Cows, Goats & Milk

While running errands Saturday, I came across these cows being feed & watered. Readers had asked who feeds the cows wandering the streets, so I thought I’d share. These particular cows have a tarp for shade, located within about 50′ from what appears to be a communal water facet. They were being feed fresh green grass and they looked to me to be healthy and happy. A little bit down the road, there was a small herd of goats (I’m told they are not used for goat milk; one day they’ll be dinner). All of this urban farming was in the midst of the city.

People can get milk from these types of urban cows delivered to their homes but it has little to no “processing”. Several locals told me it was risky to get this sort of milk, but some people prefer it and others don’t have the luxury of store-bought milk. (Even in the US so-called raw milk has its fans, so it’s not entirely different. But I think in the US it tends to be more of a organic/locavore/alternative health option that is more expensive and harder to obtain than typical store- bought milk. So that seems to be one big difference: the urban poor in the US are not the typical raw milk customer….)

The milk in grocery stores is generally from distributors outside the city in “the villages”, who obtain their milk from rural farms and process it. Processing includes pasteurization. Most milk is sold un-refrigerated in Parmalat-style small box cartons. One can also buy milk in plastic baggies — LOTS of products are sold packaged in plastic baggies, from laundry powder to cooking oil — in the refrigerator aisle but I’ve been advised to drink/use that type of milk within a day or 2 at most because it doesn’t have a long shelf life.

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