Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Is what you're eating real or is it frankenfood?

Listening to an Interview with David Gumpert by Jimmy Moore over at Livin' La Vida Low-Carb about raw milk, I wanted to tell a funny story about a kid who grew up on a dairy farm, as related by the dairy farmer we get our raw milk from.

If for one minute you think that the milk you buy in the store is anything like the milk that comes out of a cow, you've never had fresh milk directly from a cow. Luckily we live in Texas, where you are allowed (as if it should even be a question) to buy raw-milk directly from a dairy. There is also recent legislation to make it legal for dairies to sell their products off the farm, i.e. in towns and cities where most people live.

The dairy farmer we get our raw milk from told us how their kid, on the first day of school, received a carton of milk in the lunch room. He took a sip, and took it back up to the lunch ladies and told them it had gone bad. They gave him another carton, he drank a sip of it, and promptly took it back up as well. It tasted bad to him. At that point, they realized he was a dairy farmers' kid, and gave him chocolate milk for the rest of the time he was in school there. Why? Because pasteurized-homogenized-transported-hundreds-of-miles milk is simply bad milk. I'm not saying that all milk should be raw, rather anything produced in a large industrial dairy has to be pasteurized, because they're not clean. Local small dairies are clean though, so there's no reason why they shouldn't be allowed to sell their product.

A little history, pasteurization came about because people did used to get very sick off of raw milk. Back then they did not understand germ theory, did not have antibiotics, and did not have sanitation or refrigeration either. Pasteurization made milk safe to drink for city people in an age of no refrigeration. We on the other hand, living in the 21st century, have sanitation, we understand bacteria and how disease is transmitted, and we have refrigeration as well. It is perfectly safe to drink raw milk because of this. Sometimes we get caught up living in this advanced era, and forget that as late as the civil war doctors did not know how disease spread, and killed many soldiers they were trying to save because they did not wash their hands between procedures. That was only 150 years ago. One of the first to discover that washing your hands might prevent the spread of disease was Ignaz Semmelweis, who discovered this in the mid 19th century, and was thought to be a quack and was ridiculed by his contemporaries. So much for knowing so much.

The moral of this story? Real, fresh food doesn't taste like anything you find in the store. It's like the fresh green beans we grow in the summer. They're so much better than anything you find in the store, even ones from the produce department, because they haven't been transported a thousand miles. When we can't eat them all, we freeze them, and they then aren't as good. Doing things like canning, and freezing food, changes the taste. It doesn't take a big leap of the imagination to realize that it probably changes the vitamin content and the overall healthful nature of the food too.

No comments:

Post a Comment