Why We Drink Raw Milk

Why We Drink Raw Milk

why we drink raw milkThe consumption of dairy products has been a mainstay for as long as mankind has been able to capture and milk animals of all kinds. Sheep, goats, cows, bison, water buffalo, donkeys and horses. All are still milked to this day. There may be others. These are the ones of which I am aware. I want to talk about this tradition that has helped our species thrive and develop over the centuries and millennia. 

But first, I want to take that blessed moment to say welcome to all the new listeners and welcome back to you veteran homestead-loving regulars who stop by the homestead every week. I appreciate you all so much. I’m so excited to share with you what’s going on in our neck of the woods this week.

Today’s Show

  • Homestead Life Updates
  • Why We Drink Raw Milk
  • Traditional Kefir Recipe

Homestead Life Updates

Oh my gosh, is it hot where you are? Whew!! We’ve been experiencing a real heat wave here. Temperatures that are normal for late July and August. Thank goodness that we will be back to normal for next week. Highs in the high 70’s and low 80’s. Today is great. The 90-degree days drained the energy right out of me. I expect that in the middle of summer. But come on, it’s still 3 weeks until the summer solstice.

Garden and Orchard

Speaking of draining energy. The garden is burning up. Well is would be if we weren’t diligently watering every day. The orchard too. And the weeds are still progressively taking over. This time of year I’m really pressed for time. Milking twice a day. Making cheese. Going to the Farmer’s Market and on and on. As I’ve said before, the garden gets pushed down the list of priorities.

This too shall change in the future. It takes a lot to get a business off the ground. Once we are more established, we can let up a little bit, I think.

Creamery

A little progress has been made on the creamery. It is still creeping along compared to the plan that Scott originally made, but it is what it is and we persevere. It’s the journey that is important. It’s the system that we are setting in place that is important. Goals come and go, but the system remains.

Animals

We still have a couple of baby bulls for sale. If you are looking to improve the beef and dairy genetics of your herd, the Normande cow is a good bet. Visit our website at www.peacefulheartfarm.com and go to the contact page and let us know of your interest. We also have a 1-year-old and a proven 2-year-old bull that are available. As we move to AI for our very small herd, we no longer need bulls. One less thing to keep up with.

We have our ground beef on sale $6.00 for one pound, $250 for 50 pounds and $500 for 100 pounds. We also have a few – very few – lambs available. Again, go to the website and let us know of your interest in a whole or half lamb. $380 for a whole lamb and $200 for a half. www.peacefulheartfarm.com

Alright that’s it for homestead updates. Let’s get on to the topic at hand.

Why We Drink Raw Milk

I’m going to talk about why we consume dairy products; the benefits. Our dairy products come straight from our grass-fed cows with no alteration from their live state. It’s all about the nutrition. Traditional foods raised using traditional methods produces that traditional robust health of days gone by. I’ll get to the specific health benefits in a moment.

If you’ve been told that drinking raw milk is dangerous, you’ll be surprised to know that you’ve been misled.  The truth about raw milk? An extensive look into research and claims made by the FDA and CDC related to raw milk being dangerous have been found to be completely unwarranted. It actually benefits your body in many ways, and although it might have earned a reputation among some for being dangerous, you shouldn’t miss out on all this amazing superfood has to offer because raw milk benefits are truly impressive.

What is “raw milk” exactly? It’s milk that comes from grass-fed cows, is unpasteurized and unhomogenized. This means raw milk contains all of its natural enzymes, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals — making it what many refer to as a “complete food.” Eggs fall into the “complete food” category also. Everything needed for growth and health is contained in the package. No need for sterilization or added sugar.

But can’t raw milk cause problems due to the risk of consuming bacteria? The risk of this happening is very, very low. In fact, according to medical researcher Dr. Ted Beals, M.D., you are 35,000 times more likely to get sick from other foods than you are from raw milk. Reference in the show notes. You can get sick from consuming any food. Your risk of illness from raw milk is quite small. The CDC reports that there are an estimated 48 million foodborne illnesses diagnosed each year. Yes, your heard that right. 48 million. Of these 48 million illnesses, only about 42 (about 0.0005 percent!) each year are due to consumption of fresh, unprocessed (raw) milk.

Dr. Chris Kesser did a thorough investigation to get the true impact of raw milk illness and death (as the CDC makes it sound inevitable). He found that your chances of becoming hospitalized from a bacterial illness caused by raw milk is three times less than your chance of dying in a plane crash.

The statistics indicate that most accusations and concerns over raw milk have been overstated, and because of that its health benefits remain underrated. Raw milk benefits are numerous and can help address a large number of nutritional deficiencies that millions of people, especially those eating the standard American diet, are currently experiencing. For instance, raw milk benefits allergies and skin, all while containing beneficial nutrients available in a living product.

Five Benefits of Raw Milk

1. Reduces Allergies

Studies now suggest that children who drink raw milk are 50 percent less likely to develop allergies and 41 percent less likely to develop asthma compared to children who don’t. A study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology involved 8,000 children with various diets, and one of the conclusions that researchers made was that by drinking raw milk, children experienced “naturally immunizing” effects.

