Originally posted November 2009
We’re almost out of milk and I’m mourning the loss of our sweet dairy until the next pick up on Thursday. I’m really loving the raw milk we’ve been getting. It’s creamier, sweeter and I feel great giving it to the kids. Fat helps the brain of a young child grow.
I’ve also been reading a lot on farm bills that the government is trying to pass making it almost impossible these days to be a small farmer who grows real food that you can eat. Government subsidies to grow corn and soy (which is in EVERYTHING) have made the life and livelihood of family run farms almost a thing of the past. I wonder what the future of food will be (I know what the present is) and just how far the arm of huge agribusiness will extend it’s reach?
Matt and I are reading some Michael Pollan books and it’s been provoking both of us in the activist direction. I’m not sure of where that will take us but for now we write and I preach from my little pulpit known as my kitchen table. Last week we had our Thursday night dinner crew in our home and I brought the topic to the table, literally. I love the conversation around food. To ponder how holy and amazing real food is and the type of community that is created around cooking and eating with people in your house. Turn the heat up to cozy, put on some music (no Yani) , serve up a garden fresh soup and laugh about your week together as you sip Pinot Noir.
One of the reasons we’re getting our milk and meat from a local farm is because I was nearly a vegetarian due to my knowledge of feed lots and the type of meat we are eating these days. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for about a year now just to support the small grower and to know where my meat is coming from. Some of my friends told me they get raw milk and I researched it to find out if it would be a good source for our family. I haven’t done milk with the kids much because I honestly don’t see much of a point in drinking something that’s been pasteurized to the point where the vitamins and enzymes have all been cooked out. I was, however, a bit nervous about drinking something that would send my whole family to the ER with a bad case of Deli Belly, as we call the schleppies on outreaches that I’ve been on. E coli is a gift that keeps on giving. Needless to say in my research and knowing a few families that purchased raw milk from said farm had never been sick (my friend even drinks through all of her pregnancies) I felt more than confident in my decision.
I’m not claiming that it’s a miracle drug but I LOVE the flavor as do my kids. Apparently if you have lactose issues you should try raw. Most people who have intolerance do really well with raw. I love feeling good about drinking full fat, cream on top, junk in the trunk, whole milk. I hold to the belief that fat is good and processed food is bad. Just stick to food that is, well, food!
These days I’m asking a lot of questions about the state of food (where it comes from, how it’s processed, who benefits from the way it’s made and what it’s doing to our bodies-especially our kids-and our ecology). I love to think of my kids and great grandkids having a future where they aren’t walking Cyborgs that pop nutrient enriched food(ish) items into their bodies just to stay alive. I’d prefer to see my children and their kids around tables enjoying the good life, full of flavor and rich with community; to have more of a connection to the entire food system whether that’s hunting and gathering or gardening. There’s something holy about reconnecting to the origins of our food and enjoying the process of cooking and eating together with the people we love to be around.
I realize the steps into eating more locally often have to be baby steps (our family is not full-out organic everything and ‘only eat within 100 miles of home’ type people). Food can be pricey but as Americans we really only spend 10% of our income on food (on average) and when you think of how connected our personal health is to what we eat it really is worth the extra investment. Plus, when you throw down a sweet meal, gather your friends and family to share the love and, of course, throw in a dash of red wine…. it’s good for the heart and the soul.