Benefits – Why Raw Milk? | Slow Cheese – From cheese the event, to the international raw milk compaign

Raw Milk

Benefits
Raw milk is a complete food that has not undergone any treatment like skimming, homogenization, pasteurization or ultrafiltration. It is a live food, and if stored properly and consumed within two to three days, it maintains all of its original nutritional properties: nutrients, vitamins, provitamins, enzymes and probiotic bacteria.

High-quality raw milk is rich in vitamins and bacteria that help improve the immune system of children and adults. Specifically, it contains vitamin A, important for sight, cellular development, antitumoral activity and immune defenses; and vitamin D, necessary for cellular activity, brain development, prevention of cancer and immune system development.

When milk is pasteurized, the vitamin content is partially reduced, especially in the case of vitamins B6, C and folic acid. Proteins are also altered, as are the fats, compromising the milk’s biological value. In one study, pasteurization of mother’s milk in preterm infants resulted in a reduced fat absorption, a reduced bone growth, and a reduced protection of neonatal infection.

A European study (PARSIFAL), conducted in 2007 by a team from the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine in Basel, looked at 14,893 children aged between 5 and 13 living in rural areas of Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland, comparing the consumption of farm milk (raw or boiled) versus pasteurized shop milk. It showed that farm milk consumption was associated with a reduction in asthma (-26%), hay fever (-33%) and food allergies (-58%).

Furthermore, a more recent study published in 2011 (GABRIEL) investigated whether raw milk could make a difference versus boiled milk in the frequency of asthma and allergies. Selecting and analysing of 800 farm children the study shows that there is an additional protecting effect within the group of farm children who have been given raw milk. The strongest reduction was found in the risk of hay fever and asthma among the ‘exclusive raw milk drinkers’ (any unboiled milk). Just the boiling of the milk leads to a loss of the protective effect found in the exclusive raw milk drinkers.

The biodiversity of micro-flora present in raw milk also brings beneficial effects to raw-milk cheeses, which contain higher quantities of probiotic bacteria (Lactobacillus rhamnosus, L. casei, L. plantarum) than cheeses made with pasteurized milk. Other studies have shown how cheese made from the milk of pastured animals, particularly those grazing in hilly or mountainous environments, contains many more “good” fats than cheese made from milk from intensively farmed, indoor-raised livestock. These good fats (like conjugated linoleic acid and omega-3s) help prevent cardiovascular disease and even arteriosclerosis. During pasteurization, these fats are almost completely destroyed. Omega-3s are often added to milk after pasteurization, but the result is significantly inferior than with raw milk from pastured animals.

Finally, in addition to the safety and healthiness of raw milk, it is worth remembering that raw milk is synonymous with respect for the environment and biodiversity, and is the best way to promote the work of small-scale herders and artisans who work mostly in marginal rural areas (mountains, hills, etc.).

Supporting raw-milk production means moving value from distribution to production, helping to differentiate supply and protecting consumers’ right to choice.

via Benefits – Why Raw Milk? | Slow Cheese – From cheese the event, to the international raw milk compaign.

The Forest Metaphor | Slow Cheese – From cheese the event, to the international raw milk compaign

 

Raw Milk

The Forest Metaphor 28/07/2011 President of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity Piero Sardo tells the story of raw milk through an interesting metaphor…Often ordinary consumers struggle to understand the importance of making cheese from raw milk, milk that hasn’t been treated by heating it to high temperatures. One way to explain this issue is with the metaphor of a forest… Imagine that you’ve inherited or bought a large, thriving, pristine forest. And because you love nature, you decide to build your house in the middle of the forest. The vegetation isn’t a problem, but you’ll have to think carefully about the wild animals that live in the area.Think of the fauna typical to where you live: If you live in the mountains for example, in addition to the myriad species of bacteria, microorganisms and insects that you cant see and are generally harmless, you’ll also have birds, squirrels, wild boar, perhaps deer. These are all animals that don’t create particular problems; in fact you’d like to live and interact with them. However, the forest might also be home to foxes, wolves and even bears, animals that could cause a nuisance or be dangerous. Though you know its very rare for humans to be attacked by wolves or bears, especially if the environment offers abundant food resources and is not threatened by pollution or excess anthropic pressure, you want to protect yourself from possible bad encounters. So you decide to kill all the life in the forest. Lets say you have a gas that exterminates every living creature and that you use it. Now there are no more dangers, but without animals the forest is dead, silent and boring. In the long term it couldn’t even survive.

