Friday, June 4, 2010

The Great Milk Debate: part 1

We are convinced that the less processing done to our foods the better. This is one reason we offer a milk share from JD Country Milk [formerly Rebecca Grace] to our CSA shareholders. They are a "family owned and operated dairy farm/processing plant located in Logan County KY." Their milk is quality hormone free milk that comes from pasture grazed cows who are never given antibiotics or hormones. "Instead they are fed a vitamin enriched diet and all the grass they can eat."! The milk is low temp pasteurized, non-homogenized, and available in glass jars for best storage.

Why is milk (and meat) from “grass-fed” animals so important?

If you can find grass-fed dairy products, you’ll be getting even closer to healthy real milk. “Real Food: What to Eat and Why” explains that "cows on grass contain more omega-3 fats, more vitamin A, and more beta-carotene and other antioxidants. Butter and cream from grass-fed cows are a rare source of the unique and beneficial fat CLA…CLA prevents heart disease, fights cancer, and builds lean muscle. It aids weight loss in several ways: by decreasing the amount of fat stored after eating, increasing the rate at which fat cells are broken down, and reducing the number of fat cells.

Why is Hormone-free milk so important? Avoid milk with synthetic growth hormones: rBGH. Most store-bought milk comes from cows given synthetic growth hormones to increase milk production and profits for the dairy industry. Not only is it uncomfortable and unhealthy for the cows, it has also been linked to cancer, and early puberty in girls – this is highly debated, but if it makes cows more prone to illness (and shortens their lifespan by half), can it be good for us to drink?

Why is Non-homogenized milk so important? When Milk is homogenized all of the fat-globules are dispersed and decreased in size. The result is that none of the cream rises to the top and this decreased size makes it difficult for the body to digest or extract nutrients correctly. Unlike polyunsaturated fats, which the body tends to store, the saturated fats in milk are rapidly burned for energy. Not only that, we absorb more calcium from the cream in milk, which in turn helps us lose weight. The butter fat found in milk helps the body digest the protein, and bones require saturated fats in particular to lay down calcium. The cream on the milk contains the vital fat-soluble vitamins A and D. Without the natural occurrence of vitamin D in the milk, less than 10% of dietary calcium can even be absorbed.

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