Last night I took a field trip to Organic Pastures farm in Fresno for a special event featuring a talk by Jordan Rubin, bestselling author of THE MAKER'S DIET. This was an exciting event not only because I got the chance to hear Jordan's message of hope for people, but also because I got the chance to check out the local farm where we get our weekly raw milk.
"Raw milk?" you ask. Yes, the Gilmores are drinking raw milk. It's extraordinary for this lactose-intolerant mama who hadn't consumed a real glass of milk in more than a decade. Raw milk is unpasteurized, unhomogenized milk straight from the grass-fed, free-roaming cow at Organic Pastures farms. There are only two farms in California selling the stuff and one is 20 minutes down the road from us.
Of course, dairy families have been drinking raw milk for years and feeling the healthful benefits of this food created by God. Mark McAffee has a barn-full of success stories of people who switched to raw milk and said bye bye to their kids asthma, autism, allergies, skin problems, the list goes on. It's full of what they call the "good bacteria" your body really needs. If you're skeptical, read on. Two of my friends, Allison and Cori, from our church small group joined me for this excursion. We packed up Allison's little one, Mia, for the ride out to the farm. It was a dark, rainy drive but Allison persevered behind the wheel. We passed several dairies but we knew they were not "organic pastures" because the cows were all huddled together, sitting in their poop, rather than roaming the green grasses. Some balloons and a sign marked the entrance of our destination and we pulled down the long driveway to the barn-airplane hanger-turned-hay-bale-theater. We were warmly greeted and stepped inside the hay theater. The hay bales were set up in rows with heaters blaring in the corners. A table was set with homemade brownies, raw milk products (even hot chocolate!) and oranges - a welcome treat. Mark McAffee (pictured here) is the owner of Organic Pastures and he did the intros. He's become a friend of ours since we see him at the Vineyard Farmer's Market each weekend and Ericlee has had many long talks with him about raw milk and healthy living options.
Each audience member was given a "goodie bag" with a Health magazine and a FREE copy of Jordan's new book, "PERFECT WEIGHT AMERICA." Apparently, Jordan has become good friends with Mark too since he's been buying his products for years. Jordan has his special "dog food" (so that it's legal) shipped to Florida where he lives. He told an amazing story about how his adopted daughter who came from a drug abuse background had a mix of raw milk formula and has never had an side effects from her parents' drug abuse. Needless to say, Jordan's a believer in the power of "living" raw milk products.
Jordan's talk was very eye-opening. For those who don't know, he suffered from Crohn's disease and was an emaciated 110-pound weakling facing death until someone challenged him to drop the myriads of medicines and special diets and just eat food God designed. According to his book, "my health rebounded after I began consuming healthy 'live' foods that were rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and friendly microorganisms called probiotics..." (Perfect Weight America, 10). The event was very inspiring. I loved hearing Jordan in person and hearing Mark's stories about how raw milk has helped so many in the valley and beyond. And as Mark said, the real heroes in the room were the breastfeeding mamas who have the "real stuff." I felt like some kind of renegade sitting there on the hay bills, sipping Chocoleche and peeling oranges. Then again, I knew I was among friends.