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I'm interested in starting with raw dairy, but there's so much I don't know yet! First of all, in my state you have to do the cow-share thing-- not legal to buy or sell raw dairy. But I've never even tasted raw milk! I can't fathom getting that involved when I don't even know if I'll like what I'm getting, KWIM? If only it were for sale at the farmers market or something, so I could at least get a taste. Any ideas on the best way to figure out if I (and the DH) can drink it before getting in over our heads?<br><br>
Second, I'm trying to get preggers again, and hopefully will be quite soon. Do you all keep drinking raw fresh milk during pregnancy? Or do you just do aged cheeses and fermented things like yogurt? I don't want to buy into a cowshare and then be unable to drink the milk.<br><br>
Third, what's a reasonable price to pay for a cowshare, or for a gallon of fresh raw milk? And how far do you all go to get it, or pay to have it delivered? I don't have anything to compare it to, because it's obviously not the same product as a gallon of grocery-store milk, right?<br><br>
Fourth, do all (or most) dairies that sell raw milk (or cowshare, whatever) pasture their herd? Grass-fed is more important to me right now than unpasteurized, really, so I want to make sure that's pretty common.<br><br>
I'm sure I have more questions but can't think of them at the moment.<br><br>
Oh, this is sort-of unrelated, but if my DH suffered from milk allergies as a child, should I be taking precautions about that during pregnancy and nursing? And/or, does going raw do anything to help or prevent that?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>WeasleyMum</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9921990"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Any ideas on the best way to figure out if I (and the DH) can drink it before getting in over our heads?</div>
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Ask for a pint of it to taste test among family members before you buy your share (if you have to buy a share). It's like test driving a car, or trying on clothes before you buy them.<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Do you all keep drinking raw fresh milk during pregnancy? Or do you just do aged cheeses and fermented things like yogurt?</td>
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Yes. And yes. I am drinking raw milk now, and am 20 weeks along in this pregnancy. I drank raw milk with DS, and he's perfectly fine. We also continue to eat lots of yogurt and drink kefir when I have the grains for it.<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">what's a reasonable price to pay for a cowshare, or for a gallon of fresh raw milk?</td>
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It all depends on where you are located. I pay $4/gallon in Oklahoma. However, I've heard of $11/gallon in some states.<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">how far do you all go to get it, or pay to have it delivered?</td>
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I drive 2 hours to get my milk. When visiting my parents, I pay a couple dollars a gallon more to have it delivered (it's a rotating group of women who drive 2-3 hours to pick up the week's worth of milk there).<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I don't have anything to compare it to, because it's obviously not the same product as a gallon of grocery-store milk, right?</td>
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Right. Or else there'd be no benefits to it, and therefore, no reason to purchase raw.<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Fourth, do all (or most) dairies that sell raw milk (or cowshare, whatever) pasture their herd?</td>
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Out of the three separate farms I've bought from, their herds were all on pasture, with some grain during milking as a treat.<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Oh, this is sort-of unrelated, but if my DH suffered from milk allergies as a child, should I be taking precautions about that during pregnancy and nursing?</td>
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If you don't have dairy problems, your body should take care of any abnormalities during pregnancy (from the <span style="text-decoration:underline;">little</span> bit of research I've done). After birth, you'll be able to determine if your child has an allergy.
 

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Sorry, double post.
 

