Stockpiling 101: How Long Can You Store Powdered Milk?

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Stockpiling 101: How Long Can You Store Powdered Milk?

Powdered milk, a dairy product made by evaporating milk to a dried form, is a great addition to your pantry.

It is useful as an inexpensive alternative to milk in recipes and is handy to have around when you run out of fresh milk. Powdered milk is also an important item to include in your preparedness stockpile. However, you may be curious how long powdered milk stays fresh.

The answer depends on the type of powdered milk, the container and the storage details.

Some manufacturers suggest using powdered milk within 18 months, but the USDA states that an unopened container of powdered milk can be stored anywhere from two to 10 years after a “best by” date. Some stores market nonfat dry powdered milk labeled with a 25-year shelf life.

What accounts for this wide difference? The type of powdered milk is a big factor. Nonfat powdered milk lasts much longer than powdered whole milk or powdered buttermilk, since milk fat is not stable.

In addition, dried milk lasts longer when it is stored in a container that keeps it protected from moisture and oxygen. For long-term storage, it is best to keep powdered milk unopened in its original container.

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powdered milkAn exception to this rule would be if you have purchased powdered milk from a warehouse store like Costco or Sam’s Club in bulk, such as in a 25-pound bag or food grade bucket. These containers are not suitable for long-term storage, so you must repackage the milk. If you have a vacuum sealer, you can repackage the milk in smaller portions in Mylar bags, which you then place into a food-grade bucket.

If you do not have a vacuum sealer, you can use one-gallon zippered freezer bags along with oxygen absorbers.

Powdered milk lasts longer when it is stored away from light in a dark cupboard or in an opaque can or Mylar bag. Temperature also factors greatly into successful long-term storage of powdered milk.

A study by Utah State University found that storage at 50 degrees Fahrenheit preserves the milk’s flavor the best. By contrast, study samples stored at 90 degrees Fahrenheit lost their flavor after only six months and were unusable after two years. Stored at 70 degrees Fahrenheit, dried milk tasted bad after four years.

The study also determined that the vitamin content of powdered milk declines slowly over time. Other nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates and minerals, however, remain unchanged for years.

Freezing powdered milk is a good option for long-term storage. Seal the package well – vacuum sealing is best — to prevent freezer burn, and then you can keep the milk frozen indefinitely.

Label any container with the date you have opened it, and use its contents within three months. Once you reconstitute nonfat dry milk, place it in the refrigerator and plan to use it all within five days.

How can you tell if powdered milk is not fresh? Telltale signs are a yellow discoloration and a bad odor. Both indicate that moisture has entered the package, and there is a chance mold and/or bacteria are present in these circumstances. When in doubt, it is best to discard the milk.

Do you store powdered milk? What advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below:

For more information, here are a few resources:

https://extension.usu.edu/foodstorage/htm/dried-milk

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1611&context=extension_histall

https://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/f&web.pdf

http://www.academia.edu/14153128/Consumer_Acceptability_Versus_Trained_Sensory_Panel_Scores_of_Powdered_Milk_Shelf-Life_Defects

Canada Moves Closer To Banning Raw Milk

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Canada Moves Closer To Banning Raw Milk

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Drinking a glass of raw milk from a cow you own might become a criminal act in Ontario – and Canada — because of a court case in that province.

A prosecutor has asked a court for an injunction banning the sale of unpasteurized milk by farmer Michael Schmidt and a co-op, Food Safety News reported. At issue is a cow-sharing program whereby citizens can own cows and then have the raw milk distributed between members.

“The application seeks an injunction order to stop the illegal activities of the involved parties and to ensure the health protection of the community,” an email from the York Region government states.

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A group of raw milk supporters protested outside the courthouse in Newmarket, Ontario, when the court heard the application earlier this week.

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Health officials and prosecutors claim Schmidt and others violated a law called the Milk Act by selling and distributing raw milk. Canada already is the only major industrialized nation where raw milk sales are totally banned, Food Safety News reported. An injunction would clarify that the law applies also to cow-sharing.

Raw milk supporters are afraid a court ruling in favor of the government would lead to a precedent that other Canadian provinces would follow.

“The issue is: how do we access the raw milk?” raw milk fan Sibernie James-Bosch told The Era. “We can’t have cows in our backyards in suburbia or Aurora, Bradford, Newmarket, we just can’t, but we want it for our health and there’s a lot of different reasons why people want it as well.”

James-Bosch, Schmidt and others tried to get around Canadian law through cooperatives.

“But the government is preventing the farmers from supplying it,” James-Bosch said.  “So, we decided that we want to have cow shares [in a shareholder arrangement] and this is the crux of the matter that has been going back and forth in court all the time: Are the cow shares legal, are they not legal? But at the bottom of it all is: who decides what we eat and drink?”

Which side do you support? Share your thoughts in the section below:

The Prepper’s Guide to Non-Dairy Milk

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The Prepper’s Guide to Non-Dairy Milk Most preppers stock a significant amount of dry milk because it’s so highly perishable that it tends to be one of the first things that people run out of when a disaster strikes. But for someone who has difficulty digesting lactose, adding that kind of milk to their coffee …

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The post The Prepper’s Guide to Non-Dairy Milk appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

The Easy-To-Handle Miniature Cow That Lives On Half An Acre

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The Easy-To-Handle Miniature Cow That Lives On Half An Acre

Image source: Wikimedia

 

Love the idea of farm fresh milk harvested at home, but lacking in space? Maybe you want milk for your family, but are not sure what you’d do with 8-10 gallons per day from a modern Holstein? Perhaps miniature dairy cattle are the answer.

Dexter cattle are a heritage breed of cow from Ireland, with unsurpassed hardiness, resilience and versatility. They’re considered a dual-purpose breed, ideally suited to producing rich flavorful milk and a high percentage of meat, and some owners even use their docile cattle as oxen.

Benefits of Small Size

The small size of Dexter cattle comes with many large benefits. A mature cow weighs in at roughly 600 to 800 pounds, or about one-third the size or your average Holstein, making them ideal for small land holders to manage. They’re a common choice for children in 4H projects because they’re docile and easy to handle, and their shorter stature makes them less intimidating to children. Their low weight means that they’re easier on the land, which can help prevent damage in wetter areas.

Space and Feed Requirements

A smaller size means Dexters require less food and pasture space than a full-sized dairy cow. Depending on the forage, one-half to 1 acre of pasture is enough to sustain a Dexter at high summer.

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In the winter, they require 12-15 pounds of hay per day with a little grain, or closer to 20 pounds per day on hay alone. When in sufficient supply, they can live on poor quality or overgrown pasture, which makes them even more adaptable for new land holders who may not have ideal dairy pasture on hand.

Milk Production

The Easy-To-Handle Miniature Cow That Lives On Half An AcreA Dexter can be expected to produce 1 1/2 to 2 gallons of milk per day as a rule for a 305 day lactation cycle, but as with any breed, there are exceptional cows that can produce up to 5 gallons per day, so yields will vary. Nonetheless, their production will reduce down to mirror the needs of the calf if they’re only milked once daily, rather than twice as is common in production cows. The milk contains 4 percent milk fat, which is more than most production species, but somewhat less than high cream production cows such as Jerseys.

