Please not that Riverside Milk is raw milk and that raw milk may not be suitable for you or your family. The Ministry of Primary Industries advises the following: 'Raw milk may contain Microorganisms that can cause serious illness. To reduce the risk of illness, the raw milk should be heated to at least 70 degrees celcius for at least one minute. This is critical for infants, young children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.'
Benefits of Whole fresh milk
Great source of calcium
Provides carbohydrates, iodine, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, zinc
Contains fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, K
Raw milk contains higher amounts of B12, B2, vitamin C, lysine, and whey proteins than heat-treated milk.
Gluckman, P. (2015). Review of Evidence for Health Benefits of Raw Milk Consumption. Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor.
'A number of epidemiological studies suggest that early-life exposure to unprocessed cow‘s milk together with other factors may reduce the risk for developing asthma, allergies, hay fever and atopy like eczema.' (Ministry of Primary Industries, 2013, p.13)
Ministry of Primary Industries. (2013). An Assessment of the Effects of Pasteurisation on Claimed Nutrition and Health Benefits of Raw Milk (MPI Technical Paper No: 2014/13). http://www.mpi.govt.nz/news-resources/publications.aspx
Milk as pure as can be
When we look after our environment and animals, we also look after ourselves. Riverside Milk is committed to decreasing our dairy farm's impact on the planet and producing pure milk that comes from sustainable and cruelty-free farming practices.
Unlike many dairy farms, Riverside Milk maintains a low stocking rate, with only two cows per hectare rather than the usual four (or more). This reduces our environmental impact and gives pastures and soil biology the resilience to rejuvenate and regenerate much more quickly.
Our pastures contain plenty of plantain, chicory, tall fescues and red and white clover alongside the conventional ryegrass cultivars. This ensures good cow health and nutrition and minimises the need for any inorganic nitrogen fertiliser through the natural nitrogen fixing in the clover root nodules.
Our dairy farm is not irrigated, uses less water and has dramatically reduced runoff and leaching. We are acutely aware of our responsibility to protect our waterways and are committed to further implementing practices to reduce our farm's environmental impact.
We assist the health of our cows by giving them plenty of rest from milking each year. Our farmers also like to ensure their diet is nutritious and healthy by letting them graze on resilient, biologically managed pastures. There is nothing better than a mix of organic fish fertiliser (yummy!), worm juice and molasses to feed beneficial microbes in the soil and make a cow smile...
While Riverside Milk is strictly not a registered organic dairy farm, we endeavour to implement environmentally friendly and sustainable farming methods and avoid using harmful substances such as herbicides whenever possible.
Furthermore, unlike most dairy farms, we don't trade in 'bobby calves' (calves are considered and treated like a waste product and are born only to be slaughtered for human and pet consumption). We keep all our calves (males and females) and raise them on our farm. While we will sell some of them later in their life (when they are at least one year old), we do not send them to slaughterhouses and meat works (unfortunately, the reality for most calves on conventional dairy farms).
Our Riverside Milk Farmers know each cow personally and are opposed to animal cruelty and using any means which may hurt or endanger their animals. When we say that our cows are happy and healthy, it's not a marketing phrase but the result of everyday observations and interactions...
Hygiene and safety
Advances in animal health and disease prevention programmes have almost wholly eliminated diseases such as T.B., Brucellosis and Leptospirosis from the national herd. Drinking raw milk has never been safer than it is now.
Nevertheless, raw milk has been categorised by the New Zealand government as a 'high risk' food that - just like chicken - could potentially be harmful to some people. Apart from labelling our milk with the prescribed government warnings, we also work within comprehensive guidelines to provide our customers with a product that they can trust.
To ensure the hygiene and safety of our farm milk, we follow (allied to the total adoption of milk refrigeration) strict procedures for disease control. This includes comprehensive regular testing for infection indicators, bacteria and parasites. We also operate under Fonterra's food safety program and risk management plan.
With the exception of the daily tests, all fresh farm milk is independently analysed at the Cawthron Institute in Nelson. This ensures that everything is fit for harvesting milk for use not only at home but also in countries with some of the world's highest food safety standards.
Why not pasteurise?
We love the taste and creaminess of raw whole milk. In our humble opinion, it tastes a little like vanilla, sunshine and happiness. Then there is the delicious cream layer on top - who can resist pouring that dollop into a nice cup of coffee or some ice cream?
We love that we know where our milk comes from. It doesn't travel more than a few hundred meters from its origin to our farm sales point. It doesn't get more local than that. So, if you want milk that has travelled the least miles possible and if you want to be able to see where our cows spend their lives, Riverside is the place to get your milk.
We love that it's super fresh. We are talking about milk no older than 24 hours. There is something special about a product that comes straight from the farm to you. When was the last time you really tasted a glass of FRESH milk?
We love that we can make yoghurt, cultured butter and fresh cheeses from it. There is no need to buy any fancy equipment or starter cultures because raw milk does its own magic when left alone. Cruise through the plethora of online raw milk recipes or join one of our regular Cheese Making workshops to start your raw dairy journey.
Nevertheless, 'raw milk vs. pasteurised milk' continues to be a highly controversial topic in most western societies, with whole/raw food advocates in one corner and governments as well as big dairy companies in the other one. Both sides rely on scientific research and expertise from health practitioners, and in the end, it is up to you, the consumer, to form an informed opinion.