Monday, 20 May 2013

Milk has become an

issue - again.
One of the farmers to the south of us has become fed up with the poor quality of the product available on the supermarket shelves. His cows produce better milk than that and he believes it should be made available. 
Of course there are all sorts of rules and regulations surrounding the supply and consumption of milk so he hit on the idea of selling shares in a cow and allowing people to profit from their share - in the form of milk.  The government is not happy. I doubt he will be able to continue.
The reason of course is that the milk is not pasteurised, nor has it had the cream skimmed off.  People who drink it might become ill - or fat - or both.
When we lived in an adjacent dairy farming area we bought milk directly from one of the farmers. Our family of six consumed a gallon of milk a day. We ate it on cereal or as porridge and drank glasses or mugs of it for breakfast. We consumed more at the mid-morning school break, at lunch time, after school, at the evening meal and before we went to bed.
My brother would go down the road to the dairy every morning, rain or shine or hail. It was about three hundred yards down the road I suppose. He would take the "billy" and, if the farmer was not there, help himself from one of the big churns and then wash the big dipper in scalding hot water and leave the money on the shelf above the churns. 
When he brought it home my mother would heat it in a huge pan on the woodburning stove and, when she judged it was sufficiently warm to have killed off anything that needed to be killed off, it would go in the refrigerator. The cream would settle on the top and she would remove that later. 
As children we just drank it. My parents drank it too. We were all so busy and active that none of us had time to be fat. The only time we saw the doctor was the visit by the school doctor. The local children were almost never ill either. We did not become ill because of the milk and I can only remember one overweight child. He had what I now know to be a glandular condition.
And the milk tasted good. (The cream tasted even better.) It was not white but pale cream in colour. It was not watery thin but creamy thick.  Did it clog our arteries and do dreadful things to other internal organs? Perhaps it has - but we liked it. 
I can understand the fuss the government is making. There are people there who worry about our health. They take on the responsibility for keeping us healthy. It would be impossible to have a lack of regulation and people getting ill. It might lead to law suits and life long injury and... well, you get the picture.
So many other people will never experience the joy of drinking real milk. I have not forgotten it and, although I am good little cat in that I now drink the "light" version, given the chance of drinking just one saucer of real milk, I would drink it again.


Jan said...

I had a similar experience here as a child. We bought our milk from the poultry farmer down the road who kept two cows. Wonderful flavour and the cream would be several centimetres thick on top of the jug. I almost wrote inches. That was after the milk had gone through the separator and had most of the cream removed. If mum wanted that cream for a special occasion she would go down with a jug for it. The cream was so thick in the jug without any beating that a teaspoon could stand upright in it.

Helen Devries said...

We used to have milk from the cow when staying on grandfather's farm and I thought I'd never see it again, but here I can buy milk from my neighbour who keeps dairy cattle.
Rich and tasty - wonderful cream...

But on the other hand my mother caught TB from milk when she was small and the son of a neighbour in France had a leg amputated due to TB caught from milk.

So I'm jolly glad that my neighbour's cows are TB tested.

catdownunder said...

oh yes, should definitely be tested but, once tested?

jeanfromcornwall said...

We are lucky - some dairy farmers are allowed to sell their milk, untreated, at Farmers' Markets. That is what we get, and it keeps well - a week in the fridge as opposed to three to four days for the pasteurised stuff.
You do realise that the skimmed and semi-skimmed are less good for you in that they put the calcium out of reach? Calcium is in the watery part of the milk, but you need Vitamin D to absorb it - that is in the cream, being a fat soluble Vitamin.

Anonymous said...

So long since I tasted real milk I have forgotten the taste! How sad is that!

catdownunder said...

I am hoping I eat enough cheese to solve that problem Jean!
Oh Judy it is sad isn't it? It isn't something our grandparents worried about!