WARNING! Ultra-Pasturized Milk issues

Ever wonder what the difference is in the milk in the store?

 What’s the difference between the brands? and why different prices?

 It is much cheaper to move milk around if you take all the water out!

You take the water out, you take out the water-soluble components in the milk. whole-milk-powder



Many processors “reconstitute” the milk and then ship it to the store. Except for two producers here in california, all milk is pasteurized. Because the pasteurization process can damage the components of milk, much of that is added back via a chemical additive.  Not always the same thing as the “cow” put out.

Think sweetener: sugar, saccharin, stevia, glucose, HFCS (high fructose corn syrup)…  all called sweeteners but all very different. So when they “add” Vitamin D to the milk, is it in the same form that the cow produced, that our bodies can absorb?

whey protein chart The “cheaper brands” take the milk apart and then try to reassemble it as inexpensively as possible, to keep that price low.

I know if you make cheese from commercial milk, you have to add calcium back into the milk!  ultra pasteurized milk can NOT even be used to make cheese.

Ultra-Pasteurized WARNING!

 I’m finding that it is almost impossible to find milk that has NOT been ultra pasteurized (even those called organic).

Ultra, High Tem, Low Temp Pasteurization

Ultra, High Tem, Low Temp Pasteurization

 We have another name for ultra pasteurized milk.

It’s called: 

“white water that lives on the shelf

long time!”

It is “cooked” at very, very high heat which alters the milk, and allows it to not go bad on the shelf, for weeks.

 Think of the difference between a raw egg, and an overcooked scrambled egg. They are NOT the same product, even though they had the same beginning and both can be called ‘an egg’. Heat can dramatically alter the product.

 Organic milk, that is ultra pasteurized, is stripped of the very properties that made it a good buy.  I talked with some dairy farmers who provide this organic milk and asked why this was done. They said that they had NO CONTROL despite being a farmer co-operative. The buyer’s of their milk (processor) did it to make the milk last longer.

 Clove:straussLucky, so far, some local dairy operations, CLOVER & Strauss do NOT ultra pasteurize their milk.  If you want to support local dairy operations here in Northern California, these are two great ones. In fact, Strauss (the glass bottles) does a very low heat, slow process that preserves the components in the milk.


Remember the adage, “you get what you pay for!”  Yes, their milk might look pricier but you are actually ending up with “more” for your money.

 (I understand that all Clover milk is organic but they can only “sell” so much at the higher price that they get for it, but much of their “non organic branded” milk can be organic. If you have to choose, this might be a less expensive milk to choose! I have been told this, but can NOT verify that this is true.)

Strauss, also, does NOT homogenized their milk. There is some thought that vigorously mixing the milk and breaking up the fat globules to “homogenize” the milk, actually damages it. Thus you will see a separation level in the milk bottles, without this “forced” mixing. Shake to mix before pouring.  Or, better yet, steal some off that top-level, for cream for your coffee!

Pasture-Butter-325A side note:  If you can buy butter, made May-September, do! 

Several companies are beginning to market it because of the higher vitamin, CLA levels from the fresh pasture. You can freeze butter up to a year. But only butter that is from pastured cows!

Some Economic Beef Background:

I don’t know if you know, but the cost of feed/hay has dramatically increased over the last 5 years.  When we started, hay was $5/bale and now is at $20+/bale.  A lot of this is due to the severe drought conditions in the midwest & south… with everyone trying to “source” hay to feed their cattle.

We’re lucky because our costs are lower since we DO NOT EVER feed grain, and we have access to some awesome pasture on the Mendocino Coast.  We have focused on compact heritage Angus beef that have the genetics to do well on forage only. Our beeves are raised mostly on fresh forage. They are only supplemented occasionally, with hay, to protect from over-grazing.

grass fed lowlines

Ranging the land

 Commercial ranchers in the mid-west and south literally dumped their herds into the slaughter houses last year, because they could not afford to feed them, or even in some cases, have enough water for them.  Herds in 2013 are the lowest size since the 1950’s.

 Initially, prices on commercial beef at the store dropped, but you will start to see a dramatic increase in price (in some places it has already started).

The Heritage Farm – Healthy Food: 

 Again, I will remind you of my “spiel” that grass-fed beef has the Omega3:Omega6 ratio that is healthy for the human body.

Because our beeves are raised on pasture, they will have high levels of CLA’s (associated with cancer fighting properties). See EatWild.com for in-depth information on the positive benefits from eating “pastured products”!

Beef from grasslands is a completely different product than that raised in  a feed lot.  So is the butter, 1/2&1/2, milk.

Anyway guys, hope I didn’t overwhelm you with too MUCH info! But I’ve wanted to share some of this and thought you might find it interesting.

The more I see of the health complications in our world the more important I realize it is to provide quality food. It’s the little things we can do, for our family and friends, to help and to protect them.

Products Available:

100% Grass-fed Angus Beef halves available:  Only have 4 half portions available.  Min  weight: 125# (up to 140#)

USDA processed, cut & wrapped  – Works out to roughly $7-8/lb for 100% grass-fed beef.

Our heritage line of Aberdeen Angus has had no hormones, no antibiotics. They are raised on pristine pasture with their mothers, on the Mendocino Coastline utilizing rotational managed grazing, which increases the health of the soil/forage.

$959/per half, whole $1800. Can be paid in 4 installments.

[Cost by the cut: $7/lb ground meat (NO added fat), stew meat

                        $10/lb roasts, ribs, misc cuts

                        $15/lb steaks        ]

 (Please check Oliver’s or Whole Foods and you will find these are EXTREMELY reasonable prices.)