As documented on the Real Milk.com website, many other studies carried out over the past century have shown that raw milk benefits and supports children’s growth and development in other ways too. Examples are: increased immunity against infections, dental health boosted and support for skeletal growth. Again, reference in the show notes.

You might be wondering: How can raw milk reduce allergies, and isn’t dairy tied to high rates of intolerance or sensitivities? Nutrients like probiotics, vitamin D and immunoglobulins (antibodies) found in raw milk naturally boost the immune system and reduce the risk of allergies in both children and adults. Enzymes found in raw milk help with digestion but are often reduced or destroyed during pasteurization. Without those enzymes, lactose intolerance is much more likely.

2. Helps Improve Skin Health

Dairy might have a bad reputation when it comes to causing or worsening acne and skin inflammation, but this is far from the case with raw milk. As I’ve said, the benefits of raw milk are numerous, but surprisingly one of the most common reasons that people consume it is to benefit their skin. The success stories of people consuming raw milk to improve conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and acne are very widely reported.

Raw milk benefits the skin for the following reasons:

  • It contains healthy fats: Because raw milk contains large amounts of healthy saturated fats and omega-3 fats, it supports skin hydration. 
  • It supplies probiotics: Probiotics in raw milk can kill off or balance bad bacteria in your gut, which can dramatically affect the health of your skin. Research shows that inflammation and unbalanced gut flora contribute to skin issues such as acne and eczema.

3. Helps Prevent Nutrient Deficiencies 

According to the USDA, nearly 300 calories a day in the average American’s diet (out of a total 2,076 calories) can be attributed to added sugars or sweeteners. In comparison, nutrient-rich foods like raw dairy, fruits and vegetables only contribute about 424 calories.

One serving of raw milk contains about 400 milligrams of calcium, 50 milligrams of magnesium and 500 milligrams of potassium. These minerals are vitally important for cellular function, hydration, building bone density, blood circulation, detoxification, muscle health and metabolism.

4. Can Be Used to Make Probiotic Foods

Probiotics are microorganisms that line your gut and support nutrient absorption. They also help protect you from foreign invaders like E. coli and parasites. The best way to include probiotics in your diet is to get them in their most natural state, which includes raw milk products, such as cheese, kefir and yogurt. Real, raw and organic probiotic yogurt, cheeses and kefir have been consumed by some of the healthiest populations living around the world for thousands of years. Some disorders probiotic foods are known to help with include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Skin infections
  • Weakened immune system
  • Urinary track infections
  • Vaginal yeast infection

5. Doesn’t Contain Added Sugar or Synthetic Ingredients

In addition to pasteurization, conventional milk also usually undergoes a homogenization process. Homogenization is a high-pressure process that breaks down fat into tiny particles — however, fat subjected to high heat and pressure becomes oxidized and rancid. Many low-fat dairy products also have thickening agents added to make up for lost texture. Raw milk needs no added thickeners or shelf-stabilizers and also doesn’t contain added sugar or flavors.

Most foods have some levels of natural sugar, including raw dairy, which has the type called lactose. The natural sugar in dairy is balanced with other nutrients and therefore not a concern (even healthy for you in moderation).

Raw Milk Nutrition Facts

Raw milk is truly one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world and has a nutritional profile unlike any other food. I understand if you’ve been cautious in the past about drinking raw milk because of all the negative media it might have earned. Let me help ease your mind. As a species we have been drinking this luscious, delectable beverage for thousands upon thousands of years. Today more and more people are drinking raw milk. We are slowly getting back to wholesome, unadulterated food that has served us for millennia. Over 10 million Americans now drink raw milk on a regular basis. They do so because of the benefits which include:

  • Healthier skin, hair and nails
  • Nutrient absorption
  • Stronger immune system
  • Reduced allergies
  • Increased bone density
  • Neurological support
  • Weight loss
  • Help building lean muscle mass
  • Better digestion

What exactly makes raw milk such an incredible superfood? Let’s take a look at its unique nutritional profile, and it will become clear.

Raw Milk Benefits: Nutritional Profile of Raw Milk

Fat-Soluble Vitamins A, D and K2

Because raw milk comes from cows or goats grazing on grass, research studies have shown that it contains a higher level of heart-healthy, fat-soluble vitamins than milk that comes from factory-farm cows. These vitamins support the brain and nervous system and are crucial for development, focus and brain function. Fat-soluble vitamins also support bone density and help naturally balance hormones.

Short Chain Fatty Acids, CLA and Omega-3s

In addition to being high in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, raw milk from grass-fed animals is a rich source of butyrate, a short chain fatty acid that’s widely known to control health issues related to inflammation, slow metabolism and stress resistance. Additionally, raw, grass-fed milk is packed with conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which according to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has been tied to cancer prevention, healthier cholesterol levels and can even help reduce body fat.

Essential Minerals and Electrolytes: Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium

Raw milk is one of the highest sources of minerals and electrolytes, of which many people need more.

Whey Protein and Immunoglobulins

By far, the best-tasting curds and whey protein come from our raw milk. CHEESE. Also, whey protein is fantastic for anyone who’s looking to burn fat and build or retain lean muscle. Whey is high in the following enzymes: alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactoglobulin, bovine serum albumin and immunoglobulin.

