Several weeks ago, a friend turned us on to the milk from Lavy Dairy Farms in Silex, MO, just north of St. Louis. Their listing on the Local Harvest website (linked above) reads as follows:
“The Lavy Dairy Farm is a certified organic Grade A licensed dairy. Family owned and operated. We sell quality organic raw milk. Our cows are cross bred for high protein and butterfat.”
Not only is their milk organic and local, the cows are pasture-fed (except in winter). We finally visited in-person on the way home from Iowa yesterday. For the amazing price of $3/gallon, we left with four gallons of beautiful milk. Until we found the Lavy Dairy Farm, the lowest price we’d seen for this product (local, organic, pastured milk) was $10/gallon.
Now here’s the part that gets me. They produce more milk than they sell directly to customers (like us), so every other day, a big truck comes to empty their milk tanks. Due to the low demand for organic milk, they cannot get on an organic pick-up route at this time. Their amazing milk that comes from cows tended with such care gets mixed in with all the other milk from factory-farm dairies! Such a tragedy.
I don’t have exact numbers, but some quick peeking at milk commodity prices indicates that they make a mere $1 (rough average) per gallon on milk that they sell on a large scale. They can sell their milk directly to customers (like us), but not directly to stores or at farmers’ markets because it is unpasteurized.
If you’re not sure that buying local food makes a difference, this proves that it does. In this case, even selling at the bargain price of $3/gallon, the farmer makes $2 PER GALLON more when selling locally. The Lavy Farm, and countless others like it, require [more] customers who value high-quality, healthy food produced in an environmentally-conscious manner. Vote with your dollars!
I had my heart set on seeing some calves (and posting some adorable pictures here), but that was not to be. Due to the ever-present rain, we didn’t get to see as much of the farm as we hoped yesterday, but that just leaves something to look forward to on a future milk run!
Sounds like a good find for yall! As a public health practitioner, what are your thoughts about raw milk, especially given the recent outbreaks?
I’m still on the fence about the raw factor. That is part of the reason that I look forward to seeing more of the operation next time.
Theoretically, cows that are eating what they are supposed to eat (i.e., grazing on pasture, not forced to eat corn), should have stomachs with a healthy balance of bacteria, including some of those that many people choose to ingest as probiotics by eating such things as yogurt.
Also, I don’t have all of the details, but the company that trucks out the Lavy Dairy milk does testing and reports back to them every time they pick up milk. Granted, this milk will go on to be pasteurized.
I’ve been drinking small amounts of the raw milk for several weeks, with no problems. Granted, we froze some of it (because we just don’t go through it that quickly), and that process may have killed some microorganisms. From what I’ve read, it seems that most healthy individuals are unlikely to have problems with raw milk. That said, as with any new food, it is best to introduce raw milk into your diet in small amounts so that your G.I. tract has time to adjust.
If the raw milk makes you nervous, check out the link below for a home pasteurization method from Mother Earth News.