Breeding and Calving

If you’re going to have milk, you’re going to need to breed your cow and tend a calf. Dexters are commonly crossbred with standard-sized cattle because they’re known for their ease of calving, and cross breeding with a Dexter can mean an easier time calving for a first-time mother. Pure-bred Dexters keep those easy calving benefits, and add in naturally strong mothering instincts, as well. They can continue to calve until they’re 15 or more years old.

Meat Production

Though Dexters are smaller cows, they produce a much higher percentage of usable meat than most breeds. Grain-finished Dexters can yield 60 percent of their live weight in meat, or 55 percent for grass-finished steers. In some exceptional animals, 70 percent is possible. This compares with 40 to 50 percent yield for other dairy breeds. This means 350-400 pounds of meat in your freezer every 18-24 months, or a high value calf to sell. Calves in the Northeast are currently selling for $1,500-$2,500.

Other Uses

Though officially considered a dual-purpose breed, they’re commonly used as small scale oxen because of their natural pulling instinct and readiness to follow commands. Though smaller than any other working breed, they can pull a disproportionately large amount of weight.

Finding a Breeder

Dexters are raised around the world, and though they’re much less common than standard-sized breeds, they’re becoming more popular as small-scale land holders seek new ways to be more self-sufficient. The livestock conservancy lists their status as “recovering” and they’re now common enough to no longer be an “at-risk” species. Expect to pay a bit more for your calf at the outset, but know that it’ll come back to you in ease of management and higher value calves down the road. Breeder registries are available online in most parts of the world, and there are many animals that are available from smaller scale unregistered breeders, as well.

Do you own a Dexter? What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

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How To Freeze Milk — The Right Way

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How To Freeze Milk -- The Right Way

Image source: Wikimedia

Now that my kids are getting older, my family’s milk consumption has become quite variable. Gone are the days when everyone sat down for a bowl of cereal and milk in the morning. My older ones – including one of my big milk drinkers — are back in college, and my two teens still at home are not big milk drinkers.

As a result, I have had a difficult time having the right amount of fresh milk on hand. Not wanting to either be caught short or to be faced with pouring out spoiled milk, I decided to look into the freezing process.

It turns out that it is quite easy to freeze milk for later use. Here’s how:

You can freeze milk in its original plastic container or paper carton. However, because milk expands when it freezes, you will need to remove an inch or more milk from a full container to allow for this expansion.

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You can also freeze milk in freezer-proof glass jars. If you are using narrow-mouth jars, leave 1 1/2-inches of head space.

You can store the milk in your freezer for up to three months. It’s a good idea to mark the freeze date on the container with a permanent marker, since the original expiration date will be invalid.

When you are ready to drink it, allow the milk to thaw in the refrigerator. Depending on the size of the container, it can take 24 hours to defrost. If some of the milk is still frozen when you want to drink it, you can speed up the process by placing the jug in a bowl or a sink full of cold water.

Defrosted milk is safe to drink, but you should be aware that it will look and taste differently than before. First, milk will separate it the freezing process and develop a grainy texture.

Shake it thoroughly after it thaws. You also can also beat the defrosted milk with a hand mixer or an immersion blender to restore it to more of its pre-frozen texture. Consume your thawed milk within three to four days after defrosting.

How To Freeze Milk -- The Right Way

Image source: Wikimedia

Freezing milk in small portions, such as ice cube trays, makes the defrosting process easy and quick.

Simply pour milk into clean ice cube trays and freeze them. After they freeze solid, place the cubes in freezer-safe resalable plastic bags or lidded containers. The cubes will keep for up to three months. Thaw what you need in the refrigerator and pop the rest of the cubes back in the freezer for later use.

If the defrosted milk’s appearance and/or taste are unappealing – and they are to some people – then you may prefer to use the thawed milk in recipes rather than drink it.

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Ice cube-sized portions of frozen milk are well-suited for many recipes. Two cubes equal about 1/4 cup milk.  You also could try freezing milk in a muffin pan or a mini-muffin pan.

Here are a few ideas for foods to make with your defrosted milk:

  • oatmeal (use milk instead of water)
  • canned soups (use milk instead of water)
  • pudding
  • pancakes
  • alfredo sauce
  • yogurt
  • cakes
  • French toast

So, now that you know how to freeze milk, you can stock up when your favorite store has a sale or when you just happen to have a surplus supply on hand.

Have you ever frozen milk? What tips would you add? Share your advice in the section below:

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Rigged: Dairy Industry Killed 500,000 Of Its Own Cows To Keep Milk Prices High

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Rigged: Dairy Industry Killed 500,000 Of Its Own Cows To Keep Milk Prices High

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Some of the biggest names in the dairy business killed more than a half million cows in an effort to keep milk prices high nationwide over the past decade.

A class-action lawsuit alleges that customers paid higher milk and dairy prices because farmers – both big and small — slaughtered more than 500,000 cattle under an agreement with the National Milk Producers Federation. The idea was to keep the supply of milk down.

In the end, the milk industry settled with the plaintiffs for $52 million.

The slaughter was organized by the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), a lobbying group which formed an organization called Cooperatives Working Together that consisted of four major dairy cooperatives: Dairy Farmers of America Inc., Land O’Lakes, Dairylea Cooperative Inc., and Agri-Mark Inc., Bloomberg reported.

The butchering was euphemistically called the “herd retirement program, and it consisted of a trip to the slaughterhouse where the cows were apparently ground up into cheap hamburger.

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The cooperatives product about 70 percent of America’s milk and they paid the farmers above market prices for the cows.

The plan apparently worked, as milk prices rose by 66 cents per hundredweight between 2004 and 2008, an analysis by Scott Brown of the University of Missouri-Columbia showed, Reuters reported. A hundredweight is the standard wholesale measurement for milk equal to 100 pounds.

cow-1278889_640The slaughter also violated a federal law called the Capper-Volstead Act, said Jeff Friedman, a partner at the law firm that filed the suit, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP. That law allows farmers to form cooperatives but it bans price fixing.

But some farmers say the program was needed.

“No [dairy farmers] got rich on that program,” Gary Genske, an accountant and farmer in New Mexico with 2,000 cows, told Bloomberg. “It was those who were financially strapped and found that as a great exit strategy.”

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Farmers get paid less than a third the retail price of milk, said Genske, who is the treasurer of the National Dairy Producers Organization. Instead, most of the money goes to retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers of dairy products.

“These dairy farmers are up against a terrible reality,” Nate Wilson, a former dairy farmer from Chautauqua County, New York, told Bloomberg. “They don’t have any way to throttle the production of milk other than to eliminate cows. And when the price of milk goes down to ruinous levels, it’s basically the only way out.”

Friedman, the attorney for the plaintiffs, said not all farmers sold their cows out of necessity. The law, he said, does not allow the “farmers to get together to sell their milk to decide how much they were going to produce.”

If you lived in the states of Arizona, California, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin or the District of Columbia between 2003 and 2016, big dairy might owe you money. The $52 million will be distributed to residents and former residents of those states. To find out more and become eligible for the payment visit BoughtMilk.com.

What is your reaction? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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11 Unusual Uses For Milk That Can Revolutionize Homestead Life

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11 Unusual Uses For Milk That Can Revolutionize Homestead Life

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Got milk? Although there is an ongoing debate about the complete range of health benefits that cow’s milk provides to humans, milk remains a staple beverage in many American households.

