Sites and Sources of other Information
- Dr Mercola on Pasteurized Milk. - This is some good reading about the truths of Milk from someone who hasn't been hushed by big dairy and crooked politicians who have been bought.
- Raw milk Nutrition - The facts about the benefits of Raw Milk and it's nutrition. Please read this site well, it contains evidence of the FDA and USDA sell out to promote big dairy, and it isn't for your good! Rather, it lines the pockets of politicians who in turn pump taxpayer money back to the FDA and USDA; you see how one hand greases the other and the public isn't any the wiser.
- American Guernsey Association - Information on the Guernsey breed and registration services.
- Real Milk - This site is filled with good information.
- This is the most important document you can read! Please educate yourselves on this subject, I provide many resources for that purpose throughout this site.
- Tennesseans for Raw Milk - This site has some good information but I have found a lot erroneous information as detailed in the following paragraphs.
Most significantly, with regard to Holstein cattle. Holsteins are grass eaters just like every other breed of cattle on the planet, and they too can be bred to produce A2/A2 milk because 35% of holsteins are in fact A2/A2 naturally. This author uses the term "heirloom breeds" but I think what was meant is Heritage Breeds since Heirloom is a Horticulture term. Though not clear why, I think the reason is most likely those which produce A2 milk. However, if you want A2/A2 milk with even the slightest assurance without DNA testing, the only source is the Guernsey breed.
Please, don't judge a farmer based solely on the breed of cattle he chooses to farm. Just because a farmer milks Jersey's doesn't mean that they produce anything different than a Holstein. In fact it's only a 15% chance that it is different (A2/A2). Only a DNA test of every cow in a herd will tell the facts, and very few farmers are going to spend that much money on poor odds unless they want to transition their herds. Every small farmer is hard working, and most are conscientious individuals. If he has a clean operation, the product he's producing in it's natural state, will be far better than anything you can get commercially regardless of the breed of cattle he's milking. If you want to know more about what he's doing, just ask, before you judge him based on nonsense about cattle breeds.
It's also stated on this site, that when pasteurized milk sours it's rotten; this is false. Though pasteurized milk may become rotten, it will sour first, and the two are completely different things. The most significant factor determining how long milk will last is the temperature at which it is stored. In fact, you can freeze milk, raw or pasteurized, and it will last as much as 60-days. Pasteurized milk will look yellowish when fozen but returns to normal when thawed. Natural raw milk does not yellow when frozen. Unpasteurized milk is best if it's used within 7-days but it can last much longer, as will pasteurized milk. We believe it is Homogenization which causes this yellowing since it mixes cream throughout. One of the problems with Pasteurized milk is that you don't know how old it is when you buy it. When you buy fresh milk from your local farmer, you know exactly how old it is.
The statement that soured raw milk and/or cream becomes natural yogurt, is completely false. Raw milk does not become yogurt when it sours, nor does the cream on top of it. If the cream is sour, so is the milk it sits on, and neither are natural yogurt; they are soured cream and milk. Making Yogurt requires culture just like making most types of cheeses regardless of whether or not the beginning product was raw or pasteurized.
This author also puts much information about what you should ask a farmer before you buy his milk, making a big deal about soy with no explanation as to why. It is also stated that crushed corn is okay—which is false. Any grain that is fed to cattle must be ground because unlike humans and most other living things, cattle (which are ruminants) have four stomach compartments, three that do not secrete Hydrochloric Acid. So if cattle eat crushed corn the same thing comes out the back end that went in the front end—completely undigested corn. If you don't believe it, look at the poop. Every farmer worth his salt watches what comes out the backend of his livestock because that's a significant indicator of their health. Much of the commercial grains sold by the local Co-op or chain stores contain a variety of non-nutritious fillers often coated with molasses (a cheap sweetner) so animals will eat it. Any ground pure grain feed won't hurt cattle if it is given as a small treat or reward for milking, or for doing whatever it is that you want them to do. With a little grain treat cattle are easy to train. What on earth could possibly be wrong with corn silage, it's mostly vegetation which is what ruminants eat. It's okay to feed crushed corn, but not corn silage which contains less "corn" than crushed corn?
