I was reading today that researchers at Newcastle University in England have shown that happy cows produce as much as 68 more gallons of milk each year than cows who aren't socialized to humans and treated with kindness. I like that - always nice when research "proves" good things like this!
We don't yet buy our milk "straight from the farm," as we do with our meat and eggs. I know there are many, many benefits to non-pasteurized milk - but for some reason, I have something of a mental block on this one. I for too long have heard that pasteurized milk is "safe" and I haven't yet convinced myself to move past this. We're all works in process, right?
So we don't buy farm-fresh local milk, but we do buy organic Stonyfield Farm milk. Stonyfield is more local than some alternatives, but then not completely local as their milk is processed and packaged here in New Hampshire but actually comes from the Eastern US (not just New England). Again, for us it's a compromise. One of the ways we came to the decision to use this brand was by using the organic milk ratings put out by the Cornucopia Institute. They give Stonyfield a rating of "three cows out of five" - some of the other organic milks that I've seen sold at area stores (Horizon, Organic Cow, etc.) received "zero cows" - making me happy we've stayed away from those!
What about you - do you get your milk from local farms? Was it an easy decision for you, or did you struggle with the idea at first? I'd love to know!