A USDA study found that the average American drinks 20.4 gallons of milk each year, and milk ranks fourth behind carbonated soft drinks, bottled water and beer as America’s beverage of choice.

Cow’s milk is about 90 percent water, but the remaining 10 percent of volume contains protein, carbohydrates, fat, Vitamins A, D, and B12, as well as various minerals, organic compounds and antioxidants that are beneficial to the human body.

What you may not realize, however, is that milk can provide other benefits beyond its use as a beverage. Here are 11 unusual uses for milk that make a big difference if you’re a homesteader:

1. Relieve burns.

You can experience quick pain relief and promote the healing of minor burns, including sunburn, by applying milk to the affected area. Soak a washcloth in whole milk and apply to the area for about 15 minutes. Repeat every few hours.

Another option is to create a milk paste with powdered milk, water and two pinches of salt. Apply the paste to areas with minor burns for soothing relief.

2. Take the itch out of insect bites.

Milk also can ease the pain, swelling and itchiness of insect bites. Create a paste with milk, water and salt, and place it on the bites. After a few minutes, redness and itching will be significantly reduced.

3. Repair china.

Did you know you could use milk to fix cracks in your fine china? Fill a cooking pot with enough fresh milk or reconstituted powdered milk to cover a damaged cup or plate.

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Submerge the china in the milk and then bring the milk to a boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 45 minutes. When you remove the china, the milk proteins will have diminished the appearance of fine cracks and lines.

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4. Skin moisturizer. 

Try applying cold milk to calluses or other hard, dry areas of your skin three times a day.

Another way to moisturize the skin with milk is to take a milk bath. Add 1 1/2 cups of powdered milk to your bathwater as it fills the tub. You also can prepare a moisturizing facial mask by mixing powdered milk with enough water to make a thick paste. Apply the milk paste to your face, let it dry for about 30 minutes, and then rinse with warm water.

5. Polish silver.

You can clean your tarnished silver with the help of sour milk. Mix a cup of milk with a tablespoon of white vinegar. Soak the silver in the sour milk for 30 minutes. After rinsing with warm soapy water, buff the silver with a dry, soft cloth.

6. Revive leather.

To remove scuffs and to give a fresh look to leather shoes, purses and belts, moisten a soft cloth with fresh milk and gently wipe the leather. Let the milk dry before buffing with a clean soft cloth.

11 Unusual Uses For Milk That Can Revolutionize Homestead Life

Image source: Pixabay.com

7. Remove ink.

We all have had leaky pens stain our clothes at one time or another. The next time it happens, try soaking the stained garment overnight in a dishpan of milk. Add a squeeze or two of lemon juice for extra cleaning power. Then wash it in your machine.

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If ink has stained your carpet, mix milk with enough cornstarch to make a paste. Apply the paste to the stain. Allow it to dry, and then vacuum the residue.

8. Take off makeup.

You also can use milk to remove makeup. Simply dip a cotton ball in whole milk or reconstituted powdered milk and then gently wipe your face with the cotton ball. For added antioxidants and a pleasant aroma, add a few drops of almond oil to the milk.

9. Boost the flavor of corn.

Want to make your sweet corn taste even sweeter? Add some milk to the water before you boil corn on the cob. When the corn is ready, you will notice a richer, sweeter taste.

10. Improve the flavor of fish.

When you defrost your frozen fish in a bowl of milk, the fish will have a smoother texture and a richer flavor.

11. Treat tongue burn.

Feeling the burn of spicy food on your tongue? Milk can dissolve capsaicin, the organic compound that makes foods spicy. Drink a glass of milk after eating spicy foods to alleviate the discomfort.

Now that you know some of the unusual uses for milk, you may be tempted to have more cartons on hand in your refrigerator. By the way, you can freeze milk for longer storage. However, you will need to leave some room in the container because milk expands when it freezes.

You can thaw frozen milk in the refrigerator or in cold water.

What other uses for milk would you add to this story? Share your tips in the section below:

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The New Government Crackdown On Raw Milk

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Imagine living in a state where it’s legal to purchase raw milk – and then being prohibited by police from doing so.

It may sound crazy, but “raw milk busts” — not much different from drug busts — are becoming commonplace in Texas, as health department officials crack down on the sale of what many off-gridders and homesteaders consider the healthiest drink on the planet.

That is our topic on this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio, as Judith McGeary, an attorney and the executive director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, tells us everything we need to know about the Texas crackdown.

McGeary shares with us:

  • What, specifically, is getting people in trouble with the law.
  • How state officials are learning who is buying and selling raw milk.
  • Why she believes raw milk sales should be legal.
  • What everyone gets wrong about the safety of raw milk.

Finally, McGeary tells us the unbelievable details of how police prevented the sale of raw milk in the driveway of a private residence! If you drink raw milk, or you simply care about freedom, then this is one show you need to hear!

Feeding Babies In Times of Trouble

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Feeding Babies times of troubleTo paraphrase Terry Prachett, the author of the popular Discworld series, taking care of a baby is the easiest part. There’s none of those crazy child-rearing garbage to put up with – just put milk in one end, and keep the other end as clean as possible. Works for me!

On an ordinary day, the first part – putting milk in one end of the baby – is something we take for granted in developed countries. Even if you are not a breastfeeding mom, the ease with which can can obtain formula would make our ancestors weep with envy. Before formula became widely available, women who were unable to breastfeed because of medical issues would be forced to find alternate means of feeding her infant. Many of these milk substitutes were incredibly unhealthy, and were ultimately a leading cause of infant mortality. One of the few ways a woman could keep her child alive if she couldn’t feed it herself was to make some kind of agreement with another woman who could nurse the baby for her.

All of this begs the question – what if, Heaven forbid, something were to happen that would send us back in time to this situation, whether it be permanently or on a temporary basis? Even if you have stash of formula in your long-term food supply, what if your water source is contaminated? It’s not difficult to imagine a worst-case scenario that involves a hungry baby, but no way to feed him or her. Aside from stocking up on formula (which is a perfectly legitimate option for feeding infants) what can be done?

Preparedness and Breastfeeding

If you are a breastfeeding mom, you’ll need to add the following to your emergency preparedness plans:

  1. Extra water. The rule of thumb for non-pregnant adults is one gallon per person per day. A breastfeeding woman should store half again as much, or more. You can read just about everything you need to know in this book about water storage.
  2. Extra food. A lactating woman needs extra calories. One medical professional explained to me that a breastfeeding mom should be eating the equivalent of an additional peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day. That’s not much, but if you already have very little extra food on hand, storing high protein and high calorie foods, such as nut butters and fruit jam, would be a good idea.
  3. A good hand pump. I have a Medela Harmony in addition to my electric one, and I like it a lot. You might need to pump for any number of reasons. If you don’t have electricity, having a manual back-up is essential. This particular model is also extremely portable, so it can fit easily in your 72-hour kit.
  4. Some formula, as a last resort. Stress and anxiety can cause your supply to drop. There is wisdom in having an alternative on hand. The danger in using formula in this situation, if you have your heart set on breastfeeding exclusively, is that you could cause your supply to drop even further. Milk supply is tied to demand, and use of formula decreases demand. That said, you gotta do what you gotta do.