Probiotics: Kefir, Cheese and Yogurt

Probiotics are only found in small amounts in raw milk, but when you ferment raw milk to make foods like kefir, yogurt or cheese, the good bacteria dramatically increase. In fact, there are no other foods in the world as naturally high in probiotics as cultured dairy products.

And these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to raw milk benefits.

Raw Milk Benefits vs. Conventional Milk

Let’s compare. Dairy products have gotten a bad rap over the years, but this is actually mostly due to the pasteurization process. When milk is pasteurized, it destroys many of the nutrients that make raw milk beneficial. Why is pasteurization even performed in the first place then? Because it exposes milk to very high temperatures, it can also kill harmful bacteria that are possibly able to make their way into the milk. However, as I mentioned before, it’s very rare for these types of bacteria to be found in milk to begin with. There are other options to ensure the bad bacteria doesn’t get into the milk in the first place.

Key nutrients and enzymes are greatly reduced during the pasteurization process. If you consider the fact that many of these nutrients are not only reduced, but altered from their original states, you can understand that some of these nutrients are completely unavailable for your body to use and can be very difficult to digest for many people.

Allergies and lactose intolerance are higher with pasteurization as well. Another major negative of pasteurization is that it destroys the digestive enzymes needed to break down and absorb certain nutrients. In the previously mentioned study, researchers found lactase (the enzyme in dairy) levels are greatly reduced with pasteurization, which is one explanation as to why so many people are lactose-intolerant. A survey conducted by the Weston A. Price Foundation found that of 700 families interviewed, amazingly about 80 percent of those diagnosed with lactose intolerance stopped having symptoms when they switched to raw milk.

Raw Milk Nutrients

To put things into perspective, according to medical studies, the following nutrients in raw milk are 100% fully active and during pasteurization they are altered or destroyed:

Vitamin A, 35% reduction; Vitamin C, 25-77% reduction; Vitamin E, 14% reduction; Iron 66% reduction; Zinc, 70% reduction; B-Complex Vitamins, 38% reduction; Calcium, 21% reduction; Enzymes, 100% destroyed; Immunoglobulins, damaged; Whey Protein, denatured.

Again, all of these nutrients are 100% active in raw, unpasteurized milk. Pasteurized milk is a lesser product. As I mentioned earlier, they end up adding stuff to a product that was perfect before pasteurization – unless contaminated by careless practices.

Our Herd Share Program

Want to have the freedom to consume raw milk? Join our herd share program. Own part of our cow herd and enjoy the benefits that we do every day. During the summer we have fresh milk, yogurt, butter and sometimes a bit of cream, while in the winter we have aged cheese and more butter.

The way it works is that you buy into our herd of dairy cows. We will care for them for you and we will gather the milk benefits for you. We will even process those benefits into fermented products such as yogurt and cheese. For a full share in the herd it is $60.00. A half share is $30.00 and you can also choose multiple shares. One and a half is $90. Two is $120.00 and so on. Once you own part of the herd, you simply pay us a maintenance and service/processing fee on a monthly basis. A full share is $44.00 per month, a half is $22.00 per month, 1 and a half is $66.00 per month, 2 shares is $88.00 per month and so on.

What you can expect to receive from your cows is milk, yogurt, cheese, and sometimes butter and cream. Every week I will let you know what is available and you choose how you want to receive it. Choose 1 item from the full share list or two items from the half share list.

We milk the cows seasonally which means your cows will provide you with milk and yogurt from the first week of May through the last week of October on a weekly basis. For the other six months we will continue to store and manage your cheese and butter. You can pick up your share twice monthly at the Farmer’s Market in Wytheville or from the farm.

That’s it. For more information, go to www.peacefulheartfarm.com/virginia-herd-shares. And feel free to call or email me with your questions.

How to Make Traditional Kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk drink similar to a thin yogurt that is made from kefir grains, a specific type of mesophilic symbiotic culture. The drink originated in the Caucasus, Eastern Europe and Russia, where it is prepared by inoculating cow, goat, or sheep milk with kefir grains. These instructions will be for cow’s milk kefir.

Milk kefir is not only easy to make, it is a delicious, probiotic-rich, versatile beverage your whole family can enjoy. This recipe uses the direct starter culture. You will not have to maintain kefir grains. Perhaps you can learn that a little later.

What You Need

Equipment:

  • Glass or plastic container
  • Plastic, wood, or stainless-steel stirring utensil
  • Coffee filter or cloth
  • Rubber band to secure the cover

Ingredients:

  • 1-quart raw cow milk (Needs to be very fresh. Don’t wait as the competition between beneficial bacteria is quite fierce. 😊)
  • 1-packet of Direct-Set Kefir Starter Culture (Google it to find a source you like. Remember “starter” culture, not kefir grains.)

What To Do

  1. Pour 1-quart milk into a glass or plastic container
  2. If milk is refrigerated liquid, heat to room temperature or 70º-75ºF
  3. Add 1 packet kefir starter culture and stir gently until the culture is fully dissolved.
  4. Cover the container with a coffee filter or cloth, secured with a rubber band, and place in a warm spot, 72º-74ºF, for 12-16 hours.
  5. Cover finished kefir with a tight lid and store in the refrigerator.
  6. The culturing process is complete when the milk thickens to the consistency of buttermilk or heavy cream.

