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Lessons Learned from Whole Milk

Lessons Learned from Whole Milk

Yesterday, I went to a natural foods store called Harvest House in Concord, CA. I bought half a gallon of raw, whole milk in a glass container. At the checkout, the man ringing up my groceries told me that if I brought back the used container, I would get $1.50 off the cost of another half gallon, or I could opt to be given the same amount in cash – “Like the old days,” the man joked.

When I got home, I opened the jar to find a thick layer of cream floating on the top. My mother has often told me that she misses the rich flavor of the creamy milk she used to drink every morning as a child. The presence of the cream made me feel that I was finally drinking milk as it was supposed to be experienced. And the flavor was amazing.

To be sure, our grandmothers had it much more difficult than we do. Most of them spent a good portion of their time preparing food from scratch. And while I am grateful that I don’t need to dedicate so much of my life to milking cows and canning massive amounts of vegetable to last an entire winter, I also feel that there is something deeply important about understanding where food comes from and preparing it with love and care – something our culture has lost and must work to regain.


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Sarah Cooke

Sarah Cooke is a writer living in California. She is interested in organic food and green living. Sarah holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Naropa University, an M.A. in Humanities from NYU, and a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University. She has written for a number of publications, and she studied Pastry Arts at the Institute for Culinary Education. Her interests include running, yoga, baking, and poetry. Read more on her blog.


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9:31AM PDT on Apr 20, 2013

This is an anecdote, not a lesson.

12:02AM PDT on Apr 18, 2013


3:43PM PDT on Mar 25, 2013


3:16PM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Thank you!

8:24AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Milk is flavourful delight! So many benefits if it is organic. Some may believe it is not designed for humans but humans are versatile and can adapt when they choose to. Not everything from animals is terrible or has to be avoided. Some people are lactose intolerant or gluten intolerant or can't eat certain fruits or veggies. Love brussels sprouts but they don't agree with me, so sad! They are tasty if not over cooked! (As with any veggie). Oh yes, I agree with the taste of real butter.

3:53PM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

Yes there was a significant reason behind the laws for pasteurization. It is called big business greed, that need to store a product in warehouses for long periods and then it is shipped well... worldwide. /So yea, there was a reason, it is so the largest of the largest can and do take all the business, and the small family farms, cannot afford the huge cost of equipment to do it themselves. So then they get to sell raw to a big company. Wow vicious circle for those of us that really farm.

7:37AM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

i am so used to skim, that 2% tastes like drinking cream.

5:53AM PDT on Jul 19, 2012


5:53AM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

This reminds me of the 1990s song 'I am Milk'.

1:15AM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

Not sure what the lessons learned were, other than you liked it.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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