Milk Donation for Feeding Babies

For every woman who has trouble with her supply, there’s one who self-identifies as a jersey cow. Overabundance of milk is a problem that I’m sure many people would like to have. I don’t have to describe what that’s like – if you are one of these people, you already know. If you know that you have more milk than your baby needs, you can use it as a valuable resource that will benefit your whole community. Essentially what donation does is to connect women with low supply and women with high supply, so everyone is happy, especially the babies.

In healthy babies, it doesn’t matter a ton in the long run whether they are fed formula or breastmilk. For sickly babies, however, the difference is much greater. Hospitals often refer to human colostrum and breastmilk as “white gold,” because they see the difference it can make in the health of preemies. Medical centers regularly request donations on behalf of infants in the NICU. There are usually some health and quantity requirements. Milk banks put the milk through tests to make sure it is safe to distribute. To make it worth their while, they won’t take less than 100 ounces at one time.

For more information, you can go to the websites of La Leche League, National Milk Bank, and the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. Information about the proper care and storage of breastmilk can be found here.

Of course, donating privately is as easy as handing off a bottle of expressed milk to a friend. It’s not uncommon in my town for a woman with a baby in the NICU to ask friends and family for donated breastmilk. Another option, should the situation arise, is to use breastmilk as a commodity for bartering.

Cross-nursing (occasional nursing another woman’s child while also nursing her own) and wet-nursing (complete nursing of another woman’s child, often for pay) are generally frowned upon in most modern circles. The La Leche League actively discourages these practices for multiple reasons. However, it can be done. I have cross nursed two babies in my day – the first was my niece, and it didn’t feel weird at all (it was an emergency). The second instance, though, was the daughter of an acquaintance and that was so weird I will probably never do it again.

For Formula-Fed Babies

Not everyone is willing or able to breastfeed, and there’s no shame in that. Most women I know would really like to, but have been hampered by some health issue or other. The answer here is twofold:

1) stockpile formula like there is no tomorrow (babies always seem to need more of everything than you expect)

2) in case there really isn’t a tomorrow make friends with a lady in your neighborhood who might be able to spot you the odd bottle of milk should the need arise.

Be sure that you are also storing an adequate amount of clean water with which to mix the formula. Most infant deaths related to formula feeding in the third world are caused by a contaminated water supply, or adding inappropriate amounts of water. If you can, develop a system for sterilizing bottles and other feeding equipment that does not require electricity. A solar oven, such as the Solavore or Sun Oven, can cook food at temperatures in the 300-350 degree range, which is plenty hot for sterilizing baby bottles.

There is much more that could be written, of course, about “putting milk in one end” of a baby. For more information about keeping the other end as clean as possible in an emergency, try this article about cloth diapers.

Feeding Babies times of trouble

BREAKING: Judge Orders All-Natural Milk To Be Labeled ‘Imitation’; Thousands Of Gallons Dumped

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Judge Orders All-Natural Milk To Be Labeled ‘Imitation'; Thousands Of Gallons Dumped

Image source: Institute for Justice

 

All-natural skim milk cannot be labeled “skim milk” under Florida law, a federal judge has ruled.

US District Judge Robert L. Hinkle sided with the state of Florida’s contention that milk can only be called skim milk if it is injected with artificial Vitamin A – that is, making it nutritionally similar to whole milk sold on store shelves.

At the heart of the controversy is Ocheesee Creamery, which has an all-natural philosophy and says that injecting the vitamin would make its skim milk anything but all-natural. But the state – and now the judge – say the skim milk otherwise must be labeled “imitation.”

The creamery previously labeled its product “pasteurized skim milk.”

“I just want to tell the truth,” said Mary Lou Wesselhoeft of Ocheesee Creamery. “Our skim milk was pure skim milk, and nobody was ever confused when we called it skim milk. I refuse to lie to my customers, so I have stopped selling skim milk until I am allowed to tell the truth again.”

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The creamery sells cream, skimmed from whole milk, to families and coffee shops – and skim milk is the byproduct. The creamery currently dumps about 400 gallons of skim milk each day because it refuses to label its product “imitation.”

Wesselhoeft and her attorneys contend that the state is violating her First Amendment rights by forcing her to label it something she says it is not. The creamery is being represented by the non-profit law firm, Institute for Justice.

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Hinkle, in his opinion, acknowledged that the creamer’s skim milk meets the dictionary definition of skim milk, but he said he was concerned that a ruling in favor of the creamery would enable a challenge to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and similar state laws upon which the food labeling system is based.

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“The assertion, if sustained, would initiate a frontal assault on the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and its state counterparts, whose validity was established long ago,” Hinkle wrote.

The judge noted that most of the skim milk sold in stores has had vitamins added to comply with laws.

State officials applauded the decision.

“We are pleased with the judge’s ruling, as this case has always been about ensuring consumers know the nutritional value of the products that they are buying and feeding to their families,” Florida Department of Agriculture Spokesperson Jenn Meale told the media.

The creamery’s attorney, Justin Pearson of the Institute for Justice, told WCTV that he intends to appeal the case to the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals. It could take months for that court to rule on the case. Pearson previously had said that “ordering businesses to confuse their customers is nothing more than flat-out censorship.”

The creamery will continue to sell other natural dairy products, including whole milk, cheese and butter. It simply will not be able to sell skim milk — and will now waste thousands of gallons of milk thanks to state regulators.

Who is right – the creamery or the state? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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BREAKING: New Study Confirms Raw Milk Can Prevent This Major Ailment — But That’s Not All

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BREAKING: New Study Confirms Raw Milk Can Prevent This Major Ailment -- But That's Not All

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Children who drink raw milk rather than pasteurized milk are less likely to develop asthma and allergies, according to a new, landmark six-year study by researchers at Ludwig Maximilian University in Germany.

The study says the pasteurization destroys beneficial ingredients, including Omega 3 – which researchers believe could hold the key.

“Fresh, unprocessed cow’s milk has a higher content of Omega 3 than does pasteurized, homogenized [where it’s treated to stop the cream separating] or low-fat milk. This factor partly explains why children who consume the unprocessed product are less likely to develop asthma,” immunologist Tabea Brick, one of the study’s authors, wrote in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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Pasteurization, Brick said, lowers the level of Omega 3 fatty acids in dairy products. Omega 3 reduces the level of harmful inflammation, one of the main causes of asthma, allergies and other health problems. The body does not produce Omega 3 fatty acids. The study was reported in the Daily Mail.

The German study of 1,100 children was the first large-scale effort to determine a link between pasteurized milk and asthma. Earlier studies involved much smaller numbers of test subjects.

BREAKING: New Study Confirms Raw Milk Can Prevent This Major Ailment -- But That's Not All

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Scientists are particularly interested in this study because it followed the children for six years.

Brick and her colleagues believe that the benefits of drinking raw milk could outweigh the risk of getting sick from bacteria in the product, although they stopped short of recommending raw milk, the Daily Mail reported.

The study is but the latest one to show the benefits of raw milk. For example:

  • Pharmacologists discovered that pasteurization cut the level of natural vitamin D in milk by up to 20 percent, The International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition
  • A report in the British Medical Journal noted that pasteurization kills beneficial bacteria that boost the digestive system’s ability to absorb nutrients.
  • The pasteurization kills vitamin K, which is necessary for blood clotting and bone health.
  • Babies born to mothers that drink raw milk while pregnant were less likely to suffer asthma and allergies during childhood, a German study published in Current Opinion in Gastroenterology

Despite conventional wisdom, pasteurization only became common after World War II. As recently as the 1920s, only a little over 1 percent of the milk sold in the United Kingdom was pasteurized.

