Raw milk first caught my attention when it was recommended to me in mid-May of 2009. A mother was explaining to me, in response to learning that my husband is lactose intolerant, that raw milk can often be drunk by those who are lactose intolerant -- that the pasteurization process kills important enzymes and bacteria that are actually beneficial to the processing power of the digestive system. She went on to tell me about her children and how much they love raw milk and how raw milk is the only milk they will drink.
I did a little research on the topic and then filed the information away for future reference.
That future came a few weeks ago when my husband came home from a farmer's market and started telling me about how raw milk had been recommended to him by someone else who was lactose intolerant but had no problems drinking raw milk. We did a little more research, had a bit of discussion, and decided we needed to try it.
There are a number of small dairies in Massachusetts that sell raw milk, and one of them, Flayvors of Cook Farm, happens to be right on my shopping route. So I made a visit to Cook Farms to put my name on the raw milk list (it is only available by pre-order), and I waited just under a week before picking up my first fresh gallon. We went through that gallon (just the two of us) in about 4 days -- and that was holding back; we've had to order more for subsequent weeks. I find it delicious, my husband can drink it without consequence, and it works wonderfully in recipes. (I'm looking forward to making authentic buttermilk with it one of these days.)
Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized -- milk that has not been heated to 160+ degrees in order to kill bacteria that can be found in the milk. The lack of heating helps it retain its natural vitamin content, enzymes, and amino acids. It is whole milk, and therefore higher in fat content (4.0% butterfat at Cook), which in my opinion just makes it taste better (I love a little cream, don't you?).
Raw milk is available at Flayvors of Cook Farm for $5/gallon or $2.75/half-gallon, day-of fresh on Mondays & Fridays.
More information about raw milk and where you can buy it in Massachusetts can be found on the NOFA (Northeast Farming Assocation) website.
Milk -- it does a body good! -- and this stuff is SO good, it does a body even better!