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07 June 2010 @ 03:41 pm
Milk, delivered right to your door!  
 Coming from a family of chefs and bakers, it's practically second nature to be conscious of food and flavor, and how they relate.  What's hard is striking some sort of balance between flavor, health, and caloric intake.  Weight is an issue that runs heavy in my family.  My grandmother on my father's side has been very heavy for as long as I can remember, and it's played a definite role in her health as she's aged.  My Mom's side runs to curves, and curvy women often seem to have a harder time keeping weight off other areas of the body.  Well, we certainly do.  I can remember my Mom doing no-fat everything, and I remember after chef school, how she turned away from all of that and went by the school's creed - fat equals flavor.  Real cream, real butter, et al.  Neither decision helped her be healthier, actually.  Now, she tries to balance the two.  Cutting fat when she doesn't need to sacrifice flavor by doing so.

Over the past two years, my medical situation has made me far, far more conscious of what I eat.  My doctor is a proponent of both Western and Eastern medicine, and she's of the opinion that all the preservatives, chemicals, etc., we put into our bodies from the food we eat can have some unanticipated, unwanted side affects, perhaps even things like premature ovarian failure, like me.  As I've stated recently, I grew up on a farm, and I know from personal experience the vast difference between the taste of a steak bought in the grocery store, and good grass fed beef.  Garden fresh vegetables, and store bought.  I think my recent gardening interest is partially a result of that history, a reaction to rising grocery store prices, and becoming more conscious of all the crap they put in and on the food we buy at the store.  

I've been buying beef from local farmers for over a year.  Buying organic milk and eggs.  And now I'm growing a garden.  Of course, what do I do when I get into something new?  I research it.  I read articles, forums and blogs from people who know more than I do.  One of those has led me to something that has nothing really to do with gardening, but still strikes me as interesting.

Did you know the milk most of us buy in the grocery store, the homogenized milk, has been broken down to the point where your cells can absorb the fatty (and other bad) bits even in your mouth??  You don't even have to swallow it!  In non-homogenized milk, these things are large enough that this is not the case.  Apparently some heart attacks have been linked to our bodies absorbing a lot more of these fats than we would drinking milk that has not been subjected to this process.  Now, I noticed an immediate difference in texture and flavor when I started buying the organic 2% milk, which is NOT homogenized, but I never knew why.  I'm guessing the homogenized vs. non is part of the difference.  

I should probably pause here and mention that like regular farming, dairy farming also runs in my family.  My great aunt and uncle ran a dairy farm up in Washington until they retired.  I can remember visiting them and drinking fresh milk, but like so many things when you're a kid, I had no real appreciation for it. :)

Anyway, back to the gardening blogs, and what I stumbled over.  Namely, a local dairy that makes organic, lightly pasteurized (because by law in Oregon milk must be pasteurized) dairy products.  Milk, yogurt, cheese, butter.  

And get this: they deliver right to your door!  In glass bottles, just like the milkman of old.  For free.  I mean, no delivery charge.  You know how coke and pepsi taste so much better from a glass bottle?  Well, after reading this, I just had to try it! I got my first delivery from Noris Dairy today - two glass bottles of milk, a carton of yogurt, and some butter.  Mmmmmmm.  I've already had some of the yogurt with some fresh strawberries and a drizzle of honey.  I can't wait to try my coffee with the milk tomorrow morning.  The butter I've cut into chunks and divided between the fridge and the freezer.  Next week, I'll place my order and put out the rinsed empty bottles, and....like magic, they will be replaced with fresh bottles of milk!  

The funny thing is, the prices are the same or a little less than the organic stuff in the grocery store I buy.  But fresh, delivered, and it has that whole nostalgia factor going for it.  I plan to have a taste test in the morning.  A drink of the dairy milk, vs. the store bought organic, vs. the regular store bought jug.  I will report back my findings!



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wyld_dandelyonwyld_dandelyon on June 7th, 2010 11:55 pm (UTC)
They tried to legalize very limited sale of non-homogenized milk here in Wisconsin this year, and failed.
soundingsea: food - cooking - retrosoundingsea on June 8th, 2010 03:09 am (UTC)
Yum! Looks much like the milk I get at our food co-op:

http://www.cedarsummit.com/

It really does make a huge difference (and I love the lumpy cream stuff at the top of the milk).
rhienellethrhienelleth on June 8th, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC)
I'm kind of ridiculously excited about the lumpy cream stuff! Do you usually get whole milk or 2%? I've heard only whole milk gets the cream on top, but I think Noris advertises their 2% can, too.
soundingseasoundingsea on June 8th, 2010 08:45 pm (UTC)
We get 2% and it's got the cream top. Mmmmmm.
KayJayUU: feelthatkayjayuu on June 8th, 2010 05:41 am (UTC)
Man, what I wouldn't give... I've looked into CSA's here (I have no time or patience to do the garden thing yet, although I'd love to), and can't find any that are close enough to my small town to make it worth the extra money on top of the extra money. But soon.