In the US, raw milk sales are allowed in at least 29 states.

Do you believe milk should be pasteurized? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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8 Nutritious Foods You Can Afford When You’re Practically Broke

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free_range_eggsIf there’s one thing we all learned from the crash of 2008, it’s that any one of us could be dragged down into poverty. No one is really immune to that anymore. In the Western world, economic prosperity has been crumbling for years, and stability is rapidly disappearing for a variety reasons. Truth be told, you’ve probably read about countless disasters and survival situations on this website, but the one situation that is most likely to affect you, is a financial calamity in your family.

And if that happens, one of your most pressing concerns will be food. Every resource you consume will have to be restricted, and every day you’ll be forced to triage your finances. You’ll have to choose between paying for your rent/mortgage, utilities, debts, medical bills, and of course groceries. And even if you accept assistance in the form of food stamps, you’ll likely struggle to afford nutritious food.

That’s why I’ve compiled this list of low-cost groceries. Keep in mind however, that this isn’t a list of the cheapest foods. Things like taste or long-term health implications aren’t a priority either. These are foods that simply provide the most nutrients for the least amount of money, and you should keep them in mind if you ever find yourself in the poorhouse.

Butter

In terms of the number of calories you get for every dollar, you can’t beat butter. The only thing that would surpass it is refined sugar, but obviously you don’t want to make that a significant part of your diet. Butter is cheap, and brimming with saturated fats that will keep you sated for hours.

Whole Grain Wheat Flour

Grains have fallen out of favor among health conscious eaters in recent years, and for many very good reasons. But again, long-term health isn’t the priority of this list. Despite its faults, whole grain flour is loaded with vitamins and minerals, and is incredibly cheap. So cheap in fact, that even the organic brands often only cost a few cents per ounce.

The main drawback to wheat, and most grains for that matter, is that they contain phytic acid. This substance is known to prevent the absorption of many different nutrients. However, if you’re planning on using the flour to make bread, pancakes, or even hard tack, you can soak the flour dough in lemon juice overnight, which will eliminate most of the phytic acid.

Eggs

Lately eggs have been pretty expensive due to a rampant avian flu epidemic that wiped out millions of chickens last summer. At one point, prices rose so high that ounce for ounce, the protein in chicken meat was cheaper than egg protein. Most of the time however, eggs provide one of the cheapest sources of protein and fat. However, not always as cheap as…

Whole Milk

While milk can provide plenty of protein, fat, and sugar at a low price, unlike eggs it has far more vitamins and minerals. Milk contains an abundance of vitamin D, Riboflavin, and Vitamin B12, and for minerals, it provides plenty of calcium, phosphorous, potassium, and selenium. It also contains a very good ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fats, which eggs do not.

Beans

White beans, Lima beans, Kidney beans etc. They all have a few things in common. They’re usually light in vitamins, rich in minerals, and contain a moderate amount of protein. They aren’t always cheap, but their high shelf life allows you to cut down costs by buying them in bulk.

Canned Salmon

I don’t normally recommend any processed canned foods, but canned salmon is one of those rare foods that are healthier than the fresh version. Aside from being expensive, fresh salmon is usually farmed, which means they are typically contaminated with PCBs, and fed chemicals that turn their flesh pink (which happens naturally in the wild). Canned salmon is almost always caught in the wild, and is usually very affordable. It provides an abundance of omega-3, vitamins, and minerals, and unlike other canned sea food like tuna, the amount of mercury in salmon is negligible.

Bananas

While the cost of groceries has gone up significantly in recent years, bananas are still remarkably cheap. They also contain a well-rounded dose of nutrients like vitamins C and B6, as well as minerals like magnesium and potassium. Contrary to popular belief, bananas don’t contain the most potassium (see beans above) but they are one of the cheapest ways to consume that mineral. Though most westerners aren’t aware of this, you can actually eat the banana peel as well if it’s properly prepared, which will double your potassium intake.

Beef Liver

There’s no doubt that the taste and texture of liver renders it unpalatable to most people. Unless you grew up eating it, there’s a good chance that you will absolutely hate beef liver. However, the widespread unpopularity of liver means that it’s usually pretty affordable. The nutrient profile of this organ is also amazing. It might give you the best bang for your buck, compared to everything else on this list.

In fact, some of the nutrients in beef liver are so high, that eating a single serving every day might actually be bad for you. That serving would include 431% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin A, 137% of riboflavin, 800% of B12, and 486% of copper. Unfortunately, it doesn’t keep very long in the fridge, so you may want to skip liver if you live alone. But if you live with a family, you can easily divvy up a single slice between everyone.

Have any great ideas for highly nutritious foods that won’t break the bank? Let us know in the comments below. 

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How To Make Butter At Home, Just Like Your Great-Grandparents Did

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How To Make Butter At Home, Just Like Your Great-Grandparents Did

Back in the day, your great-grandparents grew their own fruits and vegetables, raised their own livestock, and made their own foods.

One of the things that most everyone made in the kitchen was butter. The reason is simple: Most people had a few cows that they were milking and so, making your own butter was just a natural byproduct of that type of farm life.

So, how do you make your own butter just like your great-grandparents did?

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Read below to find out just how easy it really is.

Here are the tools you’ll need to make butter:

1. A butter churn with a glass bottom if possible. Small table-top churns will quite often use one- or two-quart mason jars as their container or bottom element and will work just fine.

2. A fine wire mesh strainer.

3. A wooden spoon.

4. A bowl to collect the buttermilk.

5. Wax paper.

Here are the ingredients you will need:

1. Two pints of heavy cream or whipping cream.

2. Really high quality flake salt. Flake salt is different than regular salt. Its shape resembles crystal flakes instead of being granular. This will impart the best flavor, and it mixes with the cold butter so much easier than the granular version.

Instructions

How To Make Butter At Home, Just Like Your Great-Grandparents Did

Image source: Wikipedia

Making butter is quite simple. Here’s how you do it:

1. Let your two pints of cream sit out at room temperature, with the lid closed for 2 1/2 to 3 hours to ripen. This temperature increase will allow the butter to separate so much easier.

2. Pour both pints of cream into your butter churn.

3. Start turning the hand crank of your butter churn to begin the process. This will take 40 to 45 minutes for the butter really to separate. It will go through a few stages along the way and at one point will appear like it’s not working very well. Trust the process; all is going as planned. Now when you open it up you can see that the butter will now be separated from the buttermilk.

4. Strain the butter and buttermilk over the bowl we mentioned in the tools section. The great byproduct: You now also have buttermilk that you can use for many things such as biscuits, pancakes or just plain old drinking buttermilk. Be sure to use a wooden spoon and move the butter around in the strainer to get all the buttermilk off of it that you possibly can.

5. This next step is important. You need to rinse the butter with cold running water while it’s still in the strainer thoroughly. If you don’t, the buttermilk will sour and you’ll have bad butter. (If you ever have had bad butter that has soured, it’s nearly always because all the buttermilk wasn’t rinsed out.) As you’re rinsing it, massage the butter and move it around under the running cold water. This rinsing process should take at least five minutes to get all the buttermilk out.

6. Add a 1/4 teaspoon of your flake salt and blend that in. Taste your butter. If it’s not salty enough, add just a little more salt. Then, thoroughly re-mix and taste again.

