Filed under: Nutrition
Now that title may seem a little odd coming from the guy who wrote The Case Against Conventional Dairy, but the key part of that other blog title is the word conventional. Conventional dairy production is awful. The cows are packed in like sardines, force-fed tons of corn, milked constantly and the quality of the product suffers greatly.
Fortunately there is a growing amount of available dairy from cows that are grass-fed and pasture-raised, milked only when appropriate and producing a vastly superior product. Organic Valley is one such company that produces their dairy this way, and I have talked about them before with their Pasture Butter.
I am also not a huge fan of pasteurization (especially UHT pasteurization), as it changes the taste of milk, seems to deaden the product and definitely kills off some of the benefits of raw milk, including some probiotics like Lactobacillus acidophilus.
Because of all of this, my consumption of dairy has greatly decreased over the past year. I generally stick to yogurt (sometimes Greek, sometimes just Stonyfield plain yogurt that I add protein powder too), and some stuff from my local farmer’s market like raw butter (amazing) and raw milk (also amazing) from a local farm that raises only organic, grass-fed pasture-raised cows.
I still only consume small amounts of the milk, one half-gallon will last me a week, and I consume about 1 tbsp of the butter per day, so my overall dairy consumption is not that high.
The point of all this is to talk about another dairy source that I have come to appreciate more and more. It has gone in and out of my diet for about a year and a half, but lately has been in there quite consistently.
I am talking about raw sharp cheddar cheese by Organic Valley. This product is available nation-wide, which is a nice perk. It comes from grass-fed pasture-raised cows, and it isn’t pasteurized to boot. It is aged for about 8 months to maximize flavor (and make it legal to sell anywhere), and it goes awesome with an apple.
Raw cheese from grass-fed cows is an excellent source of protein as well as some fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K2 (whose intake has been associated with lower risk of heart attack, cancer and all-cause mortality), as well as CLA (potent cancer-fighter), carotenes and omega-3 fatty acids. It is an incredibly nutrient-dense food!
Though I am not a fan of conventional dairy, if you do choose to consume dairy, do your best to make quality choices from quality companies.
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