Milking It

I have two children now aged 31 and 34 and over the years of rearing them, choosing the right milk for them (after successful and prolonged breast feeding) became the challenge. Back some 30 years ago, a child who looked like he or she had a negative reaction to drinking cows’ milk was in a pretty sad position; goats milk was literally a drive to the countryside for us to buy from a farmer, soy milk was unheard of in packaged form anyway and anything like pre-prepared almond or rice milk was a far off marketing venture. My search for alternative milk became an obsession.

Turns out he quite liked goats’ milk but personally, I just could not figure out how anyone could like the taste of that stuff! Buying it created a heinous carbon footprint – kilometres travelled to buy it! Around the time that our problem of finding a good alternative source of milk with its naturally occurring fats (to help mobilise fat soluble vitamins found in his diet, to protect things like his mucous membranes especially the lung lining) was getting a bit better, BOOM….really expensive powdered goats milk appeared on some supermarket and health food shelves! It was really expensive –and to me, still tasted STRONGLY! However, combined with the then out of season broccoli and using avocados plus old fashioned apple juice, we just got by. My son is now a strapping big engineer who hits the gym and is healthy and very funny, too. There were times though back then when as a single mother it was tough to keep going, due to the lack of two things that you only miss when you don’t have them – sleep and money!  It’s not money that I worry about but the lack of it and the same with sleep! (smile).

In 2015, what are the choices in milk products? Get a load of the width and depth of the “facings” (rows) for milk in your average supermarket. Haven’t we all been through the switch to soy milk from dairy to stop our runny noses and puffy eyes? Haven’t we all then scurried away from soy due to genetic-modification stories around this little white bean? Haven’t we all become entranced with almond milk and rice milk only to find it lacked the punch and froth of good old cows’ milk?

The real phenomenon in consumer shopping turns out to be the uptake of ORGANIC MILK. Thank you Lewis Road for putting this on our supermarket shelves.(Click last link below).  At the same time as the explosion of interest in road-side raw milk supply and purchase, Lewis Road gave us back the retro-style (plastic) bottle, gave us a hint at the size of the old milk bottle and gave us plenty of variety; coloured tops to choose from and that wickedly delicious chocolate version. Yum!

Enter Anchor milk! Thus inspired by the obvious consumer demand for organic milk Anchor muscled up and in and are now providing an organic variety at a very competitive price. Somehow though, my loyalties are with the Lewis Road product as I do so love a risk-taker and a leader, not a follower necessarily. Next minute though, Puhoi Milk is out with their “organic” milk. But wait, please do your research, read the New Zealand Herald (can we believe the Herald?) and you might find that Puhoi has jumped the labelling gun so to speak and outed their ORGANIC claim on their milk, slightly ahead of them achieving organic status? There are question marks all over that last sentence as I would not like to wrongly accuse anyone or anything. Thanks to the phenomenon of on-line searching from friends such as google and, there is a way to check everything these days and to find anything. To see the nature of Goodman Fielder (who own Puhoi) and their range of activity in food processing and distribution, click the third link below.

It would be interesting to research the swing away from cows’ milk, to soy, to almond and rice and combos thereof, and then to organic. Ask google or dogpile….let’s see what comes up. The real message though around integrity of products that we consume is who makes it, is it safe, is it what it says it is on the label, and is it made with integrity?”  Please read the link below as it discusses very simply the meaning of what is truly organic, what goes on in the process of smashing up milk globules to homogenise our milk, and what goes on in ownership of some of our milk products. There is also a reference to the relationship with palm kernel oil feed and standard milk.

Spare a thought for the hard working cows, spare a thought for the soy farmer (originally in China but click the second link below) spare a thought for our bodies. Never take anything for granted that it is truly good for us and is a product or a producer with integrity. Cheers.


JONNIE (Jonette) MEAD blogger and dreamer, celebrant for all occasions (especially weddings) resides in the quiet and vintage village of Waihi, cusping over the boundaries of Waikato and the Bay of Plenty. She is a champion of truth – where possible

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