Put your butter into wax paper and roll it into a log shape (easiest). Twist the paper ends tight and refrigerate.

Use and serve your newly made butter just as you would any other butter.

Final Thoughts

The big difference is that since you made it yourself, you know what went into it. There are some companies out there that are using chemicals to aid in the separation process and cut down on churning time. You know your butter is chemical-free.

The taste of homemade real cream butter is amazing. You’ll love it.

Enjoy!

What butter-making tips would you add? Share your tips in the section below:

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The Incredible Link Between Raw Milk And Soil Health

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The Incredible Link Between Raw Milk And Soil Health

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Having fresh dairy products on the homestead is great. Fresh milk and cream, cheese, and a host of other healthy products can be enjoyed.

Did you know that raw milk is also good for your soil?

Over the past several years, there has been some very interesting research on raw milk and soil fertility.

I first read an article about how a farmer from Nebraska had started dumping milk on his fields. It didn’t start out as a way to build soil health, but he eventually noticed amazing results.

The farmer saw how his cows would make a beeline for the grass that had been sprayed with raw milk. He also noticed that the grass appeared greener and seemed to grow faster. The soil was softer and more porous.

Through a chain of events, he had his local ag extension agent put together some tests to see if they could determine exactly what the results were from dumping the milk on the fields.

After 45 days, the test plots grew 1,100 more pounds of grass than the plots that were not treated with milk, which was a 26 percent increase in yield.

The Incredible Link Between Raw Milk And Soil Health

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Additionally, the raw milk-treated plots were 18 percent softer than the untreated plots, as determined by compaction tests. (That means the soil was more porous; it had a greater ability to absorb and hold water.) The grass also appeared healthier and had fewer lesions and yellow discoloration.

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It seems as though the milk was providing food for the bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes that teem inside a healthy soil.

Raw milk is a veritable stew of protein and sugar complexes that microbes need for growth. Additionally, raw milk is one of the best sources of vitamin B found in nature, and it brims with enzymes that can break down food for microbes and plants. Many farmers have heedlessly scorched microbe activity in their pastures with years of tillage, chemical use and overgrazing.

So when you are thinking of purchasing goats or cows for your homestead, an added benefit is that the raw milk can be a great soil booster!

I have a sprayer tank that I can use on the back of the ATV. I bought a nozzle that sprays a 16-feet wide pattern, which is what I need instead of trying to get a boom-type sprayer through the small wooded pastures we have.

According to what I have read and my own experiments, the optimum mixture is 17 gallons of water to three gallons of milk, for a total of 20 gallons per acre.

The raw milk can be sprayed on tilled soil or directly on the plants, with seemingly the same effect.

I have found raw milk to be a great fertility booster. Try it for yourself on pastures, gardens, and plants.

Have you ever used raw milk on your soil? What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

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Everything You’ve Heard About Drinking Whole Milk Is Wrong

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Everything You've Heard About Drinking Whole Milk Is Wrong

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Skim. Low fat. Two percent. One percent. What type of milk do you choose for your family? If you are like most Americans, you steer clear of whole milk, believing that it contains too much fat and calories.

Since the early 1970s, whole milk has been criticized by scientists and nutritionists for its high content in saturated fats, which have been believed to lead to weight gain, and because of its high LDL level (or bad cholesterol level), which has been thought to contribute to heart disease.

According to the USDA, sales of whole fat milk sales decreased by more than 60 percent between 1975 and 2014. During the same period, on the other hand, sales of 2 percent milk increased by almost 106 percent, and sales of 1 percent and skim milk soared by about 170 percent and 156 percent, respectively.

Some critics have called a glass of whole milk no better than a glass of liquid fat. Others have said that whole milk consumption can be a contributing factor to the onset of diabetes.

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However, recent studies are showing that we have been sold a bill of goods where whole milk is concerned, and that drinking whole milk actually may be better for you than drinking low fat or non-fat milk. Here’s one reason: The fat content in milk helps bind its other ingredients, such as calcium and vitamins, so that the body can absorb them more efficiently, studies show.

A recent article published in the European Journal of Nutrition reported that people who consume full-fat dairy products, including whole milk, are not more likely to develop heart disease and type 2 diabetes than people who consume low-fat dairy products.

Dr. Mario Kratz, first author of the study review and a nutrition scientist at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, reviewed 25 studies for the published research. In a press release accompanying the review, he reported that none of the research suggested that low-fat dairy is healthier or is better for humans in terms of obesity.

Everything You've Heard About Drinking Whole Milk Is Wrong

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A study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care in 2013 reviewed the dairy consumption and obesity rates of about 1,500 middle-aged and senior adults. It found that those people who frequently consumed full-fat dairy products had lower obesity rates than those who consumed low-fat dairy products.

How is it that a food with more calories can be better for maintaining a healthy weight? The answer lies in the fact that not all calories are the same. Kratz and his team theorized that the fatty acids in whole dairy products help you stay fuller longer and thus eat less in the long run. Dairy fat may also help the body regulate hormones and help your body burn energy.

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United States commercial dairies process milk of all fat contents similarly. The cream is separated from the whey. With the exception of skim milk, the cream is then added back in. Low-fat milk contains 1 percent or 2 percent fat, and whole milk contains 3.25 percent fat. (Of course, if you drink raw milk, you don’t have to worry about that.)

Not surprisingly, the taste of low fat and skim milk is less rich and creamy than low fat varieties Frequently, dairies add flavors to low-fat and skim milk to make up for the loss of taste when the fat is removed. In those cases, the sugar content can increase by as much as 14g per eight ounce serving.

Whole milk contains fewer carbohydrates than low fat or skim milk because more of its volume contains fat. Whole milk also contains slightly less protein than low fat or nonfat options.

Recent research also shows that the saturated fats in whole milk may protect against certain diseases and are not associated with heart disease as previously thought.

If are concerned about the use of growth hormones or antibiotics in commercial dairies, check out organic milk options at your grocery store. You also could consider purchasing your cow’s milk straight from a dairy farmer whose cows are raised without the use of hormones or antibiotics.

Scientific recommendations vary on how much milk we should drink on a daily basis. The Harvard School of Public Health, for instance, recommends consuming one or two servings a day of milk and dairy products. On the other hand, the International Food Information Council’s latest dietary guidelines suggest three servings of milk, or of an equivalent dairy product per day.

How much milk you should drink each day may be unclear, but it does appear that drinking whole milk is something you can put back into your diet in moderation without any misgivings.

Do you believe whole milk is healthy? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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Food Industry Plots How To Ban Raw Milk

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Food Industry Plots How To Ban Raw Milk

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A major food industry trade organization is spearheading the opposition to the legalization of raw milk sales and the easing of restrictions throughout the United States.

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) is urging legislators throughout the country to not relax restrictions on its sale.

“Loosening the regulations surrounding raw milk … would be a step in the wrong direction,” the IDFA wrote in a letter concerning one specific bill in Virginia. “While choice is an important value, it should not pre-empt consumers’ well-being. Legalizing the state-wide sale of raw milk and milk products is an unnecessary risk to consumer safety.”

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The same letter said that “consumption of raw milk is a demonstrated public health risk.”

“The link between raw milk and foodborne illness has been well-documented in the scientific literature, with evidence spanning nearly 100 years,” it added.