Notes:

RECULTURING THE KEFIR

Kefir made with a direct-set style starter culture can often be re-cultured anywhere from 2 to 7 times. The exact number of successive batches will depend on the freshness of the kefir and hygienic practices employed. Be sure to re-culture within 7 days. Longer periods between batches may not result in successful batches.

  1. Pour 1-quart milk into a glass or plastic container
  2. If using a refrigerated kefir, heat to room temperature or 70º-75ºF
  3. Add ¼ cup prepared kefir from the previous batch and stir gently.
  4. Cover the container with a coffee filter or cloth, secured with a rubber band, and place in a warm spot, 72º-74ºF, for 12-16 hours.
  5. Cover finished kefir with a tight lid and store in the refrigerator.

You now have a healthy probiotic drink. Enjoy!

Final Thoughts

The homestead keeps on keeping on. Things are moving so quickly these days. There are not enough hours in the day to do all the tasks that need doing. Every once in a while, we stop and “smell the roses” so-to-speak. It’s up to us to make that happen. When you have your own homestead, you are fully in charge of your life. It’s a wonderful thing.

We love our milk. It is produced from cows that have been grass-fed and raised in humane conditions. We drink our milk unpasteurized and it retains all of its natural nutrients and benefits.

Raw milk benefits include improved immunity, healthier skin, reduced allergies, healthier growth and development, lower risk for nutrient deficiencies, and much more. Your mileage may vary.

Real milk has been consumed safely for many centuries. We have a limited number of herd shares available. If you want the benefits I’ve described here, see me at the Wytheville Farmer’s Market or come to the farm during our store hours and talk with me about your needs and the needs of your family. 

You can use your wonderful milk to make that kefir and provide even more healthy benefits to your family.

If you enjoyed this podcast, please hop over to Apple Podcasts, SUBSCRIBE and give me a 5-star rating and review. Also, please share it with any friends or family who might be interested in this type of content.

As always, I’m here to help you “taste the traditional touch.”

Thank you so much for stopping by the homestead and until next time, may God fill your life with grace and peace.

References

Recipe Link

Traditional Kefir

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Traditional Kefir

Traditional Kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk drink similar to a thin yogurt that is made from kefir grains, a specific type of mesophilic symbiotic culture. The drink originated in the Caucasus, Eastern Europe and Russia, where it is prepared by inoculating cow, goat, or sheep milk with kefir grains. These instructions will be for cow’s milk kefir.

Traditional Kefir

Milk kefir is not only easy to make, it is a delicious, probiotic-rich, versatile beverage your whole family can enjoy. This recipe uses the direct starter culture. You will not have to maintain kefir grains. Perhaps you can learn that a little later.

Ingredients

Equipment:

  • Glass or plastic container
  • Plastic wood, or stainless-steel stirring utensil
  • Coffee filter or cloth
  • Rubber band to secure the cover

Ingredients:

  • 1- quart raw cow milk Needs to be very fresh. Don’t wait as the competition between beneficial bacteria is quite fierce. 😊
  • 1- packet of Direct-Set Kefir Starter Culture Google it to find a source you like. Remember “starter” culture, not kefir grains.

Instructions

  • Pour 1-quart milk into a glass or plastic container
  • If milk is refrigerated liquid, heat to room temperature or 70º-75ºF
  • Add 1 packet kefir starter culture and stir gently until the culture is fully dissolved.
  • Cover the container with a coffee filter or cloth, secured with a rubber band, and place in a warm spot, 72º-74ºF, for 12-16 hours.
  • Cover finished kefir with a tight lid and store in the refrigerator.
  • The culturing process is complete when the milk thickens to the consistency of buttermilk or heavy cream.

Notes

RECULTURING THE KEFIR
Kefir made with a direct-set style starter culture can often be re-cultured anywhere from 2 to 7 times. The exact number of successive batches will depend on the freshness of the kefir and hygienic practices employed. Be sure to re-culture within 7 days. Longer periods between batches may not result in successful batches.
  1. Pour 1-quart milk into a glass or plastic container
  2. If using a refrigerated kefir, heat to room temperature or 70º-75ºF
  3. Add ¼ cup prepared kefir from the previous batch and stir gently.
  4. Cover the container with a coffee filter or cloth, secured with a rubber band, and place in a warm spot, 72º-74ºF, for 12-16 hours.
  5. Cover finished kefir with a tight lid and store in the refrigerator.
This Week at Peaceful Heart Farm: 5/29/19

This Week at Peaceful Heart Farm: 5/29/19

Hello everybody, 

I still have a few herd shares left.  First deliveries are set up for Saturday June 2nd at the Wytheville Farmer’s Market. Send me an email with your desire to participate or if you have questions. Or please see me at the Wytheville Farmer’s Market. I’ll get you set up. 

Please go HERE to learn all about it. Download the jar cleaning protocol and FAQs.

