Thursday, March 26, 2009
Lucky person that I am, I am in the general area of an organic dairy. They have jersey cows, they're raised on pasture, they're not given hormones or antibiotics. These lovely cows provide milk from whole to skim, heavy cream, buttermilk, half and half, yogurt and the most lovely yellow butter. I can't get it raw, but it's low pasteurized and not homogenized, which is the next best thing. A large study was done on organic dairies in the US a few years ago, and this dairy was just one of seven in the entire country that got a perfect score.
Last year however the butter quality went downhill: it started spoiling quickly. My local health food store put it, and incomplete orders, down to growing pains since they've become so successful. (They've also jacked up their prices, which is ironic since they, of all places, don't have the added expenses of grain for feed which have been going up and up.)
Guess what? A semi-local restaurant that serves local and seasonal food has been shortchanged on their orders recently and it turns out that this wonderful dairy, that I've been singing the praises of, is selling their products in NYC and putting the needs of their neighbors, the very people who support them, last on their list of priorities.
This is the very antithesis of what this farm is and should stand for.
I am PISSED and very disappointed. This farm embodies what America should be going back to: local dairies providing high quality products to locals. The same for every organic vegetable farm and every farmer raising animals on grass in my area. But they've decided to say "screw you" to their neighbors and give first dibs to people living 500 miles away.
This is the very thing that's destroying, or rather helping to suppress, old and sustainable foodways. This country is never going to be healthy until we go back to eating real food and we can't eat real food until there are enough farmers out there with integrity who will farm with responsibility to the environment and with the mind to provide nourishment for their neighbors.
And it doesn't help that factory farming and monoculturing by big agribusiness is subsidized and supported by the government. This just means that organic farmers who formally had integrity don't get support from the government and so can be lured by having notoriety hundreds of miles away.
/Screw that/. Farms around the NYC area should be providing for the city, not stealing from me because organic dairy is vogue and the rich there can afford it. It pisses me off all the more because it's not like they don't have customers enough HERE! There are enough people in this area to buy up every last drop of milk and last pat of butter, but I guess we're not good enough.