So you introduce some nice little animals: brightly colored birds, puppies, turtles, whatever you like, collecting them from here and there, without worrying if they are typical to that forest or even that region. Youve transformed a living, natural system, able to self-regulate and survive most calamities and environmental disasters, into a kind of zoo, an unnatural monster, created only to entertain you and to guarantee your peace of mind. With one problem, however: If a predator arrives from a nearby forest, it wont find any competitors and will be able to reach you and your little house without any problems! Now, think of milk as like the forest. The vegetation represents the fats, caseins, minerals and so on, while the forest fauna represents the micro-flora present in the milk and the surrounding environment. This will give you an idea of what happens when you pasteurize that milk: You kill everything, turning something living and vital into an inert, dead substance. And to bring it back to life you have to introduce artificial microorganisms, from outside that environment.

Of course you’ll find microbiologists, food scientists and technicians wholl explain how this system allows you to avoid ingesting coliform bacteria, salmonella, etc. In other words, to return to the metaphor, it keeps you safe from wolves and bears. Theyll explain how progress inevitably comes with certain losses of taste, naturalness, variety but that it means everyone can enjoy an extraordinary level of food safety. You might try to argue, saying that its very rare for a bear salmonella to kill someone, that the important thing is to keep the forest healthy, without polluting it, without altering the vegetative and reproductive cycles, without stressing it, and then the animals will be uninterested in humans. But the experts will not listen to reason: Pasteurization is progress, and the rest is barbarism or poetry. So the forests disappear, the wolves die out, the bears and boars are forced to scavenge garbage to find food. Outside the metaphor, in real life, these safe cheeses no longer taste of anything, and are all the same from Singapore to South Africa. Theyre ready for a global market that no longer wants to take the trouble to differentiate, to understand, to listen to the stories that real cheeses can tell. As Tacitus would say, they have created a desert and called it food safety.

Piero Sardo is the President of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity p.sardo@slowfood.it

via The Forest Metaphor | News and Event | Slow Cheese – From cheese the event, to the international raw milk compaign.

CSA | Elijah’s Promise

CSA

What is a CSA?

The basic idea of Community Supported Agriculture is that a farmer grows for a group of members who have purchased “shares” in the harvest. Members pay at the beginning of the season when the farmer most needs the money. When the crops start coming in, in June, the farmer delivers a weekly assortment of vegetables, herbs and some fruit. You support sustainable local agriculture and get freshly picked organic and farm fresh produce at reasonable prices. In addition, you know the farmer growing your vegetables and can visit the farm – establishing a personal connection with your food supply.

Meet our Farmer

John Krueger is the owner/operator of Starbrite Farm in Andover, NJ. He has been farming for over 25 years.  John’s farm and food are certified organic by NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association).  He grows and shares his produce with close to 700 members.  Some of his other CSA sites include Metuchen, Westfield, Montclair, Newark and Staten Island.

What will I get in my share?

The share season begins in June and runs for 24 weeks into November.  A typical share includes 6-10 varieties of produce.  The amount and types of produce delivered will vary by season.   Here’s the list of what was included in last year’s CSA share:  http://www.westfieldareacsa.com/weekly-share-documents/weekly-share-2012.  We will provide you with recipes and storage tips so you can make the most of your share.  If you have a question about how to prepare or use a vegetable, feel free to ask, chances are, a chef will be nearby at Elijah’s Promise.

You can add fresh baked bread and dessert to your share by adding a subscription in the Elijah’s Promise Raisin’ Dough CSB.

What does it cost?

There are a number of ways to participate in the CSA.  Our goal is to make sure anyone can participate, regardless of income.  A share costs $600, which works out to $25 a week.  You may split a share with a friend.   You can split the share however you like.  Some people alternate picking up and keeping the full share every other week.  Some people prefer splitting each week.

We also have a limited number of payment plan and sliding scale shares, which require a 10% deposit at sign up, and then weekly payments at the time of pick up.  Payment plan and sliding scale options can be found in the registration form.

Picking up your share

Pick up day will be Friday.  The location of pick up will be Elijah’s Promise, 18 Neilson St., New Brunswick.   The site will look a little like a farm stand with vegetables in crates and in coolers. Members weigh and bag their own shares. Feel free to have a friend pick up your share if you can’t make it one week.  All food left over at the end of the night is donated to Elijah’s Promise.

Sharing is what makes a CSA

All members are asked to volunteer 5 hours during the CSA season to help support its success.  This can be done in two ways.   You can work two shifts of 2 1/2 hours each during pick up.  Or, you can attend a Volunteer Day or Work Party at the farm.

How do I sign up?

Please print and fill out a registration form.  Please contact us at csa@elijahspromise.net with any questions or for more information.

Download the CSA flyer to share this information with others!

via CSA | Elijah’s Promise.