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View Diary: Got milk....feeding (32 comments)

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  •  How come I saw all those dairy farm operations (4+ / 0-)

    out in what is really desert in Idaho on the way to Boise. I felt stupid when asking my uncle (the wildlife biologist who grew up on a farm) about all the feedlots with cows looking kind of well cared for.

    It seemed to hot for dairy but there they were.

    Without starting a big whoop dee doo with the food police is it ok that I feed my kids the grocery store milk? It's not even low fat.

    Sorry lots of questions and I haven't even gone back to look at your previous diaries yet.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 03:50:48 PM PST

    •  store milk? (6+ / 0-)

      Most people who drink milk buy store milk.  I have tried to explain why most people should feel confident that it is one of the safest foods you can buy.

      •  Tastes pretty good to me, but what do I know (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LIcenter, mikidee, high uintas

        I've started drinking it of late. I was on water but I lived so long where there is no milk I just started drinking it. Costs less than gasoline.

        “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

        by ban nock on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 06:10:44 PM PST

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      •  Bgh (6+ / 0-)

        is what most people fear in mass produced milk.  Small dairies here in Oregon are being bought up by larger and larger operations with pressure on milk producers to upgrade production through the use of Bovine Growth Hormone.  Some small dairies resist that route by cornering a niche market, offering pledges that their products are BGH free.

        Interesting enough, milk sales were stable for a number of years with the exception of Organic Milk which experiencing explosive growth.  It was the only sector in milk sales showing growth.  This was several years ago and I haven't followed this since then but I see this in the stores and I talk about this with our customers at farmers markets.  People here are becoming very savvy buyers of everything but they are fervent about milk quality.

        •  rBGH (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          terrypinder, mikidee, high uintas, NonnyO

          is not being used today to my knowledge.  Perhaps you missed my first diary where I explained that I had to sign a legally binding agreement with my cooperative that I would not use it.  Monsanto sold the business.

          •  Fairly quick cycle (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mikidee, high uintas, NonnyO

            I remember when seemingly everbody was saying they'd never do that to their cows, and then seemingly everybody was doing it, and now it's back to almost nobody.  Made Monsanto a boatload and put a lot of small dairymen out of business though.

          •  rBST use? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mikidee, high uintas, NonnyO

            I knew that Monsanto sold this to Eli Lilly, but last I heard it was not banned in the U.S. and still in use, though greatly reduced due to consumer demand for rBST-free products.  The last survey I found of Wisconsin dairy farmers (2010) said that 18% were still using it.  Monsanto sold it in 2008.

            My guess is that as long as there is a buyer willing to take the milk (like some of the large cheese companies in Wisconsin) it will be used.

        •  Nutritional value of mass produced milk (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          high uintas

          Grew up as massive dairy consumer/promoter.  Used to drink milk out of the plate cooler at multiple dairies.

          I worry about the decline in nutritional quality in milk.  For instance, I'm sure the Omega 3 proportion in milk has declined massively as dairies got larger and pasture-fed milk proportion decreased (greenchop helps).  Weight, Protein, Butterfat, and other milk solids, as well as pass scores for antibiotics and pathogens are basically the only things paid for, so they are basically the only quality controlled for as well.  I tend to think we should be looking at continuing to lower the pass scores for pathogens (as a proxy for health and sanitation of the dairy), as well as looking at nutritional quality scoring (in feed and milk) at a more detailed level.

          •  Nutritional quality scoring for feeds (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            high uintas

            is one of the keys to feeding properly feed the herd.  Before I can balance the cow's ration, I must have my home grown forages analyzed for macro and, sometimes, micro nutrients.  I must know the protein levels (especially digestible  protein), energy content for maintenance and lactation, as well as the CA, P, and K levels of the feed.

        •  My uncle had a Grade A Dairy (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          He had Herefords - those pretty black and white cows (later his son became a partner - and as time wore on, they each retired, uncle died, and cousin is my age and still alive and retired).  He whitewashed the floors of the barn, always had corn silage and grain for them to eat, each cow was monitored for other grains in their feed, they always had fresh good quality hay for the cows to lay on when they were inside the barn, had an auto-manure remover installed in the gutters, and every teat and udder was very carefully washed before the milking machine was attached.  From that point on, the milk went to the large container in the addition to the barn just to house that equipment where the milk was then transferred to a milk truck, then taken to a creamery, processed, and never saw the light of day until someone opened in a milk carton or what it was made into: butter, ice cream, cottage cheese, cheese, etc.  To this day, I'm still impressed at how clean the barn always was.

          I only once in my life ever heard my uncle raise his voice and that was at a family gathering at their place not long after BGH was begun to be used at dairies.  Uncle was vehemently against giving cows BGH!  It was because of that memorable tirade I always bought non-BGH milk.  It still always tasted funny to me and I wondered about the labeling a lot through the years - probably because at one point while I was growing up we had a beautiful Gurnsey (gold/tan & white) cow and Mom milked her by hand and we had lots of our favorite melkegrøt, plus fresh milk and fresh cream from her udder, and when there was enough cream my brother and I took turns shaking a gallon jug of cream until we had butter and buttermilk and then we had fresh pancakes from the buttermilk ~ I've always known what good milk tastes like.  I've recently switched to some very expensive Organic Milk and that tastes more like the milk I remember tasted when I was a kid.

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 06:32:56 PM PST

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    •  Simplot (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Big agricultural ranching. They range cattle all over SE Idaho and into NW Utah, they run about 30K head of cattle. Basically running their cattle on land that takes a huge amount of acreage to feed one cow. They are an environmental disaster, but they feed the need for beef.

      JR Simplot is a controversial figure. He embodies a lot that is bad about environment and work practices and yet is such a self made man with a huge personality that many people love him.

      I'm in the not love group. I hate the idea of huge agribusiness in general and I know too many little stories about his way of using his wealth to the detriment of others. Still, like I said he cuts quite a figure. This is a flattering view of him.

      And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

      by high uintas on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 09:28:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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