I never thought it was legal to sell raw milk. Surely that whole pasteurization process is what makes milk safe to drink, isn't it? I'd heard that you could, of course, milk your own cow and drink the stuff if you wanted to, but that you couldn't sell it to anyone else.
I was alerted to this little gem of a dairy by a recent article in the Valencia County News Bulletin, which detailed the hands-on production at this little farm at 150 Country Lane in Bosque Farms. Turns out that Mark and Bernadette Simons and their children Luke Simons and Megan Ripper have a very limited quantity of both cow's milk and goat's milk that you can buy, fresh from the cow, the way our forefathers all drank their milk (with the cream rising to the top, mm-mm!) And, according to their "Raw Milk Dairy" website, their product is both completely legal and very healthy!
The Sunshine Dairy website notes that their farm's milk parlor, milk processing room, and process of operations "are all audited and passed as part of the certification process which is required for the New Mexico State Department of Agriculture (NMDA) to issue us a permit to sell raw milk. Requirements met include the Federal Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO) and the additional requirements imposed on raw milk production." While they have not yet met the requirements to be "certified organic," their animalsare free of additives, hormones, or other manufactured production enhancement treatments.
They provide further background, explaining that regulations requiring pasteurization initially became important because of huge "swill dairies" operating in New York State, which kept cows in complete confinement, being fed waste produced from alcohol manufacturing (swill). The conditions were unsanitary, and the perfect breeding ground for diseases like brucellosis. Rural doctors, however, were, at the same time, touting the health benefits of raw milk produced from healthy, pastured cattle.
Still dubious? Apparently recent tests from Organic Pastures dairy in California (www.organicpastures.com/faq.html), show that pathogen growth in healthy raw milk is less than in pasteurized milk. The Sunshine Dairy website gives details of their daily routine producing milk from their "girls," as they term their cow and goats, and also provides additional resources about the health benefits of properly produced raw milk vs. pasteurized milk:
So, if you've ever had a hankering to once more experience that fresh milk you remember drinking back on Grandpa's farm in the old days, head on over to Bosque Farms, NM, and check out this little dairy operation!
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