Remember all the times I’ve mentioned that we mostly just buy dairy products from the store now? Well that might change. I looked in to a cow share program a while back. I gave it some thought and then put it out of my mind. Then out of the blue the program coordinator e-mailed me again just to make sure that she had indeed responded to my first e-mail (she did). That same week a new intern started at my workplace. We got to talking and it came up that she is part of the same cow share program. Her family loves the milk and doesn’t plan on switching back.
I am still a little leery about the whole thing, to be honest. The milk comes straight out of the bulk tank on the farm. It is from Certified Organic cows. It is not pasteurized. I know there is a huge debate over whether or not pasteurizing is important. I think it is safe to say that if the cows are healthy there is no life-threatening risk involved. Still, there are recommendations that pregnant women not drink unpasteurized milk. God willing, that will apply to me one day (far away). So I have to think there is some risk, however slight. I’m the type to forgo recommendations about raw eggs to indulge in cookie dough. More than once I’ve had horse poop on my hands and eaten at a drive thru without washing them. Asparagus and peas taste best when you’re still standing in the garden. But raw milk? I don’t know.
Anyway, thanks to our intern, I’m drinking a glass of the stuff right now. I just wanted to try it. Really, it doesn’t taste much different. The best way I can describe it is like this: it tastes a little more like warm milk, even when it’s cold. Do you know what I mean? Like it has more flavor or something. I haven’t seen any obvious separation in the carton, just some tiny specks sticking to the edges. I’ve been told that the butterfat content isn’t very high but they’re trying to improve that. I’m going to try making butter to see how it goes.
BTW, I’m thinking home pasteurization would be a perfect compromise, especially if we do get our own cow. I’m not sure that is very practical though. Plus, I think the home pasteurizers I saw were very expensive.
Does anyone have any experience with a cow share program? What are you thoughts on the whole thing? And please, don’t jump my ass with any anti or pro raw milk campaigns. I’m not interested in the debate so much as how this type of thing has worked out for other people and their families. I have a strong desire for dairy products that are healthy and local.