Thursday, August 16, 2007

Raw Milk

After reading that NYTimes article last week, plus follow-up at and the What To Eat blog, I just had to try raw milk for myself.  Well, it turns out there is a supplier right here on Mercer Island!  Dungeness Valley Creamery is a family farm north of here in Sequim that delivers fresh, unpasteurized milk here every Thursday. Where I grew up in Neillsville Wisconsin, that was no big deal: most people drank milk freshly squeezed from the cows that morning. These days, hyper-protective regulators have made it illegal in 15 states (including, if you can believe it, Wisconsin!) 

After reading Omnivore's Dilemma and hearing an excellent podcast interview with its author, Michael Pollan,I've been exploring family farm eating options in the Seattle area, so I was pleasantly surprised to learn that at least one farm delivers right up the street from us.  The cost, $8.25/gal is much more than we pay for Smith Brothers, but the same thing at Whole Foods is $13!

I should point out that I'm not an earth-loving hippie by any stretch.  Modernization has plenty of problems, but generally I think the world, and humanity's future, is much brighter today than it has ever been. I think it's wonderful that industrialized farmers are able to create so much food and sell it so cheaply.I'm not afraid of GMO, and I actually enjoy eating at McDonalds.    For me this is purely about flavor and variety.

 So what about it? How does it taste?  As you would expect from the milk of a Jersey cow, it's very creamy -- rich, like ice cream. The kids like it, though they prefer their regular milk in a blind taste test, but I think that's due to familiarity more than anything.  I can't wait to test it with my Espresso Vivace in the morning.

If you're interested in trying it yourself, I'm happy to tell you my source, though I'm hesitant to mention it publicly. The woman who runs the Mercer Island drop does it out of her garage, in a very informal setup that won't scale if she gets too much business. Call me, or send me an email and I'll give you all the details.


Anonymous said...

Dude, I'm amazed you're paying 8 USD a gallon for milk.


Mark said...

Not pasteurized, but "creamy"? That means it is homogenized (i.e., just as unnatural, and just as unhealthy).

While it may taste better, because it has not been "cooked", raw milk definitely is not "more organic" (that depends on what the cows are fed, not what happens afterwords), nor is it "more healthy" or "better for you."

Many doctors believe the rise in heart disease today can be traced to the consumption of homogenized whole milk after WW2. Some also link homogenized milk to childhood obesity and cancer.

Richard Sprague said...

Nope, this stuff is not homogenized. It's thick and creamy when you shake it; otherwise it's just got big chunks of cream. Mmmmmm.....

I'm absolutely amazed that fresh, clean, straight-from-the-farm natural products like this are banned in most states.