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Attention: Cream is Edible!

February 25, 2011

I was recently at a downtown health food store, which has a case of organic milk. There was a sign on the outside of the glass door that read:

HARMONY WHOLE MILK IS NOT HOMOGENIZED. THE SOLIDS AT THE TOP OF THE JAR ARE EDIBLE.

We are at the point in our culture’s separation from real food that people do not even know that cream rises to the top of real milk, and that, indeed, it is edible!! What a sorry state of affairs! It used to be that people would judge the quality of milk by the depth of the cream line. The more cream, the better the milk. Now, even “whole” milk is usually homogenized, which results in the consumer being unable to determine the quality of the milk (among other things – scary things happen to the molecules in the milk when it is subjected to pressures up to 14,500 psi – 1000 times atmospheric pressure). Before just a few years ago, I didn’t know anything about cream lines and milk quality, but at this point, it’s hard to remember being so oblivious.

When I get my milk, here’s what it looks like:

Can you see that cream line? There is usually even more cream, but at this time of year (the depths of winter), the milk is not as plentiful, and there isn’t as much cream in it. I also know now from talking with my farmer that eggs are less plentiful when the days are shorter in the winter. I think we often just assume that foods are made the same way year-round, even when they are made by nature and not in a factory, and we sometimes forget that everything that lives has a natural cycle of life.

I like knowing where my food comes from (especially the animal foods). I grow more and more wary of supermarket eggs, meat and milk as time passes. I know exactly where my milk, pork, beef, chicken and eggs come from. I can conjure the exact fields in my mind where my food grows because I have visited them many times. My farmers know my daughter’s name and ask after her when we speak. I feel extremely privileged on this account. (But, I assure you, I am not rich. My family lives on one modest income.) In fact, on that note, I must take a moment to say that it is a privilege to have access to a wealth of information and choices when it comes to food. This can be easy to lose sight of. I try to always be grateful for my food even if it’s not the ideal, perfect, most nourishing thing I can imagine!

What should that sign have read? I’m thinking something like: ATTENTION CUSTOMERS: CREAM MAY CAUSE HEIGHTENED IMMUNITY TO DISEASE. WE EXPECT MORE CREAM WHEN THE WEATHER IS NICER. PLEASE BE PATIENT.

(For an excellent post on the immunity benefits of butterfat, head over to Sarah’s post here.)

This post is submitted to Fight Back Friday and Monday Mania!

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. February 25, 2011 6:07 pm

    I love, love, LOVE your alternative sign!

    Thanks for joining in the Fight Back Friday fun.

    ~KristenM
    (AKA FoodRenegade)

    • February 25, 2011 6:25 pm

      Thanks Kristen! I love Fight Back Fridays.

      Cheers,

      Shannon

  2. sharon permalink
    February 26, 2011 2:41 am

    Love the pic of your raw milk, but the stuff I buy has significantly more cream than that – at it’s best it was 50/50, now down to about 35-40%… but admittedly that could be because I live in New Zealand and our grass is pretty good. :)

    • February 26, 2011 1:57 pm

      WOW – 50/50….mine has never been that creamy!! Yes, I hear wonderful things about the grass-based dairy and pastures in New Zealand…I think you are being very modest when you describe your grass as “pretty good” :)

  3. February 26, 2011 8:34 am

    I just noticed my cream line got deeper this last week! I wonder what this relates to? Our farmer has two cows and one gives more cream than the other, so maybe I got Roo’s milk instead of Daisy’s. Or, could it be that the days are longer, so they are producing more cream? Or do they have to get on grass first? There is certainly no grass available here.

    • February 26, 2011 1:55 pm

      I will have to ask my farmer the answer to these questions next milk run! Does anyone else out there have the answers?

  4. February 26, 2011 9:06 am

    Wow, this is a great article. I can’t believe people can be so dumb. I get my raw milk from a local farmer and shake the bottle up before I drink or pour it. My dogs go bonkers over the little bowl they get every day!

  5. February 26, 2011 1:52 pm

    I love my raw milk too! And I love my milk whole so much I can’t bear to take any cream out of it! Sometimes when I make cheese though I do, then I make raw butter too. :) Most kids don’t know where milk comes from (besides “the store”) or eggs, or anything. My daughter always shouts, “Look, milk from cow!” She is 3. But she knows our farm and farmer (who also asks about us, including asking about my pregnancy) so she is very familiar with where food comes from. :) To her, anything besides produce in a “regular” grocery store is “junk.” She says “People eat junk, we don’t eat junk. It’s not good for our tummies.”

    • February 26, 2011 1:54 pm

      Out of the mouths of babes…. :)

      Thanks for stopping by,

      Shannon

  6. February 26, 2011 11:06 pm

    We buy Organic, non-homogenized whole milk too (pasteurized, sadly) from Cedar Summit Farm (local here in Minnesota).

    Being raised on skim/1% chalk water, I had to re-learn what milk tasted like. I actually like milk and freely cream my coffee with real cream (still trying to kick the coffee habit… baby steps).

    @Kate: Before we got rid of our TV, Our 3-year-old saw an episode of Team Umi Zoomi about milk, where they showed milk coming from a milk factory… and how they add strawberries for strawberry milk, chocolate for chocolate milk, or you can have plain white milk as if they are all equal. GROSS! Get ‘em while they’re young, I guess.

    I still have to correct her that milk doesn’t come from the milk factory.

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