 But the best deal is to buy a half (join up with a friend and share).

Bulk pricing gets you the best deal, which you already know!

We have already done all the work: birthed, raised up humanely, harvest, & custom cut & wrap.

 All locally done (within a 100 mile radius).

– ready April 8th.


email me if you are interested in a beef half.

Also, we have just got our order of USDA heritage Berkshire hog pork in.  Again, no antibiotics, no hormones, raised in an outdoor setting.

 If you want: pork chops, ground pork, apple-sausage links, bacon,ham, or back-fat to make lard, let me know. Back-fat lard is awesome for cooking and seasoning beans, stews, etc.

I can send you a price list.



Sex on the Farm

It can be difficult to warn people that ours is an “X-rated” farm.  Our farm animals do the “wild thing” at the drop of the hat!  Sex is so prevalent on a farm… and an important topic to be able to discuss.

six piglets getting the colostrum, after birth

Piglets delivered and nursing well

We’ve had many an intern turn red and start stuttering when we have to discuss the topic of breeding and mating.  As if it were magic! Our interns are generally, bright, well-educated young people who want to learn organic farming.  We are one of the few farms that offer livestock management as well as the organic gardening aspect. And yet, SEX, is still a forbidden topic.  But the mating management is critical to the success of any farm.

We try to get over that barrier pretty quickly.  We are involved in utilizing high-tech methods to improve livestock for the small, low-tech farm. We want livestock that can survive WITHOUT vets, medicine, special diets, or extraordinary support.  To do this we sometimes use artificial insemination (A.I.) & embryo transfers (E.T.) to get where we want to go.  Thus it is important to monitor their reproductive cycles.

Lowline Bull, Herd Sire

Lowline Angus Beef, full-bodied, grass-based genetics

We are working on returning to the “grass genetics” that allow livestock to thrive on their historically natural forage.  We use DNA testing to identify markers for food efficiency, as well as observation.  You can have two cows, eating from the same pasture.  One will be fat and the other will look scrawny.  The fat one is better at converting her food to meet her needs AND build a reserve. She is a survivor, and it will cost less to support her.  Her’s are the genes we want in our pool.  As long as she has a good temperament. Temperament trumps… be nice or you are off to freezer camp!

In nature, it make take years for those poor survival genes to be weeded out.  In our herd, we cull those animals and don’t allow them in our gene pool.  We have very mellow animals that are generally easy to work with.

Jim tells the interns, “Cows are really a lot like women! They cycle every 21 days, they get bitchy and they get lovey-dovey.” And it is actually true.  One cow will start licking another, and nuzzling, comforting her. You know she is getting ready to ovulate.  Another cow may bawl and bellow all day.. she is really ready to ovulate. Interns have to learn to watch for standing mount. When a cow allows another cow to mount her, without moving away, we know she is ready to breed! (i.e. she will ovulate within 12 hours).

If you know your cows you can figure out what is going on.  We have to identify when they ovulate so that we can do our intervention (A.I. or embryo transfer), or just mark down on the calendar so we know when to expect a calf if she has been exposed to a bull.  Our goal is to get a bull  & cows, who carry the DNA markers we want to encourage, and then eliminate the need for AI or ET. But at this point the numbers are still small.

The current success rate in embryo transfers, in the industrial cattle industry, is 30-40 %.

Our success rate is close to 90%!

We do NOT use hormone injections or patches to bring on a cow’s cycle. Instead we watch for her natural cycle and work with her.   Of course it helps to have a top-notch vet versed in the skills needed. And we pay close attention to the cows diet.  We add kelp meal, selenium, and diatomaceous earth for the micro-nutrients she may need.

We follow our beef cows, our dairy cows, pigs, and poultry.  The goal is to understand the natural behaviors and work with them to breed stock that can survive in the real world.

Such show-off, our tom turkeys

Heritage Bronze Turkey Toms strutting

I was shocked to hear that the turkey one buys in the store… are so large breasted that they can NO LONGER reproduce on their own.  They must be AI’ed to reproduce.  That, to me, is a very precarious situation.  We use A.I. but our goal is to NOT need it. Our heritage turkeys are quite capable of doing their “job”!

I’m reminded of the story of the special dairy cows in Cuba.  There was a line of dairy cows that were so productive that all the dairies used them.  The problem was… when they no longer had access to the special diet that was needed to produce those prodigious amounts of milk, they were in big trouble.  Besides no longer producing volumes of milk, they could NOT even survive. Not on pasture alone.  That line died out.

We were asked to provide vacation backup for some friends; to milk their daughter’s blue ribbon milking goats.  What struck me as terribly funny (funny sad)… when we milked the goats, we had to pasteurize the milk before we could give it by bottle, to the kids the mother goat had given birth to.  The line was so inbred that an organism was in the milk which could damage the babies if they drank milk straight from the mother.

Our farm is focused on the sustainable. It’s a pretty precarious situation to get into if you make yourself dependent on livestock that can’t survive in the real world

When the price for oil shoots up, the agriculture prices supported by oil must increase.  What happens to the price of food?  We’re working to unhook from that price lock.

Beef has gone up 17% in the last two years, and looks to go higher in the coming years.  The beef herds are the smallest they have been since the 1950’s. Between the price of feed and the lack of water, cattlemen have been unable to support their herds and have reduced their stock.  Our Lowlines don’t need feed (grain), they flourish on forage/grass.

So interns come to our farm and learn about the economics of livestock management… at least on a small family farm. Included in that is learning about the sex life of cows… and most importantly, how to talk about it!

another Lowline Bull

Another Herd Sire

%d bloggers like this: