blackstrap)
- Fine & coarse sea salt (including pink Himalayan sea salt)
- Aloe Vera juice/liquid
- Fish sauce
- Coconut oil (organic, extra-virgin, unrefined)
- Rapadura/Sucanat (whole cane sugar - unrefined/unbleached)
- Raw honey
- Raw apple cider vinegar
That’s all I can think of for now! Hopefully this helps give some insight on how I have been transitioning to more traditional eating habits.
For the upcoming weeks Back to Basics posts, I will go into detail of how some of these ingredients can be used and why they are important to have in your pantry/diet. I will also post recipes in the future, as well as products that I’ve invested in & how I made the switch from using less processed/packaged foods and condiments, and more homemade/from scratch items.
Back to Basics: Farm Fresh Delivery
We got our first ever farm fresh delivery last week! I was super excited to pick it up and even more excited to have everything in front of me.
I like going to Farmer’s Markets but it’s not always the most convenient thing for me — I tend to forget to go to them (at the right place, at the right time, on the right day), and because every Farmer’s Market is different (and depending on the season), they may or may not have what I want.
Farm deliveries make it extremely easy to get farm fresh food — it’s literally delivered from the farm to the city, and you go to pick it up at a specified “drop off” location (some farm delivery services even deliver to your door).
As you can see from the picture above, my order consisted of:
Organic Sprouted Seven Grain Bread - This bread is way healthier/better for us than store bought breads. Sprouting is one of the traditional ways to prepare grains that is important to eliminate anti-nutrients and enzyme inhibitors in our grains. Click here for my blog post on how to properly prepare some of your own grains and why it’s important. Commercial breads are NOT prepared in this traditional way (unless it is stated otherwise). Since I am not into bread-making myself (at least not yet!), I decided it is worth it to pay a little more for bread that is prepared to digest properly and to reduce risks of developing problems over time. Another reason for buying this bread is that it is completely natural, in the sense that it does not contain any rancid oils (vegetable oils such as canola or soy) or any other unnecessary ingredients. Lately I’ve been reading labels and checking ingredients to switch out some things that I want to eliminate from my diet (or atleast consume LESS of, for now — baby steps!) and this bread is definitely a YES on my list!
Eggs- These eggs are from pastured hens and are antibiotic and hormone free! Most grocery store eggs come from factory farms where hens are crammed into small cages indoors, are fed a poor diet, and never get any exercise or fresh air. Because of these poor conditions, the hens are often sick and need antibiotics (and hormones) to keep them healthy. Pastured hens, however, roam on the green grass of a farm and get plenty of exercise and fresh air and sunlight! They also eat a natural diet of what they should be eating: Things like grass and bugs found in nature! Eggs from pastured hens make a much healthier egg (and you can tell by comparing these eggs to your regular, grocery store egg).
Chicken- The same info regarding the eggs goes for the chickens themselves! Poorly raised/treated chickens makes for poor quality (health-wise) meat! This chicken is a Freedom Ranger. These chickens are free range (roam, exercise, and eat on pasture), and are antibiotic and hormone free!
REAL Milk- Yep, Real, RAW milk. I was super excited to finally have raw milk in our lives! Read my post here about raw milk and why it’s WAY better for you than store bought (pasteurized) milk, aka: dead milk. Milk is alive and is traditionally consumed that way. We love this stuff! It tastes much lighter than pasteurized milk, and it is delicious!! Of course, it’s important to make sure that your raw milk is coming from a clean and reputable source. This milk comes from an Amish farm in Paradise, PA. The cows live on pasture and are grass-fed — and that makes for some very nutritious milk filled with lots of probiotics! :)
Grade B Maple Syrup- Grade B is hard to find in most stores (although Whole Foods does have it, it’s more expensive there than buying it from here). Basically, maple syrup is REAL syrup and is great to use as an unrefined sweetener. Grade B is better for you than grade A. Grade B contains all the good stuff — the minerals and nutrients. It literally is the bottom of the barrel, but that’s good in this case! That’s where all of the nutrients settle to!
Yogurt- The 2 containers you see in the picture are all natural, peach and mango yogurt from grass-fed cows!
I order all of my farm fresh food from: Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative.