The breed of cattle producing milk; Jerseys, Guernseys, Holsteins or any other breed of cattle is not anywhere near as important as cleanliness during the milking and handling process. Also, whether or not the cattle are inoculated with any kind of drugs without a waiting period before consuming milk could be an issue. Cattle should not be treated with hormones either, no quality farmer would. If a farmer is reluctant to let you watch his milking process, I would be concerned as to why. The BS line of, "insurance doesn't allow it", is simply a lie, especially in Tennessee where we have the Agritourism law. It comes down to knowing who you are getting your product from, and with commercial milk, you just don't know. It's kind of like that dyed hamburger you buy at the local grocery store that contains meat from thousands of different cattle, none of which you have a clue as to how they were raised, fed or handled.
The issue of fly control is also on this list of questions, with the statement that, "topical control is okay". Well I've got news for you; cattle, like every other animal, spend the day periodically grooming/cleaning themselves, how? By licking themselves and each other all over. So where do you think that topical fly control goes? You got it, inside, right where you don't want it. However, fly control is a necessary evil, and each farmer needs to do what they think works best, without causing a negative effect on the end product.
The statement that, "adult cattle don't need deworming", is false. Cattle, as with all animals, get parasites from many sources, but mostly from unclean water. Many farmers allow their cattle to drink from polluted ponds, you know, the same ponds they are standing in while pooping and peeing. The best time to deworm cattle is when they're dried off for birthing as it ensures that a calf won't be born with worms as they surely could be. Also, during that time she isn't being milked anyway. There are Organic approved methods for worming as well.
Except that a waiting period should occur, the idea that vaccinations are always bad is quackery; afterall, humans have been vaccinated and they nurse their babies don't they? People can easily get consumed by petty things while forgetting the most unhealthy things they do in their lives like consuming processed sugar, processed drinks and prescription medications.
Whether or not you control the weeds in your grazing pastures and hay fields with herbicides isn't nearly as important as rotating the cattle off of a treated pasture for a specified period of time regardless of the method one uses. Many weeds contain poisons which when eaten by dairy cattle ends up in the milk. Cattle are selective eaters, but when they wrap that long tonque around a batch of grasses in weedy pastures they can't help but eat them. When farmers harvest hay from weedy fields, the cattle can't help but eat those too.
- Is Raw Milk Safe? - This is a good article on some of the facts surrounding Raw Milk but it ends with the question still open. I've consumed Raw milk in large quantities my whole life and I'am still alive and hav't been abnormally sick.
- Purity of Commercial Milk, or rather the lack thereof - I grew up in northern Wisconsin, which isn't called America's Dairyland for nothing. My grandfather was a dairy farmer and when I came of working age I worked at many local dairy farms. Once when I was managing a dairy farm I had failed to remove the pipline from the bulk tank before the chemical wash of acid and Caustic Soda was pumped through the stainless steel lines. I walked into the milk house after the transport tanker had left to find, in horror, that the pipeline was still in the bulk tank which meant that all those chemicals had been pumped into the bulk tank with the milk. This meant that the tanker, which contained milk from other farms as well, was now contaminated entirely, with this chemical wash. I was freaking out, and nervously shaking, as I called the bulk plant to confess what had just happened. To this day I am still shocked at what the person at the bulk plant told me. He said, "don't worry about it, it'll be so diluted by the time it gets on store shelves no one will ever know the difference". That my friend is the single most important reason that you should buy your milk directly from the source. The breed of cattle producing that milk is of far lessor importance.
- Eggs, Storing and other facts - In 1977 Mother Earth News published an article with the results of an extensive test they had conducted on the storage of eggs. If you want some good well researched information, Mother Earth News is a good source. You can see the results of the test and the full article here. One of the good things about eggs is that it doesn't matter how long ago the study was done, eggs haven't evolved a bit since so the test results are as good today as they were in 1977. Some other facts about eggs:
- Eggs from just about any source are one of the safest foods on the planet. Eggs are good to eat just as they come out of the shell.
- The little spots often seen in farm fresh eggs which can vary in color from red to brown, are usually pigment, and are always safe to consume. Some people call them blood spots, some call them meat spots, but they are safe and we eat them just as they are.
- As long as fertile eggs aren't warmed up they'll keep for a week right in the nest where the hens laid them, so if you're away just collect your eggs when you get home. I don't sell eggs that sit in the nest for an extensive period because if a hen did sit on them for a while there could be some chick development in the egg and I don't want an unassuming customer to get that surprise.