News This Week

  • Products Available This Week
  • This week’s FarmCast is What is A2A2 Milk?. A basic introduction to the topic to get you started on your own research.
  • Most Recent Recipes

Products Available This Week

Herd Share Owners (advanced notice)
Choose 1 per week 1/2 Share Whole Share
Whole Milk 1/2 gal 1 gallon
Skim/Low-Fat Milk 1/2 gal 1 gallon
Low Fat Yogurt with Honey 1 quart 2 quarts
Full Fat Yogurt 1 quart 2 quarts
Butter 1/4 pound 1/2 pound
Cream 1/2 pint 1 pint
Beef Price / Pound
1/4 Beef (approx 100 lbs) $7.00
1/2 Beef (approx 200 lbs) $6.50
Whole Beef (approx 400 lbs) $6.00
Ground (approx 1 lb) $6.00
Marrow Bones (approx 2 lbs) $2.00
Lamb Price / Pound
1/2 Lamb (approx 20 lbs) $10
Whole Lamb (approx 40 lbs) $9.50
Ground Lamb (approx 1 lb) $10
Lamb Soup Bones (approx 1 lb) $3
Chev (Goat) Price / Pound
Ground Chev (approx 1 lb) $12
Meaty Goat Bones (approx 1 lb) $3
Meaty Goat Bones (approx 10 lb) Ask about discount

As always, we’d love to meet you in person. Come see us at the Wytheville Farmer’s Market. We can talk about Herd shares and I will have the required documents at hand so you can sign up right away. The summer season is in full swing and we will be there every Saturday from 8 am to 12 noon. This week I’ll have tasting samples of our grass-fed beef, lamb and chev (goat), low-fat yogurt with honey and full-fat yogurt.

Visit our dairy farm in Claudville, Virginia Tuesdays from 10 am to 12 noon and Saturday afternoons from 3 pm to 5 pm. Come visit us in person, find out how we raise our animals and why you will love the taste of tradition that is inherent in all of our products. Herd share holders will be able to see up close how their cows will be cared for and where the cheese will be made and stored. 


Peaceful Heart FarmCast

We breed specifically for the A2A2 genetic trait in our dairy herd. This week’s podcast explains a bit about what that means. It’s not necessary for everyone. But there are lots and lots of folks out there that can benefit from the variant in how the milk is digested — or heck, some of you will just be able to drink milk again. Listen to “What is A2A2 Milk?” here

I want to follow up on a previous FarmCast, The Taste of Cheese where I talked about developing your expertise with using descriptive words. The FREE downloads of Classifying Cheese by Type and Category and Expand Your Cheese Vocabulary are still available at our website. Please stop by and get your FREE resources. 

You can LISTEN TO THE EPISODE HEREOr, if you have an Alexa device, just say:Alexa, play podcast Peaceful Heart FarmCast.

And don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the Peaceful Heart Farm podcast on Apple PodcastsAndroidTuneIn, Stitcher or Spotify


Recent Recipes

Click the links and check them out. All of my recipes are printable.

Stinging Nettles InfusionIce Cream Base: There is nothing better in my opinion than a cold dish of ice cream in summer. Use our wonderful A2A2 milk and cream to try out this recipe.

When it’s warm outside, a cold refreshing dish of ice cream can really hit the spot. This is a basic ice cream recipe that can be used as a base for many different flavors. I’ve included a download link to the flavorings.

This silky, luscious and very classic custard can be used as the base for any ice cream flavor you can dream up. These particular proportions of milk and cream to egg yolk will give you a thick but not sticky ice cream that feels decadent but not heavy. For something a little lighter, use more milk and less cream, as long as the dairy adds up to 3 cups. You can also cut down on egg yolks for a thinner base, but don’t go below three.

greek spiced ground meat medley with yogurt or sour creamGreek Spiced Ground Meat Medley with Yogurt or Sour Cream: This recipe is for my Keto and carnivore friends and listeners. If you have a traditional, diversified farm with all kinds of ruminant animals, this recipe is for you. Or if you are shopping at your local farmer’s market for a variety of grass-fed meats, this recipe is for you. It calls for one pound each of beef, lamb and chev or goat, but you can use any combination of these meats. Or you could divide the ingredients by three and only use 1 lb.

For those of you who are not restricting carbohydrates, feel free to stuff this into a pita. You’ll be glad you did!!

mint sauceMint Sauce: This is an easy mint sauce recipe that will make your lamb dinner out of this world. It’s basic structure is a combination of sweet and sour with that unforgettable taste of mint.

Try it with this Easter Leg of Lamb. Replace the red wine vinegar sauce with Eliza Leslie’s Mint Sauce.

easter leg of lambMom’s Chocolate Pie: The Tradition of Mother’s Day provides the perfect opportunity to try out Mom’s Chocolate Pie. This one is easy with a classic meringue topping. If you prefer whipped cream or whipped topping, it will do just as well. Make mom proud in 2019. You can do it!! 


What is A2A2 Milk

What is A2A2 Milk

what is a2a2 milkYou have heard me talk about A2A2 milk. Some of you may not know what that means. You may wonder if it really matters to you and your family. I’m going to fill you in on some of that information today.