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Raw milk tasted weird to me at first- but now it's just normal.<br>
So if you don't like your first taste, I think it will still probably grow on you with time.<br><br>
We pay $6 per gallon. We drive two miles and provide our own jars. The two cows are Gurnseys and eat organic grass and hay almost exclusively. Our farmer friend will stop milking in late December, and start back up soon after the next calves are born in March.<br><br>
In contrast, our other possible source for raw milk when our source is taking a break: in order to make the grass grow rapidly, they put <i>chemical fertilizer</i> (not manure) on the pastures! I somehow had no idea anyone would do such a thing. Which is more important, rapidly-growing grass all the time, or organic food for dairy cows??? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nut.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nut"><br>
(I say <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> organic <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> by the way- why not just irrigate during the height of summer and during droughts? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch">)<br>
That farm has around 25 cows, they milk year-round, and their milk is a dollar cheaper per gallon. But they also compulsively bleach everything that's bleach-able.<br><br>
I don't know what I'll do for the rest period. I don't think we can go without for so long. I have stockpiled the butter I make every week, but DP and DD are both fans of milk by the glass.<br><br>
Until I realized such great fresh milk was available, we bought Organic Cow of Vermont milk. We loved the taste, and the price is a little more than $6 at the chain grocery store. But though they're organic, they don't pasture their animals, and it's obviously pasteurized and homogenized.<br><br>
What is better in this case? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch">
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>WeasleyMum</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9921990"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Second, I'm trying to get preggers again, and hopefully will be quite soon. Do you all keep drinking raw fresh milk during pregnancy? Or do you just do aged cheeses and fermented things like yogurt? I don't want to buy into a cowshare and then be unable to drink the milk.</div>
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Are you worried about listeria? The research shows that the beneficial bacteria and enzymes in raw milk is really good at kicking listeria's butt even when the listeria is injected directly into the milk. A lot depends on the health of the cows. There's always risk in life, but I personally think it's more risky to drink pasteurized milk than raw when it comes to contamination. The pasteurized milk has no way to fight off the pathogens, and it comes from less sanitary dairies. Here's a really interesting bit of info about it:<br>
"...a few years ago, McAfee sent his milk and colostrum to a private lab and had both injected with high levels of the three pathogens. The bacterial counts of all three bugs decreased over time. And the conclusion of the scientist at BSK Labs? "Raw colostrum and raw milk do not appear to support the growth of Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7, and Listeria monocytogenes," stated the lab report. McAfee is so proud of his below-normal bacteria counts that he posts annual averages on his Web site.<br><br>
"Pasteurization is an excuse to produce dirty milk," says Los Angeles raw milk activist Rahman Dalrymple, citing the outbreaks of salmonella, listeria and Campylobacter that have all been traced to pasteurized milk. In California, accepted bacteria levels for Grade A raw milk are fewer than 15,000 colony-forming units per milliliter; accepted levels for raw milk destined for pasteurization is 50,000. (Post-pasteurization, milk in California can contain 15,000 CFUs per milliliter. States that adopt the FDA's Pasteurized Milk Ordinance allow pasteurized milk 20,000 CFUs per milliliter, one-quarter more than California's raw-milk limit.) Dalrymple, who credits raw milk with curing his asthma, emphasizes that he would never drink raw milk that's destined for pasteurization by a large industrial dairy. Not all raw milk is created equal, Dalrymple says. "Raw milk is dangerous -- if you get it from one of these industrial dairies that have fecal matter and pus and blood in their milk. I would absolutely not drink that!"<br><br>
This distinction -- between raw milk that's destined for pasteurization and raw milk from a small, spotlessly clean dairy that's kept to higher standards precisely because the milk won't be pasteurized -- is a crucial one, and it's lost on public health officials like John Sheehan, who seem to lump all raw milk into the same pathogen-contaminated vat. Industrial farms are dirty -- as the recent agri-exposés "Fast Food Nation" and "The Omnivore's Dilemma" have proved. When Sheehan thinks of raw milk, in other words, he's thinking of milk from cows crowded together in barns, eating a diet of corn, and standing in their own manure. All the raw milk advocates I spoke to are against drinking this type of raw milk."<br><a href="http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2007/01/19/raw_milk/index1.html" target="_blank">http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/200...lk/index1.html</a><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>WeasleyMum</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9921990"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Third, what's a reasonable price to pay for a cowshare, or for a gallon of fresh raw milk? And how far do you all go to get it, or pay to have it delivered? I don't have anything to compare it to, because it's obviously not the same product as a gallon of grocery-store milk, right?</div>
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Totally different food, I agree. I drive 40 minutes and pay about $6 a gallon -- which is less than a gallon of organic milk costs in our stores. We have a cowshare, too, and we sterilize and provide our own jars.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>WeasleyMum</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9921990"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Fourth, do all (or most) dairies that sell raw milk (or cowshare, whatever) pasture their herd? Grass-fed is more important to me right now than unpasteurized, really, so I want to make sure that's pretty common.</div>
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I've only ever heard of one cowshare around here that fed their cows grain, and that was from a dairy farm that produced for the dairy industry as well. My experience is that small, local farmers know the value of grass-fed, and go to great lengths to have a fully grass-fed herd.<br><br>
You can always buy Organic Valley brand milk if you are buying pasteurized -- their cows are pastured (at least that's what they say). I think it's true, though, because when I buy their butter it's got that waxy texture and yellow color of grass-fed butter.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>WeasleyMum</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9921990"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Oh, this is sort-of unrelated, but if my DH suffered from milk allergies as a child, should I be taking precautions about that during pregnancy and nursing? And/or, does going raw do anything to help or prevent that?</div>
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I'm not sure about pregnancy and nursing, but I can tell you that my son no longer has dairy reactions on raw milk. He used to get an itchy rash all over whenever he had pasteurized dairy. He doesn't react at all to raw milk or raw cheese.<br><br>
Have fun with your milk!!
 

