Raw Milk Experience
I have never been much of a dairy person. Ever since I discovered (at the tiny age of 12) that eliminating dairy from my diet helped alleviate bronchial issues and a nagging cough, I have stayed pretty far away from it. I still eat cheese from time to time and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t eat ice cream on occasion. But over all, I know my way around a dairy-free kitchen.
Now that I’m full-on into the “healthy living” sector of our community, I hear a lot of buzz from friends and online friends about the benefits and joys of raw milk. Most people even say that if you’re lactose intolerant, raw milk won’t bother your tummy.
I was intrigued.
So when I got an e-mail to try out a cow share for the winter months, I hopped on it.
[Side note: In Michigan, you have to lease a cow in order to be able to buy raw milk…. At this point I feel obligated to come up with some kind of joke about not wanting to buy the cow if you’re getting the milk for free…but I can’t. Let’s just move on.]
I remember my first glass of cold, raw milk. People, it tasted so good I was drinking it out of a wine glass. And this coming from a girl who can’t stand the taste of milk.
We drank the milk. We added it to smoothies. We baked with it. We experimented (remember my curdled milk incident?!) We skimmed the cream off the top and whipped it. It was (IS!) delicious.
But after about a week, all of our noses began to run. I found myself back to my age-old bronchial issues all over again. It had been years and years since I experienced those symptoms, I thought they had just gone away. But with the introduction of a lot of dairy again, I was back to my old, constantly coughing self.
Then my 2-year-old started complaining about a tummy ache. When I hid the raw milk from her for a few days, she stopped complaining.
My starry-eyed days of raw-milk consumption were beginning to fade. I was reminded again about listening to my body.
The truth is: everyone’s body is different. While my friends may be able to tolerate and enjoy raw milk, I, on the other hand, need to take it easy…and so does my husband and our daughters. Health and eating are one big experiment after another – and it’s important to remember to listen to how my body is responding to food and adjust accordingly.
We have a few weeks left on our winter cow lease, and I’m sticking it out. I still love the taste; and I always crave more dairy in the winter. Not to mention, the cream skimmed off the top is like heaven when it’s whipped and doloped on my Saturday morning coffee.