Food Industry Plots How To Ban Raw Milk

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Raw milk sales in stores are legal in 12 states. An additional 17 states only allow it on farms, while four states permit it through cow-sharing, according to Food Business News, a trade publication.

The IDFA’s vice president for regulatory and scientific affairs, Cary Frye, defended her organization’s actions in a recent Food Business News story under the headline, “Halting the raw milk movement.”

“Raw milk from cows, sheep or goats can have harmful bacteria that affect the health of anyone who drinks it or eats foods made from raw milk,” Frye said. “The dangerous bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria found in raw milk are responsible for causing numerous foodborne illnesses and are especially dangerous to people with weakened immune systems, older adults, pregnant women and children.”

Frye claimed that “science has clearly debunked” the “myths about the benefits of raw milk.”

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The IDFA, the National Milk Producers Federation, American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics all oppose the sale of raw milk.

Supporters of raw milk say that milk from grass-fed cows is more nutrition-rich, boosts the immune system, and helps protect against allergic reactions.

The Food Business News story sparked a heated exchange in the comments.

“Raw milk contains many components that kill pathogens,” one reader, Sally Fallon Morell, wrote. “Of course this protective system of bioactive components can be overwhelmed in milk coming from very dirty conditions, like confinement dairies. But we have the knowledge and technology today to produce clean, safe, raw milk for everyone — instead we use our technology to destroy nature’s perfect food.”

Another reader, Ken Conrad, wrote, “As a dairy farmer, I have been drinking raw milk for over 56 years and have raised nine children on it. Many relatives and friends have come to visit us on the farm and have drunk raw milk. For over two decades there were up to five families who purchased raw milk from me on a daily basis and raised their children on it with no ill affect.”

West Virginia’s legislature recently passed a bill that would allow raw milk consumption through cow-sharing. The governor, Earl Ray Tomblin, vetoed a raw milk bill last year.

Do you support the sale of raw milk? Do you believe it is healthy? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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Showdown: Sheriff Blocks FDA Inspectors From Raw Milk Farm

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Showdown: Sheriff Blocks FDA Inspectors From Raw Milk Farm

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Federal agents subjected a farmer to harassment and warrantless searches simply for producing raw milk, but a county sheriff took the farmer’s side and blocked federal agents from the property – and the sheriff is now speaking out.

The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and Department of Justice (DOJ) took the actions four years ago simply because the farmer was providing raw milk to an organic food co-op. The story is receiving renewed coverage because the Indiana sheriff, Elkhart County’s Brad Rogers, wrote a 600-word explanation for a local newspaper as part of his “Ask The Sheriff” series. Off The Grid News previously reported on the dispute.

Participants paid money into the co-op and, in return, received raw milk.

“It appeared to be harassment by the FDA and the DOJ, and making unconstitutional searches, in my opinion,” Rogers wrote of Uncle Sam’s treatment of the farmer in a column for the Goshen News.

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Rogers said he became involved in the case in 2011 when the farmer complained to him.

“Specifically, the FDA was inspecting his farm without a warrant as much as every two weeks,” Rogers wrote. “Typical inspections occur annually. The Department of Justice (DOJ) had subpoenaed him for a grand jury in Michigan in which he was to bring his production documents. The Feds wanted to make this farmer an example.

Showdown: Sheriff Blocks FDA Inspectors From Raw Milk Farm

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“My research,” Rogers added, “concluded that no one was getting sick from this distribution of this raw milk. It appeared to be harassment by the FDA and the DOJ, and making unconstitutional searches, in my opinion. The farmer told me that he no longer wished to cooperate with the inspections of his property.”

Sheriff Confronts Feds

The sheriff then emailed a lawyer at the Department of Justice, writing:

“I understand that you have made recent requests to (the farmer) for documents and to appear before a grand jury, and he has had a number of inspections and attempted inspections on his farm within Elkhart County. This is notice that any further attempts to inspect this farm without a warrant signed by a judge, based on probable cause, will result in federal inspectors’ removal or arrest for trespassing by my officers or I. In addition, if any further action is taken by the federal government on (the farmer), while he is in Elkhart County, I will expect that you or federal authorities contact my office prior to such action. I will expect you to forward this information to your federal associates, including the FDA.”

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Shortly after the email was sent, the farmer received a certified letter from the DOJ that said his grand jury subpoena had been cancelled. No federal inspectors have visited the farm since 2011.

“Your local elected officials … can stem the tide of federal overreach if they apply just a little backbone in supporting and defending the Constitution. Expect it! Demand it!,” Rogers wrote. “Some bloggers and natural food writers have hailed me as a hero. I’m no hero. I’m just doing my job.

“Whether you are conservative or liberal, I will be a guardian of the Constitution for you, and will not stand idly by while the rights of citizens of my county are trampled, whether by criminals or an overreaching government.”

Rogers also said the government has no business preventing people from drinking raw milk.

“Many of our parents/grandparents drank raw milk and survived,” he wrote. “There are risks with raw milk, but careful handling and storage will mitigate the risk. Many people believe that raw milk is healthier to drink than the pasteurized version. There is no law in Indiana that prohibits the distribution of raw milk in this fashion. In short, I don’t believe the government should be our nanny and telling us what we can or cannot drink/eat.”

What is your reactions to the sheriff’s actions? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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The Simple All-Natural Way To Keep Your Livestock From Ever Getting Sick

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The Simple All-Natural Way To Keep Your Livestock From Ever Getting Sick

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Keeping livestock healthy without the use of antibiotics or other off-the-shelf products is much easier if you understand the primary role of sub-therapeutic antibiotics in the livestock industry.

Companies add antibiotics to livestock feed to inhibit bacteria in the gut of the animal. This is not only for health reasons but to promote growth in the animal.

One of the many negatives of using antibiotics is that it wipes out the good bacteria, too.

The natural method to inhibit bad bacteria is to encourage the good bacteria in the animal’s gut so it keeps the bad bacteria in check. The result is that the animal is healthy and develops at a good rate.

That’s where clabbered milk comes to the rescue. Clabbered milk is raw milk that has been soured. You have to start with raw unpasteurized milk. I’ve found the best raw milk to use is milk that is one or two weeks old. Pasteurized milk will not clabber, as it is devoid of most of the beneficial bacteria.

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To make clabbered milk, place the milk in a sealed container and place on your counter or other warm place for a couple of days until solids appear. Shake the milk and if it’s white and thick, you’re done! Next, put it in the refrigerator or it will eventually begin to separate into curds and whey. Nothing wrong with that, but we’re making clabbered milk.

Clabbered milk can be used in many recipes that call for yogurt or buttermilk. You can also eat it like yogurt!

But it also makes a great immunity-booster for livestock. One of the tricks to getting the most benefit out of clabbered milk for your livestock is to feed small amounts on a regular basis. Feeding a large amount once in a while would be like the feed company putting all the antibiotics in the first couple of bags of feed, and then nothing after that.

On my farm, we feed it to everyone around here, right down to the dogs. Pigs and chickens absolutely love it. Others like cattle, goats and horses may have to learn to like it. You can always mix it with feed to get them to consume it.

We give it to our livestock two to three times a week. We currently have a batch of 30 grower pigs about 100 pounds each, that get a five-gallon bucket three times a week. So if everyone shares, they are getting just over a pint each, three times a week.