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We lived on a "commercial" dairy farm until a few months ago and while not ideal I did learn a lot. I drank the raw milk through two pregnancies. About Listeria, the biggest worry, my back up OB was unconcerned ( she had been a dairy farmer before becoming a doc<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">) another nurse practioner said that you would hear if there were a big listeria outbreak anywhere in the states, then you would want to pay closer attention but what i really want to say is..<br>
check out the dairy, is it clean( ex is the milk room floor hosed down well, walls relatively white, animals well bedded) do they have a good refridgeration system before you get your milk? The benefits of buying milk direct from the farm are many but a big one is that their milk isn't contaminated by any other farms milk in the milk truck on the way to the bottling plant. The other side is that if you buy a share you may be taking the place of the bottling company in quality control. In a traditional dairy setting they test the farmers milk counts for all kinds of bacteria on a regulr basis, there is always going to be some but clean barn/milking practices will keep it in check. Will there be anyone checking your cows numbers? Will the farm check theirselves... just a few things to take notice or ask, ...<br><br>
Raw milk is great, we really believe in it and are missing it dearly until we get another source. The taste is great if it's too rich for you, skim off the cream for butter/ cooking etc.
 

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I took to raw milk right away. I HATE drinking pasteurized milk and always have, because of an allergy. Raw milk actually has given me no problems and is so much yummier - you can FEEL that it's better for you, IMO.<br><br>
I'm 15 weeks pg now, and have been drinking raw milk throughout. It's what gets me through the mornings. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I think most co-ops would absolutely let you try it first. Tell them that you're VERY interested, but would like to see if your kids would drink it. I can't imagine they'd say no.<br><br>
We pay $3.75/gal, but we're in the MIDDLE of dairy country here in Lancaster, and raw milk is surprisingly easy to find. I would probably say that in non-dairy country the avg is $6.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all of the responses, you guys! I appreciate the information.
 

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<b>Any ideas on the best way to figure out if I (and the DH) can drink it before getting in over our heads?</b><br>
Do you have a friend who's willing to share with you? Alternatively, you could pay for the cow share plus one month boarding fee and if you don't like it I'm sure the dairy will buy back your share.<br><br><b><i>Do you all keep drinking raw fresh milk during pregnancy? Or do you just do aged cheeses and fermented things like yogurt?</i></b><br>
I'm not PG, but I'd continue to drink it if I were.<br><br><b>Third, what's a reasonable price to pay for a cowshare, or for a gallon of fresh raw milk? And how far do you all go to get it, or pay to have it delivered?</b><br>
I was paying approximately $15/gallon until the dairy reduced the boarding fee and now I'm paying $10/gallon.<br><br><b><i><br>
Fourth, do all (or most) dairies that sell raw milk (or cowshare, whatever) pasture their herd?</i></b><br>
I've never seen a cow share heard that isn't grassfed. Some herds, during the winter, are fed hay and silage when grass is covered with snow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>snowbunny</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9934345"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Do you have a friend who's willing to share with you? Alternatively, you could pay for the cow share plus one month boarding fee and if you don't like it I'm sure the dairy will buy back your share..</div>
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Unfortunately, I don't have any like-minded friends in the area, most of them would think I'm nuts for considering this if I even told them about it! I have only lived in this town for the past year, so I don't have a lot of close friends here, more like acquaintences and casual friendships.
 

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Well heck, if there are cow share options available in your area, there must be people supporting them! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Maybe try Finding Your Tribe for your area would help?<br>
Or ask the farm about splitting things up with someone they already know?<br><br>
I've had a great time becoming friends with a woman in my town after we first bonded over our mutual search for kefir grains.<br>
(we found some, then bonded over how gross they smelled/tasted <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">)
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>WeasleyMum</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9921990"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm interested in starting with raw dairy, but there's so much I don't know yet! First of all, in my state you have to do the cow-share thing-- not legal to buy or sell raw dairy. But I've never even tasted raw milk! I can't fathom getting that involved when I don't even know if I'll like what I'm getting, KWIM? If only it were for sale at the farmers market or something, so I could at least get a taste. Any ideas on the best way to figure out if I (and the DH) can drink it before getting in over our heads?<br><br>
Second, I'm trying to get preggers again, and hopefully will be quite soon. Do you all keep drinking raw fresh milk during pregnancy? Or do you just do aged cheeses and fermented things like yogurt? I don't want to buy into a cowshare and then be unable to drink the milk.<br><br>
Third, what's a reasonable price to pay for a cowshare, or for a gallon of fresh raw milk? And how far do you all go to get it, or pay to have it delivered? I don't have anything to compare it to, because it's obviously not the same product as a gallon of grocery-store milk, right?<br><br>
Fourth, do all (or most) dairies that sell raw milk (or cowshare, whatever) pasture their herd? Grass-fed is more important to me right now than unpasteurized, really, so I want to make sure that's pretty common.<br><br>
I'm sure I have more questions but can't think of them at the moment.<br><br>
Oh, this is sort-of unrelated, but if my DH suffered from milk allergies as a child, should I be taking precautions about that during pregnancy and nursing? And/or, does going raw do anything to help or prevent that?</div>
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The first time I signed up for a one year cow share I never really drank raw milk, unless you count the one small cup I tried at a WAP festival. So, I really didn't know how this farmers milk was going to taste, but I was willing to take a chance for the health benefits.<br><br>
I pay $ 6.50/gallon. I am sure prices vary all over the U.S. My annual cowshare fee is $ 25.00.
 
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