First let me say welcome to all the new listeners and welcome back to you veteran homestead loving regulars who stop by the FarmCast every week. I appreciate you all so much. I’m so excited to share with you what’s going on at the farm this week, a little bit about A2A2 milk and a great and tasty recipe. Let’s just jump right in.

Today’s Show

  • Homestead Life Updates
  • What is A2A2 Milk?
  • Ice Cream Base Recipe – with downloadable document with flavoring ideas

Homestead Life Updates

Cows

The cows are doing great. We have a new calf and the last one for a while. There is likely one more, but that cow is way behind the others. In fact, we are getting ready to breed some of them again in a few weeks. Cloud will deliver so late that she likely will not get bred back this year.

We are selling all of our bulls. We have six. Yes six. There is 2-year-old Sam. He is 95% Normande genetics and the sire of this year’s crop of calves. Then we have 1-year-old Ray’s Rocket – mostly we call him Rocket Man. Lastly is the group of newlings born this year. All four are for sale. Some are currently being negotiated for but I’ll put a link in the show notes to the Facebook page where all of their information can be found. If you are looking to improve the genetics of your herd, this is the bull for you.

Sheep/Goats

Lambert is so fat right now. He will be receiving his bottle twice daily until nearly all of the milk replacer is gone. Then I will switch him to once a day for a week or maybe two before weaning him completely off.

If you want to get a whole or half lamb, speak up now. It will be months yet before these are ready for your freezer. We have one lamb and/or 2 half lambs currently available.  A whole lamb yields 30 to 35 pounds, sometimes more of meat. Half lambs, half that. You can see the cuts that come on a whole or half lamb on our website. www.peacefulheartfarm.com/shop/lamb-package.

Orchard and Garden

There is always so much going on around here that a lot of stuff gets pushed back. Thinks like birthing, gathering and storing milk, making cheese, taking care of animals all have the highest priority. The garden and the orchard, not so much. My garden is still overrun with weeds, though I was able to dig out my carrots and surprisingly there are lots that beat the grass. Watering the garden does have a priority or it would all simply die. Other stuff slows down or stunts growth. The bottom line is we will still get a crop, but perhaps not as large as if we had gotten the weeds out and fertilized more often.

The peas are just such a crop. They are producing like mad and I will be picking them within the week, I think. Then they will have to be processed in some way. I’m scaring myself with all of that. There are just not enough hours in the week.

I still don’t even have everything planted. The green beans need to be put in the ground. The peanuts need to be replanted; I have no idea why not a single one sprouted. And the eggplant is going to wither away to nothing if I don’t get it out there in the garden.

Everything needs to be weeded. Everything needs to be fertilized.

Scott is diligently digging out the orchard from the waist high grass. It would be great if we could graze some of the animals in there, but they all eat the trees. We are still investigating how to get the sheep in their without having them raise up on their back legs as high as they can and eating all of the leaves off the branches they can reach. The goats are a complete disaster anywhere near the orchard or the berries. They will eat the bark off of the trees, killing them. And because they like to eat woody stemmed plants, they will decimate blackberry vines and blueberry bushes. No, we don’t want them anywhere near the orchard.

On the upside, they did a really great job of clearing out the wild blackberries on the island in the big pond. It is now quite pleasant to sit out there and enjoy being surrounded by water and nature.

Quail

We are newbies with the quail. It is unbelievable how quickly those quail grew. They outgrew their brooder box a good week before we had planned. Outside they went as we were having a warm spell. There were a couple of cool nights but these are wild birds and they faired very well. They are only barely over 2 weeks old and are fully feathered. The tiny birds that were barely the size of a gold ball are now the size of a baseball – perhaps even a softball. It’s amazing. They will begin laying eggs in as little as six weeks from now. Yum, yum, we look forward to it.

Four eggs are required to equal one chicken egg. Our plan is to have about 30 laying hens and 6 roosters for breeding. We will need to continually hatch out new ones as their lives are actually quite short and they only lay for a year or two.

Creamery

The creamery – ah the creamery. So much still to do there and Scott has so little time to do it. We really need that building completed. However, as I mentioned earlier, there are priorities. First the animals, then the perishable milk and cheese, then the garden and orchard. The creamery, as an inanimate object comes in last place. There are even maintenance projects that take precedence. Fences, driveways, pathways, other infrastructure – all has to be kept up to ensure the safety of our animals.

It’s a lot but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. We work long hours every day – very long hours every day. Alarm goes off at 6:00 am and though 10:00 pm is bedtime, more often it is 11 or 11:30 before that happens. And every bit of it is worth it. There is never any lack of meaning in our lives. Boredom is something very distant in the past. The constant attention to the next task makes us know that we are alive in God’s wonderful creation.

One thing that evolved through nature is the composition of milk in cows. Recently, some of the genetic content and protein structure of milk has changed.

What is A2A2 Milk?

There is a great deal of scientific gobbledygook about the proteins and how they are broken down or not. I’ll try to keep this layman friendly and skip most of the mumbo-jumbo lingo. By the way, did you know that gobbledygook is an actual word that my spell-checker knew? Who knew? Well, my spellchecker knew.

