Saturday, October 8, 2011

Cows and more cows!

Prather Ranch with Shasta 
Ever since jumping on the "real food bandwagon" last summer, Jesse and I have been in search of good quality, local, organic, raw, grass fed, pastured foods. The last few weeks it's been all about the cows!

We've wanted to purchase a grass-fed cow (for it's meat) since last year and finally found some families to go in on it with us. The reason being, grass-fed meat can be pricey. Best to buy in bulk! We found a nearby farm called Prather Ranch that raises healthy grass-fed cows free from pesticides, hormones, anti-biotics and corn.

Happy cows= healthy nutritious meat! We ordered the cow from a local butcher who then aged and dried it and cut and packaged it up. We divided it between 3 other families, each walking away with a whole quarter of a cow! Don't worry, we also purchased a deep freeze.
Our deep-freeze with ~130lbs of grass-fed meat!

Now we're stocked up for a full year with ground, beef, roasts, filets, new yorks, brisket, etc...all coming out to be about $4 a pound! Come on! I even asked him to save me a few marrow bones from which I've made and froze beef stock. Homemade stock has been called "Jewish penecillin" for a reason. It's SO good for you! I make chicken stock too and freeze it in 1 cup portions in baggies. It's easy to grab and defrost when I need it for dinner.
Making homemade bone broth

What makes bone broth so nutritious?
  • Science validates what our grandmothers knew. .. Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.” From “Broth is Beautiful” by Sally Fallon Morell
  • The French were the leaders in gelatin research, which continued up to the 1950s. Gelatin was found to be useful in the treatment of a long list of diseases including peptic ulcers, tuberculosis, diabetes, muscle diseases, infectious diseases, jaundice and cancer. Babies had fewer digestive problems when gelatin was added to their milk. The American researcher Francis Pottenger pointed out that as gelatin is a hydrophilic colloid, which means that it attracts and holds liquids, it facilitates digestion by attracting digestive juices to food in the gut. Even the epicures recognized that broth-based soup did more than please the taste buds. “Soup is a healthy, light, nourishing food” said Brillant-Savarin, “good for all of humanity; it pleases the stomach, stimulates the appetite and prepares the digestion.” Also from “Broth is Beautiful” by Sally Fallon Morell
  • From Cheeseslave at the post on the Health Benefits of Bone Broth: “The gelatin in homemade bone broth helps the lining of the intestine. Many of us today have leaky gut, diverticulitis, Crohn’s and other intestinal problems. By helping to strengthen the gut walls, this also supports immunity. It also strengthens digestion which helps you absorb more nutrients.Gelatin also helps people digest milk and dairy products.
  • Bone broth supplies amino acids that help the body detoxify.
Good enough reasons for me! I love returning to all the nourishing traditions of our past.

Marc's Farm in Cottonwood
Our second cow endeavor was to purchase raw milk at a good price. Few people are aware that clean, raw milk from grass-fed cows was actually used as a medicine in the early part of the last century. That's right! Milk straight from the udder, a sort of "stem cell" of foods, was used as medicine to treat, and frequently cure, some serious chronic diseases. Today, the pasturization (rapid heating) and homogenization (forcing the fat to be evenly dispersed so there's no "cream on top") processes that milk goes through strips milk of it's natural vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals. That's why the have to pump vitamin D back into it.

I've been buying raw milk from our local health food store, but it's $8 for a half gallon! Finally I found a local farm where I can get raw milk for only $7 for a whole gallon. Because the government does not what us buying raw milk, the only legal way to obtain it is to buy a share of the herd. So for $28 a year, Jesse and I are now proud owners of a share of a beautiful cow herd!
Some of our herd grazing in the beautiful sun.

We visited the farm today and talked to farmer Marc as he showed us around and introduced us to his cows. His milk is grade A and is constantly tested for pathogens. He has sold his milk to Land-o-lakes for years and none of the tests have ever come back positive for pathogens. His standards are impeccable. The cows all graze on grass all day and are supplemented with hay and barley in the winter. No GMO corn here! The herd is small, only 25-30 cows at a time, which makes it very manageable. Marc is able to keep an eye on the cows, making sure they're healthy and strong!
Me and baby girl, getting to know our cows

We walked away with 4 gallons of fresh, raw milk! Milked that morning. We're going to freeze 3 gallons at a time, that way we only have to make the 25min trip to the farm once a month. Man, I'm pumped! And with all the milk I've been drinking lately (baby girl needs her calcium!) I'm sure it'll go fast. Plus I'll be making kefir, ice cream, and perhaps even butter from this glorious milk. :)

Farmer Marc filling up our jars
Where the cows were milked this morning

Our milk!

So, that's it for now. I hope you enjoyed this little peak into our lives and my passion for whole food. Until next time...

Be filled with all His GOODNESS!!


At October 8, 2011 at 11:00 PM , Blogger 4 Rent said...

I guess we will need to go looking for cows here locally in SB. Can't wait!

At October 10, 2011 at 11:39 PM , Blogger Jonnique said...

Very educational and looks like you guys are enjoying life to the fullest!


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