© 2013, Jon Belber. All rights reserved. Friends of Holly Hill Farm
Got Raw Milk?
In the main barn at Holly Hill Farm, there is a faded picture of cows in the barnyard, circa late 1890’s. The cows were on the farm providing milk for the farmers and the family that lived on the farm at the time. Milk is good for us and it was good for the farmers and family then as well. At that time, it may have even been raw. It was also a time when many farmers, even in Cohasset, had cows providing milk. These days, milk is still a sought after source of nutrients and good health. Many kids at school, mustached youths and adults respond to the phrase “Got Milk?” with a resounding yes. Cartons, gallons and jugs of milk are filled at dairies near and far. There is also an increase in local, dairy cows in nearby Norwell, making the journey of fresh milk from pasture to fridge much shorter. On dwindling Massachusetts dairy farms some cows are fed growth hormones, others may eat genetically modified grain. Much of this milk, delivered in old fashioned trucks or by conventional means goes through many steps and quite a process to secure health and a long lasting shelf life. It takes a lot of effort to meet the demands of all these milk drinkers. It takes a lot to grow food for the masses too.
Growing organic food with sustainable agricultural practices takes a great amount of work, certifying the growing fields, following specifics for compost operations and hours of labor to make sure all seeds are organically sourced, to name a few of the details. And there are further explanations as to why organic produce is often more expensive. Providing raw milk, as does Oake Knoll farm in Foxboro, Mass. also takes a lot of work. For more than five years, I and others have taken turns traveling to the farm to pick up raw milk for a group of health conscious folks who want to consume this product. And with no offense to Louis Pasteur and his hard work, raw, unpasteurized milk with its beneficial bacteria may actually be good for us. I can point to many fewer illnesses in my family, a great number of reduced cases of asthma and a good tasting product. There is an effort in Foxboro to shut down the farm due to one failed test, which was later negated by a positive test. The farm ironically sits in the shadow of Gilette stadium where there are tests and retests on the dangers of football causing concussions.
Cosuming raw milk is a risk. Pulling an organic carrot from the ground, wiping it off and eating it, with potential soil in its crevices, is also a risk. Eating GMO products and food grown with synthetic fertilizers and processed with trans fats are also risky. There are many things to harm us in this frightening world, both seen and unseen. I would rather know more about from where food comes and how it is grown. Know your farmer, his and her practices and learn about how animals live and grow. I will drink to that, cream on the top, it hits the spot, 12 fluid ounces, that’s a lot.
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