Benefits of raw milk from pastured cows
Raw milk is a unique, complete food. It contains all essential enzymes, whereas less than 10% remains in pasteurized milk. Often, people who would consider themselves “Lactose Intolerant” are able to enjoy raw milk because it contains “lactase.” Lactase is one of the enzymes that is destroyed during the pasteurization process. This peculiar enzyme helps with pre-digestion of the milk in your stomach. This means that your body can more readily utilize all the nutrients available in raw milk. Protein is 100% available as well as all 22 amino acids, including 8 that are essential. All 18 fatty acids are metabolically available; Vitamins are 100% available, whereas in milk that is pasteurized they are significantly altered. Minerals are all 100% metabolically available. Calcium is altered by heat during pasteurization and the loss can be as much as 50% or more.
In other words, it’s really, really good for you.
So good, in fact, people have used it in treating the following conditions:
What is a cowshare program?
In Virginia, it is illegal to buy and sell raw milk (as in unpasteurized, fresh-from-the-cow milk). But it is not illegal to drink fresh milk from the cow that you own! Think of it – owning your own cow and boarding it at a local farm. You may visit your cow at any time. The farmer performs a service for you by feeding, caring for, and milking your cow. And you benefit by being able to utilize the milk. This is called a cowboarding. It is a 100% legal process that thousands of people in Virginia are using to obtain raw milk.
What does it cost to begin "cowboarding"?
You make a one-time payment of $100 to buy a share in the herd of Avery’s Branch Farms’ Jersey cows. In addition, you pay a $35 boarding fee each month for the feeding and care of your cow. The share entitles you to one gallon of milk each week. You may buy as many shares as you would like. We also offer half shares, which entitle you to a half gallon of milk each week. They are half the price of a full share.
How do I get my milk each week?
For those who wish to come to the farm to pick up their milk, a mutually agreed upon day and time will be assigned. We also have a variety of pick up locations. There is a $10.85 monthly fee to have your milk delivered to a drop site. All milk it that is delivered to drop sites is stored in plastic, recyclable dairy jugs (#2 high density, quality grade) at a cost of $2.40 per month
How long does raw milk last?
If milk is kept in a fridge set at 35 degrees, it should last for at least 7 – 10 days. If milk is not maintaining its freshness, here are a couple of things to consider:
- Always monitor your fridge temp to ensure milk is being kept at 35 degrees (and don’t keep milk in the door).
- Be sure to transport milk in a cooler with ice after picking up from the drop site.
- Try not to leave milk out at mealtime for long periods.
How do I help my milk stay fresh?
As with all raw products you should take care that it remains chilled while in transit and when you get it home, place it in refrigeration immediately. If you have some distance to drive or stops to make before you arrive home, it is imperative that you make provision with insulated containers and ice or chillers to keep the milk at refrigerator temperature until you return home. Milk should be kept in a refrigerator set at 35 degrees. It should not be left out for long periods at meal times as it will speed up the natural souring process.
Is sour milk dangerous?
Unlike pasteurized milk, raw milk gets better for you the older it gets. The probiotic properties in raw milk continue to multiply as the milk ages (i.e., the increased health benefits of yogurt). Read more about the safety of raw milk here.
What do the cows eat?
The most important part of their diet is the pasture grass on which they graze all day (and, in the winter, high quality hay). Premium forage produces the very best milk. Note that the pastures here are not fertilized with any chemical fertilizer. While being milked, the cows are given a small amount of organic or non-gmo grain supplement (for starch requirements). They also receive mineral supplement free choice (available at all times). Our cows never receive antibiotics or growth hormones in their feed.