Clabbered milk is one more way to help keep your livestock healthy and growing without using chemical and pharmaceutical products.

The more we have worked to manage the bacteria levels in our livestock, the healthier they seem to be. In fact, I’ve needed a veterinarian only once in the last 12 years.

Try it for yourself. Your livestock will be healthier — and you won’t be calling the vet as much.

Have you ever used clabbered milk – for your family or your livestock? Share your advice on using it in the section below:

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How ‘Nighttime’ Cow’s Milk Can Actually Make You Healthier

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How 'Nighttime' Cow's Milk Can Actually Make You Healthier

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Did your grandmother encourage you to drink a cup of warm milk before bed? This folk remedy has been around for generations, and like many folk remedies, there is actually something to it. However, the type of milk – specifically when the milk was milked from the cow – may have more to do with its effect on our sleepiness than we ever thought.

Recent research indicates that cow’s milk that is milked at night may have more of a sleep-inducing effect on humans than milk that is milked during the day — and if you have trouble sleeping, that means it can actually make you healthier.

Researchers from Seoul, Korea’s Sahmyook University found that so-called “night milk” contains more tryptophan and melatonin, natural hormones that aid in regulating the sleep-wake cycle.

In the study, which was published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, mice were fed with dried powder made from cows milked during the day and the night. The mice who were fed night milk were less active than those who were fed the milk collected during daytime hours. Scientists noted that the night milk contained 10 times the amount of melatonin and 24 percent more tryptophan than daytime milk.

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Mice fed on night milk also exhibited less anxiety and more of a willingness to explore open spaces than mice that had daytime milk.

How 'Nighttime' Cow's Milk Can Actually Make You Healthier

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“Considering the fact that tryptophan and melatonin are abundant in night milk, it is possible that the sedative effect of night milk may be attributable to these substances,” researchers theorized in a press release accompanying the 2015 research findings.

A German company has already capitalized on the sleep-inducing aspects of night milk. In 2010, Munich-based Milchkristalle GmbH released its “Nachtmilchkristalle” product (translated as night milk crystals). The powder is made from milk collected from dairy cows between the hours of 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.

The body converts tryptophan — an essential amino acid that we can only get through the foods we eat — into serotonin, a natural hormone in the body that helps make you sleepy. The body then uses serotonin to make melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate your sleep and wake cycles.

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Tryptophan also is used by the body to make niacin, a B vitamin that is important for the skin and for the digestive system. Niacin also has been associated with calming anxiety.

Milk is not the only source of tryptophan. Poultry, meats, cheese, yogurt, fish and eggs contain the hormone, and pumpkin seeds are a good non-animal source.

Previous research studies have suggested that the calcium content of milk also makes it work as a sleep aid. Calcium can help some people to relax.

If you choose to drink milk before bed – whether it is daytime milk or nighttime milk — nutritionists recommend that you watch the fat content. The fat in whole milk can put a burden on your digestive system when you drink it before retiring for the night.

What do you think about the daytime milk vs. nighttime milk debate? Share your thoughts in the section below:  

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New Study: Drinking Non-Organic Milk Linked To Parkinson’s?

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New Study: Drinking Non-Organic Milk Linked To Parkinson's?

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Pesticides in non-organic milk could cause brain damage that lead to health problems such as Parkinson’s disease. So says a new study of men in Hawaii that found that those who drank two glasses of non-organic milk a day were more likely to lose neurons (brain cells).

“This study is not a wake-up call to stop drinking milk — only 12 people who drank about two glasses of milk a day showed significant loss of neurons,” James Beck the vice president of scientific affairs at the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, told WebMD. “Nevertheless, its results also suggest that low levels of a pesticide, accumulated in milk, contributed to the loss of brain cells. So a practical question to ask is if it is time to consider strategic purchases of organic foods — it may be.”

The study found that men who drank more than two cups of non-organic milk a day had 40 percent fewer cells in certain areas of their brains. That included regions of the brain associated with Parkinson’s disease.

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The study involved 450 men who had lived in Hawaii for several decades, and all of those involved were in the state in the early 1980s when a pesticide called heptachlor epoxide was used in the pineapple industry. Cows were fed a feed made in part from the pineapple debris. The pesticide since has been banned.

Researchers from Japan’s Shiga University examined the men for 30 years and conducted autopsies on the brains when they died. The autopsies found that the density of brain cells or neurons in some of the men were thinner.

The results were published in the scientific journal Neurology. The scientists are not sure if pesticide in milk causes Parkinson’s, although evidence points that way.

“We don’t have all the data yet, but we are close to finding the smoking gun here,” lead researcher R.D. Abbott told Time. “It’s not complete, but it’s very suspicious.”

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder that affects a person’s movement.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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Cows Or Goats: What’s Best For Homestead Dairy?

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Cows Or Goats: What’s Best For Homestead Dairy?

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There are many considerations when choosing the right dairy animal for your homestead. To reduce the risk of making the wrong choice, here’s some factors to consider before purchasing a dairy cow or goat for your homestead.

What Size Animal Is Best Suited to Your Facilities?

A dairy goat might weigh 200 pounds. A cow will weigh between 800 and 1,300 pounds. That’s a big difference when it comes to feed consumption and facility requirements, as well as milking and handling the animal.

A dairy cow will require stronger fencing and housing. For instance, a cow pushing on the fence to reach grass on the other side or even to relieve an itch can topple posts and ruin fencing that would easily contain a dairy goat.

However, goats can be escape artists. They require tight fencing and electric fences, and hard fencing can be a good option.

What About Your Budget?

Cows will consume quite a bit more feed than a dairy goat. That’s definitely a consideration when choosing which one is best suited to your budget.

Everything You Need To Know To Keep A Cow Healthy, Happy, And Productive…

Be prepared to see prices of $1,000 and up for a good dairy cow. Goats tend to be lower, coming in at an average of $300, although I have purchased great producers for as little as $150.

Milk Production and Other Factors

Cows will produce much more milk, and depending on your needs that may be a good thing. But remember: You’ll be getting milk every single day that your cow or goat is in production. It can add up quickly. If you’re milking by hand verses using a milking machine, then stripping out a cow is much more work than a goat.

Another factor: Cow’s milk seems to have more cream than goat’s milk. If cream is an important factor in your decision, then a cow will come out on top in the cream department.

Breeding Considerations

When breeding your dairy animal you’ll either have to purchase or borrow a sire, or use artificial insemination. Both are viable options. You can contact other farms and homesteads in your area to locate someone who will sell or loan you a sire. You also can find someone who will perform artificial insemination for you.

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The important thing to remember is that you will need to determine what your plan will be before breeding season rolls around.

As a general rule, dairy goats are seasonal breeders. That means the females will only become interested in breeding as the daylight grows shorter in the fall.

Cows Or Goats: What’s Best For Homestead Dairy?

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Cows are aseasonal breeders, meaning they cycle roughly every 21 days. So you can set up the breeding season with more flexibility to accommodate your budget and schedule.

One final thought when choosing a dairy goat or cow for your homestead: Cows and goats have distinctly different personalities. Visit a few farms to get an idea of which one you like best before making a purchase.

As always, do you your research and make an educated decision on what is best for your operation. In the end, you’ll be happier, the animal will be happier, and even the milk will taste much better!

What is your preference for homestead dairy – cows or goats? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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