Real food.
rhienellethrhienelleth on June 8th, 2010 02:52 pm (UTC)
When the time comes, you should really look into raised bed gardening. After the initial output of building the boxes, the time is very minimal. It's nothing like those rows upon rows I had to weed and water as a kid. There's a book called Square Foot Gardening, written by the guy who invented the method, an engineer who looked at traditional gardening and found it too time consuming and space wasting. And it's amazing what you can fit in one 4' x 4' box. :)

I had to buy extra bits of wood for hanging my deer/critter screen. I think without that, and without the little "shelves" we added to the lip to sit on, I could have built one for about $60 - $40 for the cedar, and $18 for half a yard of good dirt, in case it ever interests you. :)

I actually live right down the street from several local farms. It's where I get my pears and peaches for canning. But even living close by, I never did the CSA thing because frankly, it IS expensive.
KayJayUU: feelthatkayjayuu on June 9th, 2010 05:12 am (UTC)
I want to do Square Foot Gardening -- I used to read the book as a kid, believe it or not. My problem is follow-through (and usually a lack of money when it's time to plant). I always have good intentions. I always peter out when the hot weather hits (which is why I live in North Dakota -- a little less of that, but it's still here).

Maybe I'll take the plunge this year and make the box, and plant it next year, lol.
roseaponiroseaponi on June 8th, 2010 11:36 am (UTC)
cows that live like cows... and dieting mini-rant
The milk I buy from Happy Cow Creamery here in SC sounds very similar - they use the old-fashioned slow pasteurization process instead of flash-heating and then rapid-cooling like the big dairy industry does now, and they skip the homogenizing. They have signs all down the drive that say "Shake Well and Enjoy!" :)

And I see the cows out living in the pasture, grazing and chewing their cud and being cows, and they really do look happy.

I've noticed that at the beginning of lots of dieting advice articles, they say, "Swap your whole (or 2%) milk in your cereal or your coffee for skim," as if that's going to do anything. I lost 30 pounds when I swapped skim milk for Happy Cow milk (among other changes) and kept it off until I stopped cooking at home and resumed eating out. Between the outsize portions and sauce-in-a-jar ingredients, all it took was a few months of not feeling like cooking and boom, the weight was back.

I'm making a list of what to do differently this time around - I'm on the cash envelope system again for the groceries so I should be able to budget for better ingredients, too. Still working on a way to get around the cooking doldrums when they arrive, though.
rhienellethrhienelleth on June 8th, 2010 02:59 pm (UTC)
Re: cows that live like cows... and dieting mini-rant
Noris Dairy is offering a BBQ/tour in July, and I think I'm going to sign up and go. I would love to really see their operation. But I do know their cows are out in the field, munching grass. :)

You lost 30 pounds by switching to more natural food? That is awesome! A friend of mine read a book recently that claimed the bellies people tend to get these days are all these bad things put in and on our food helping crud to build up in our bodies. The book advocated eating as organically (or naturally) as possible. She was very intrigued, and told me about it, but I don't remember the name right now.

And just as far as milk goes, I was shocked when I actually looked at 2% vs. whole, and the difference per serving was only like 20 calories. 4.5 grams of fat in 2% vs. 8 in whole, but how much fat have I absorbed from the homogenized "low fat" stuff that absorbes straight into your cells??

I find this fascinating, and I'd love to know more about what you changed that had such a huge impact.
rhienellethrhienelleth on June 8th, 2010 03:01 pm (UTC)
Re: cows that live like cows... and dieting mini-rant
Oh, yeah, and when I went searching for the truth about whole milk vs. 2%, all I found were all these parenting forums advising parents to get their kids onto 2% so they won't get fat. Only a handful of people seem to be talking about the realities of non-processed milk and whole vs. low fat.
L.A.frenchroast on June 8th, 2010 03:19 pm (UTC)
I'm super jealous. There's nothing like that available here in Alabama near where I live. And from what I can tell, I can't even get nonhomogenized organic milk from the store, as Organic Valley only offers it in the northwest at the moment. Argh.
rhienellethrhienelleth on June 8th, 2010 03:29 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow - not even having the option at the grocery store!

I did a search, and did find one newly certified organic dairy in Alabama, but I have no idea how far away from you they are, and it doesn't look like they're set up for home deliveries (yet?)

Working Cows Dairy lists their milk as pasteurized. They sound a lot like my local dairy, actually. :)

Maybe they'll end up joining the coalition of farmers that makes up Organic Valley??

Edited at 2010-06-08 03:29 pm (UTC)
L.A.frenchroast on June 8th, 2010 04:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks for looking. They're...3 hours away from me. Though they say they have a distributor for north of Montgomery (which my town would fall under) and that distributor apparently delivers to a natural foods store here once a week. I can't tell if the distributor actually delivers any milk, though...but I'll go check after work today, as Tuesday is their delivery day. I don't drink/use a lot of milk, so if they do deliver to a store once a week, that would probably more than suffice.
rhienellethrhienelleth on June 8th, 2010 05:03 pm (UTC)
Oh, yay! I hope you find what you need. :) I used to never drink milk, but since I got my espresso set up, I have it every morning in my latte.