Although I’m not a CSA member, I am still able to place orders for farm fresh food by being a member of their Buying Club (4 Seasons Harvest)! It’s free to become a member! And some co-ops require you to be a CSA member in order to take full advantage of all that they have to offer, such as meats, dairy, etc. But Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op allows you to buy just what you want (through the buying club), which is the exact service I was searching for! They make deliveries to different areas throughout PA (and many different sites in Philly alone). You get to pick your drop off location and once a week, they deliver to that location. All you have to do is just pick it up (on that day, between specified times). You place your order the week before, and pay in advance. It’s the easiest and most efficient way to get farm food! Especially if you do not live near a farm, or if it’s not convenient to go to a farm). I love it & I highly recommend it!!
Back to Basics: Why RAW MILK is better for you (a summarized explanation)
Due to Wednesday’s SWAT team raid of Rawsome, the seller of raw milk in California, this week’s Back to Basics post will be in regards to raw (unpasteurized) milk, and why it is better for you than conventional/pasteurized milk that all of us buy at the grocery store. And yes, raw milk actually goes back to basics — our ancestors drank only raw, unpasteurized milk at one point…actually, for years!
In my quest for a healthier lifestyle, I’ve been introduced to “real foods”/”traditional foods” — the concept of eating truly healthy and nutrient dense foods, healthy fats & oils, and leaving refined sugars and processed foods out of the picture. (I’ll save the details of other Real Foods in future Back to Basics posts). To begin, however, I’ll focus on nutrient dense Raw Milk (also known as: “Real Milk”).
Pasteurized milk was once raw milk that was heated to such a high degree that it kills off all of the “harmful” bacteria…meanwhile, it also completely destroys all of the GOOD bacteria (that our stomachs love & thrive of off), and kills all of the nutrients that raw milk is filled with. Raw milk only becomes a problem when the cows are not raised properly (producing unhealthy cows) or when the milk is mishandled. With healthy, pastured cows, the beneficial bacteria in raw milk flourishes. Raw milk from grass-fed, free roaming cows is safe (when handled properly), whereas raw milk from factory farmed, confined, feed-lot fed cows is not. Pastured cows eat a natural diet of foods that they are supposed to eat/food that they would eat in nature. Given their natural diet, pastured cows have a balanced pH in their stomachs which becomes present in their milk supply.
The milk that is sold in conventional grocery stores mostly comes from factory farms where cows get practically no sunlight, are shoved into small stalls where there movement is limited, and they stand on concrete filled with their own feces. They do not get to roam around on pasture like they are supposed to, and definitely are not fed a good, natural diet that they are supposed to be fed. Also, from living in the conditions that they are forced to live in, the cows often become sick and are given antibiotics to allow them to keep producing milk. THIS kind of milk MUST be pasteurized because of how disgustingly MESSED up the milk is to begin with (filled with pus from udder infections, etc). A healthy cow, who is pastured, is allowed to roam around in natural sunlight, and eat a healthy diet since they eat the grass that they live on (how nature intended cows to live & eat). These healthy, happy cows produce healthy, nutrient dense milk filled with beneficial bacteria, minerals, and enzymes.
Of course, there’s a very small risk in drinking raw milk (as with any food, really), but the risk here has been proven to be so small that you’d have a greater chance of getting sick or some kind of disease from mishandled meats, or other foods (think of the E.coli outbreak with that bagged spinach, or any other food recalls you can think of) — it can happen with anything, any time (people even get sick from pasteurized milk!) So you take a risk with everything you eat. What’s important is to do the research and make informed decisions, weighing out the pros & cons. To me, it seems that the small risk involved with consuming raw milk is worth it, considering that it’s better for you and the cows the milk comes from are HEALTHY cows. After looking into it, processed, antibiotic filled pasteurized milk seems pointless even. Adding chemicals and killing off all of the nutrients…what’s the point of drinking it?
In any situation, raw milk should be purchased only from a trusted farm/farmer. It is important to find out their animal-raising methods and how their milk is obtained and handled. At some farms, farmers go above and beyond to make sure their raw milk is safe for consumption by performing extra tests on their milk supply. Of course, people with compromised immune systems should be extra careful and stay away from anything unpasteurized (in my opinion, unless the issue is properly researched).
I’ll post more info on “real food” diets in future Back to Basics posts (to document & share everything I’m learning/doing to lead a healthier lifestyle). Meanwhile, do your research & support local & organic farming whenever you can! (I’m trying, and transitioning!) Feel free to message/ask any questions you have :)