A2 milk is cow’s milk that mostly lacks a form of beta-casein proteins called A1 and instead has mostly the A2 form.

A1 and A2 beta-casein are genetic variants of the beta-casein milk protein that differ by one amino acid. Casein is a family of related phosphoproteins. These proteins are commonly found in the milk of mammals, comprising about 80% of the proteins in cow’s milk and between 20% and 45% of the proteins in human milk. Sheep and buffalo milk have a higher casein content than other types of milk with human milk having a particularly low casein content. Casein has a wide variety of uses one of which is being a major component of cheese. We respect our casein.

A genetic test, developed by the a2 Milk Company, determines whether a cow produces A2 or A1 type protein in its milk. The test allows the company to certify milk producers as producing milk that does not metabolize to beta-casomorphin which is an opioid peptide or protein fragment derived from the digestion of the milk protein casein.

I know, I’m getting too scientific with the lingo there. All that means is that the chemical composition of A2A2 milk may benefit our health because it is digested without inflammation that might arise from BCM-7 produced by A1 beta-casein. Consequently, A1 proteins may be detrimental to our health. That causes great push back from the gigantic dairy industry as A2A2 genetics is rare in Europe (except France) and the US. That would really disrupt their operation if their milk was found to be harmful – while others had milk that was beneficial.

As with so many health-related topics, the science is divided on whether or not there is reason for concern regarding the A1 protein in milk – whether there are adverse health effects from its consumption. Personally, I’m erring on the side of caution, as I do with so many other foods. I’ll go with tradition as opposed to modern fads in nutrition. We are breeding our cows for the A2A2 genetic conformation.

And when I say modern fads in nutrition, I mean everything that came pouring out of the 20th century and that continues to pour out in the 21st century. I’m talking about three square meals a day, the food pyramid, and the modified food pyramid. I’m talking about low fat diets, vegan and vegetarian diets, the Mediterranean diet, the South Beach diet and so on. All of these so-called nutrition experts are literally experimenting with our health as human beings. We evolved over thousands and thousands and thousands of years eating locally grown food, whatever it was. Historically, in the tropics the diet was heavy in fruits, nuts and greens, in Alaska fat predominated. In other regions protein was the main source of dietary sustenance. You must find what works for you.

Which brings me back to A2A2 milk.

History

In the 1980s, some medical researchers began to explore whether some peptides (including peptides from casein) that are created during digestion might have negative or positive health effects.

Interest in the distinction between A1 and A2 beta-casein proteins in milk began in the early 1990s via epidemiological research and animal studies initially conducted by scientists in New Zealand. The scientists found correlations between the prevalence of milk with A1 beta-casein proteins in some countries and the prevalence of various chronic diseases. The research generated interest in the media, as well as among the scientific community and entrepreneurs. If it were indeed true that BCM-7 created by A1 beta-casein is harming humans, this would be an important public health issue.

Scientists believe the difference in genetics originated as a mutation that occurred between 5000 and 10,000 years ago—as cattle were being taken north into Europe with the mutation subsequently spreading widely throughout herds in the Western world through breeding.

The percentage of the A1 and A2 beta-casein protein varies between herds of cattle, and also between countries and provinces. While African and Asian cattle continue to produce only A2 beta-casein, the A1 version of the protein is common among cattle in the western world. The A1 beta-casein type is the most common type found in cow’s milk in Europe (excluding France where our Normandes with predominantly A2A2 genetics originate). It is also the most common type found in cow’s milk in the US, Australia and New Zealand.

Let’s talk about the possible health benefits.

Health Benefits

Symptoms of stomach discomfort, such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea that occur after consuming dairy products, are typically attributed to lactose intolerance. However, some researchers believe that it is BCM-7, not lactose, that affects digestion and produces symptoms similar to lactose intolerance, in some people.

A study on Chinese adults with self-reported milk intolerance compared the effects of drinking regular milk that contained A1 and A2 proteins with A2-only milk on intestinal function, stomach discomfort, and inflammation.

The participants consumed 8 oz of milk twice a day for 2 weeks. They reported worse stomach pain after they consumed the regular milk but no change in symptoms after they drank the A2 milk.

Participants also reported more frequent and looser-consistency stools while they drank the regular milk. These symptoms did not occur after they consumed the A2 milk.

So, what MIGHT be happening on the other side of the coin?

Potentially Harmful Effects of non A2A2 Milk

Notice the words “might and “potentially” there. I’m not making any claims here. Some of the effects can include:

Inflammation

In the same study mentioned above, researchers also looked at markers of inflammation in the blood. They found the participants had higher levels of inflammatory markers after they drank the regular milk.

Brain function

The research showed that milk could impact brain function. Study participants took longer to process information and made more errors on a test after drinking regular milk compared to A2 milk.

Type 1 diabetes

The potential risks associated with milk containing A1 proteins include an increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes.

Some studies have shown that children who drink cow’s milk protein at an earlier age than others have a higher risk of developing type 1 diabetes. However, other studies have not shown the same association.

The research also suggests that the amount of milk a child consumes could influence their risk of developing type 1 diabetes, with higher milk consumption observed in children who develop the condition.

