There are so many things to love about this little state. One of my very favorite things is that raw milk is not only sold in this state, but it is done so in a public, legal way. I might love that even more than I love raw milk, which is pretty hard to beat!
Why does it make me so happy? Well, when it comes down to it, it shouldn’t be such a big deal. We’ve been drinking “raw” milk for thousands of years. Only relatively recently, industrialization made dairies too big to be able to be kept clean. Pasteurization won out as the solution to this problem, beating out logical ideas like cleanliness and returning to smaller dairies. In the name of food safety, we are now saddled with a lesser food. I believe people should be able to eat what they want to without government intervention aimed at cleaning up industries’ messes.
Of course, there are ways around this pigheadedness. When we lived in Australia, we were allowed to buy raw milk as “bath milk” with a wink and a nod. I rather liked that solution. It felt a bit cheeky and subversive. Here in the US, some states allow people to drink the milk from their own cows. In such places, people who don’t have cows can buy shares in a cow and therefore gain partial ownership, thus allowing them to drink the milk. Sadly, where we live cow shares are illegal. It seems strange to be sitting in the middle of farming country with no access to raw milk.
I always look forward to our visit to the Family Cow Farmstand as one of the many treats that await us in Vermont. The farm where my mother gets her milk is a lovely place with a farm stand operating on the honor system. (Take the food you want and leave your money in the box.)
The day we stopped to get our milk, this little calf was there to greet us. She was curious and sweet. We offered her some of the food from the box marked “calf food”, figuring she was interested in us because we could reach her food. But she wasn’t. She really just wanted to have some pats and have a little chat as only animals children can have.