If you haven’t heard, the FBI and other agencies are routinely raiding operations that sell raw milk (here and here). I’m normally a keep-to-myself kinda person, but this shit makes me mad. In a gesture of solidarity, I went out and bought my first quart of raw goat’s milk. Luckily for me, Oregon’s food laws are a little more relaxed than some states.
Yes, yes. I realize dairy is controversial in the Paleo community and less-so in my Primal tribe. My stance on it from the beginning of this journey was that a) I don’t have any obvious intolerance to dairy, b) my husband would mutiny, and c) I can’t eat eggs without butter and cheese. Okay, maybe I could if I tried, but why?
Well, because. If you need a more thorough analysis, I recommend Mark Sisson’s run-down here.
- Pasteurized and homogenized milk is bad for you. In a nutshell, the molecular structure gets messed up and then our bodies can’t process it correctly.
- Milk creates an insulin response. Not what we’re going for here.
- If you’re not buying it from a local farmer, you’re giving money to the Industrialized Food Complex. Even if its organic, that money flies up the chain. For example, Horizon organic milk is owned by Dean Foods, a large food and dairy conglomerate. Though I haven’t thoroughly checked this out, the one exception appears to be Organic Valley. They operate as a co-op that sells its milk regionally. I poked around and it appears they try to keep grain feed to a minimum and prioritize pasture for their animals. I’ve been buying their non-homogenized milk for our morning tea and coffee, but, of course, it’s still pasteurized.
So how was that raw goat’s milk? When ice cold, it tastes nice. Lightly sweet and a bit grassy. But warm, as in a latte…ermmm…it gets a bit goaty. The aftertaste was a bit much for me. And let’s face it—I’m not a milk drinker. There are some dietary philosophies that advocate drinking lots of raw milk, but that’s just not my style. I never could get my daughter to drink milk either.
So where does this leave me? When we went Primal, our dairy intake dropped dramatically. Without bowls of cereal, plates of pasta, and sandwiches, the need for it just isn’t there. I no longer need mid-day snacks of yogurt. Cheese became mostly a garnish, except for my husband who likes to snack on it. Milk, as mentioned, is usually only seen in morning beverages.
I’ve been wrestling recently with whether or not to drop dairy. It was a nice crutch to get us where we are now, but it feels a little extraneous at this point. I have a Whole30 coming up in October, and I think that’s a perfect time to give it a go. But I suspect that unless I feel remarkably different, I will be returning to my morning chai with milk in November. After thinking about it, I think this is where I am with it:
- Milk — Only seen in morning beverages and the occasional recipe. Heavy cream makes extremely rare appearances on substitution-style desserts and in soups. The raw milk didn’t work, so I’m okay continuing with Organic Valley’s non-homogenized whole milk for now.
- Cheese — Here’s where there’s room for improvement. I have access to locally-made raw goat’s cheese, and I get it when I need it. Which just isn’t that often, since Brian is not the biggest fan of it. I also have access to raw cheddar, jack, and blue cheeses. I currently buy Organic Valley’s shredded cheese for eggs in the morning for simple convenience, but I think I’d be better served buying raw cheddar and jack and shredding it in batches in my food processor.
- Yogurt — I don’t partake much other than when it makes an appearance in a salad dressing or recipe. My husband and daughter enjoy it frequently, so I buy Fage’s full-fat Greek yogurt (23 g of fat and 90% of your RDA of saturated fat in one cup!). But why can’t you get the stuff organic?!
- Butter — Even if I went with no other dairy, I’m afraid this one would still be around. Too good to pass up, especially in my daily eggs.
Not too bad. The only issue is that sometimes it’s easy to overdo it without realizing it. So bringing some consciousness to consuming dairy will be a good thing.
How do you dairy? A lot, some, or none at all? Thoughts? Observations?