The blogger over at My Life in a Pyramid had some good tips on selecting the farm to buy raw milk.
- Exclusively grass-fed: The raw milk had to come from exclusively grass-fed cows, goats or sheep (I prefer the taste of cow milk to the other two though), but in all cases, I was not comfortable with any grain supplementation.
- Organic pasture: This grass has got to be organically cared for. No synthetic fertilizers or pesticides on there, please.
- Older breed of cows: The breed of the cows was important, I’d learned. Older breeds like most African and Asian cows, as well as most Guernseys, Brown Swiss and Jerseys produce an A2 beta casein (milk protein) that is more digestible by the human body. All milk found in North American grocery stores is produced by newer breeds like Holsteins. The milk proteins that the newer breeds produce (A1 beta casein) is mutated, and even linked to chronic conditions in scientific experiments documented by Keith Woodford, author of Devil in the Milk: Illness, Health and the Politics of A1 and A2 Milk. (Check out this 2 minute video explaining the difference between the two casein types). So, I was on a mission to find a pretty Guernsey, Jersey or Brown Swiss that is tested to make sure the milk produced is A2 milk.
- Pathogen testing: The cows should be routinely tested for pathogens.
- Unprocessed in any way: I wanted my milk full-fat and unhomogenized … which I didn’t have to even worry about, because all raw milk is naturally unprocessed in that way!
- Small local farm: The dairy had to be from a small local farm that I can visit any time I’d like, and whose practices I can verify.
- Glass packaging: I wanted the dairy packaged in glass. Why ruin perfect raw milk by having it packaged in plastic with all the BPA and other chemicals leaching into it?