Updated: Jun 4, 2021
Written by Markus with photos by the team at the Farm
The farmer and his wife from who I buy my raw milk
Drinking milk is something I prefer over drinking water or sodas. Generally I chuck down one or two liters a day. I started doing this about two decades ago.
I suffer from heart burn, what sounds like a big thing, but it isn’t. It means that my stomach acids are overactive and produce a burning feeling in my stomach and sometimes, when it is strong, gives the feeling it wants to come up and come out.
Triggers are eating wrong (fatty) foods and/or stress. Normally people fight this with acid suppressors, like Renny. But I use milk. When I feel it coming, I take a gulp and can feel how the acids are now busy with the milk and any distress disappears. For a short while at least. And because of this, I will always have fresh milk in my house.
If drinking milk that often, it is only natural one starts to have preferences for a type and brand. I live a 5 minute drive away from two big supermarkets that sell all kinds of milk. But instead, I chose to drive 10 minutes (to and back, is 20 minutes in total) to get my milk from a place where they only sell one kind of milk. So why do I drive twice the distance? It is because there I can buy the milk that I can’t buy from the supermarket. The milk I get is raw milk.
You may wonder, what is the difference between raw milk and fresh milk from the supermarket. The difference is heating raw milk for a period of about 10 minutes at a temperature of 70 degrees Celsius (though opinions differ on temperature and duration). What this suppose to do is kill any bad bacteria. This process is called pasteurization.
But what this process also does is destroy many nutrients as well as splits a large part of the natural fats present.
Raw milk though comes straight from the cow. It is not treated, though when sold, it should be cooled down to a temperature between 2 and 4 degrees Celsius.
When you try both, you immediately taste the difference. Raw milk tastes very creamy. Processed milk, in comparison, tastes like water. If I drink half a liter of raw milk in one go, it feels like I just had dinner. Not only the texture changes, but also the taste, where raw milk just tastes fresher, with tones of sweetness.
One downside is that raw milk can be kept in the fridge for a maximum of 3 days, while fresh milk from the supermarket can stay drinkable for about a week.
Raw milk is also better for the environment, as drinking two liters of milk from the supermarket means that every day I generate two packs of trash a day. Raw milk though, is bottled in glass bottles that are re-used. This aside of that raw milk you buy from the farm, and therefore does not need to be transported to packaging factories and supermarkets. To get a bottle of raw milk on your table, requires a lot less petrol and electricity than the supermarket fresh milk.
It is also more fun. For starters, you go to a farm to get the milk instead of the supermarket. This means being exposed to farm life. And no matter how briefly this may be, playing with baby-cows is always a very relaxing experience. Secondly, instead of just grabbing a pack of milk from a shelf in the supermarket’s fridge, you need to bring glass bottles that one by one are filled with milk from whatever temporary storage system the farm uses. So you are mucking about with a bunch of glass bottles every day.
It is a realization to be able to see the cow whose milk you drink.
Because it is a 10-minute drive, I don’t do this every day. Once every 3 days I make sure my bottles are clean and I drive to the farm to get more than I may need in the next few days. And of course, when the end of the three days approach, I go into “hurry-mode”, trying to finish what I bought.
At the farm where I buy, there is a self-tap, meaning I need to hold my bottle against a dispenser that is connected to the farmer’s storage system, and fill them one by one. This gives me the feeling I bottled my own milk instead of just grabbing it from a shelf. I can see the milk and if something is not to my liking, I can stop.
Glass bottles instead of milk packs
Raw milk works better against my heart-burn issue compared to supermarket milk. I think it is because more natural fats are present in the milk and seeing that the acids most effectively bond with animal fat, my heart-burn disappears for a longer time.
I’ve been asked about the risks of raw milk, seen it is not processed. I believe that the requirement to process milk is outdated. Yes, in the past, the way milk was taken from the cows and the storage thereafter, may not have been optimal, but nowadays, the requirements are so strict that the systems that farmers use are a showpiece of extremely clean stainless steel tubes and containers. The risk that “bad bacterias” are introduced, is nowadays extremely low.
So I fully recommend drinking raw milk over normal fresh milk. I am aware that “raw milk nutty people” claim all sorts of benefits around health, but I’m not sure about those benefits. But what I do know is that for me, it removes heart-burn almost immediately, is more nutritious and to me that is most important, it just tastes much nicer.
Playing with baby-cows is the best anti stress therapy you can have.