At least one study showed a link between the consumption of A1 protein and incidence of type 1 diabetes, although this kind of study fails to prove that it is a direct cause.

Some animal studies have shown associations between cow’s milk consumption and a higher incidence of type 1 diabetes. One study in mice found that 47 percent of the mice that had A1 protein added to their diet developed diabetes, while none that had A2 protein added did so.

However, other research does not support the hypothesis that there is any association between milk consumption and a higher incidence of type 1 diabetes. There are links in the show notes for both sides of this discussion. Debate about the potential health effects of A1 and A2 milk is ongoing.

Research suggests that A1 beta-casein causes adverse digestive symptoms in certain individuals. But the evidence is still too weak for any solid conclusions to be made about the supposed links between A1 beta-casein and other conditions, such as type 1 diabetes and autism.

That said, A2 milk could be worth a try if you struggle to digest regular milk.

There you have it. The basics to the why of A2A2 milk. I’ll let you decide. Again, we like to err on the side of caution. We have two A2A2 certified cows and will be testing the rest of the herd as we move forward with our dairy operation. Go to the show notes for the links to the research I referenced.

Speaking of milk, how about an ice cream recipe for your A2A2 milk and cream.

Ice Cream Base Recipe (Download Flavorings)

When it’s warm outside, a cold refreshing dish of ice cream can really hit the spot. This is a basic ice cream recipe that can be used as a base for many different flavors. I’ve included a download link to the flavorings.

This silky, luscious and very classic custard can be used as the base for any ice cream flavor you can dream up. These particular proportions of milk and cream to egg yolk will give you a thick but not sticky ice cream that feels decadent but not heavy. For something a little lighter, use more milk and less cream, as long as the dairy adds up to 3 cups. You can also cut down on egg yolks for a thinner base, but don’t go below three.

Time: 20 minutes plus several hours’ cooling, chilling and freezing

Yield: about 1 ½ pints

What You Need

  • 2cups heavy cream
  • 1cup whole milk
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • Your choice of flavoring (download here)

What To Do

  1. In a small pot, simmer cream, milk, sugar and salt until sugar completely dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat. In a separate bowl, whisk yolks. Whisking constantly, slowly whisk about a third of the hot cream into the yolks, then whisk the yolk mixture back into the pot with the cream. Return pot to medium-low heat and gently cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer).
  2. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Cool mixture to room temperature. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Serve directly from the machine for soft serve, or store in freezer until needed.

Final Thoughts

I hope your days are filled with as much love and joy as you can stand. We love our lives here. Yes, we are busy beyond belief. Yes, it’s a little stressful sometimes. I just find it so fulfilling. From the time I was a child I was told to work hard for what I wanted. I was also told that I was too smart to not be college educated and have a career. So, no physical work. That was for those not smart enough to get out of that poor and decrepit existence. Funny isn’t it? In the end, educated to the max, I prefer the hard work. And indeed, some of it is smart brain work. But the best and most enjoyable part involves sweat.

Particularly, I love our cows and our dairy operation. Check out the references I provided for the research around A2 beta-casein. Then sign on to our herd share program with our A2A2 milk and value added products, go to www.peacefulheartfarm.com/virginia-herdshare. Read, ask questions, download the documents. We’d love to do business with you.

And as this Memorial Day weekend stretches into Monday, I hope you’ll try that ice cream recipe. There is nothing more traditional than everyone taking turns operating that crank on the ice cream machine. Well, we use the electric method. Likely you do too, but the principle is still the same. Enjoy your time with your family and friends.

If you enjoyed this podcast, please hop over to Apple Podcasts, Subscribe and give me a 5-star rating and review. Also, please share it with any friends or family who might be interested in this type of content.

As always, I’m here to help you “taste the traditional touch.”

Thank you so much for stopping by the homestead and until next time, may God fill your life with grace and peace.

References

Recipe Link

Ice Cream Base

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Ice Cream Base

Ice Cream Base

There is nothing better in my opinion than a cold dish of ice cream in summer. Use our wonderful A2A2 milk and cream to try out this recipe.

Ice Cream Base

When it’s warm outside, a cold refreshing dish of ice cream can really hit the spot. This is a basic ice cream recipe that can be used as a base for many different flavors. I’ve included a download link to the flavorings. This silky, luscious and very classic custard can be used as the base for any ice cream flavor you can dream up. These particular proportions of milk and cream to egg yolk will give you a thick but not sticky ice cream that feels decadent but not heavy. For something a little lighter, use more milk and less cream, as long as the dairy adds up to 3 cups. You can also cut down on egg yolks for a thinner base, but don’t go below three.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Chill4 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 1/2 Pints

Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • cup sugar
  • teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • Your choice of flavoring

Instructions

  • In a small pot, simmer cream, milk, sugar and salt until sugar completely dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat. In a separate bowl, whisk yolks. Whisking constantly, slowly whisk about a third of the hot cream into the yolks, then whisk the yolk mixture back into the pot with the cream. Return pot to medium-low heat and gently cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer).
  • Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Cool mixture to room temperature. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Serve directly from the machine for soft serve, or store in freezer until needed.
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