Hey, Mom! Where Does Our Milk Come From?

Well, if you drink cow milk, the simplest answer is that it comes from cows.

And, it is essentially correct.

But the real truth is that milk comes from what the cows eat.

And cows evolved to eat one thing and convert it into energy and milk and bone and blood and flesh better than any other food a cow could consume.

And that would be……what?


Brrrrrrrththth. Wrong answer. You are the weakest link. Goodbye.

No, what cows are made to eat is this:


Grass and clover and sweet melilot and other pasture-based forage plants. But, primarily, grass.

(Now, the biggest truth of all is that milk comes, like all food on our planet, from the sun, but we don’t need to go that far along the food chain to make a point, do we?)

Look how green and lush that pasture is. Look at the cow pictured above. Look at how clear her eyes are, how alert and curious she looks. Look at the sleekness of her body and at how clean she is.

She looks like that because she lives in a pasture, on grass, and spends her time walking and foraging up hill and down, to get her dinner and to go twice daily to the milking parlor. She is healthy, and from what I can tell, quite happy, because she is living the life that natural selection and human breeding intended her for. She is resilient, strong and part of a herd of 270 bovines–most of them cows–only eight are bulls–all of whom give the milk that Snowville Creamery minimally processes and puts into cartons and puts onto grocery shelves all over Ohio.

Today was the second annual open house and farm tour at Snowville Creamery, and curious folk from all around who are interested in the source of our foods came and got to see how the operation works, from the ground up, starting with the grasses in the pasture, to the cows, to the milking parlor and on to the processing facility. Of course, Zak, Kat and I had to go–and not only did we have fun, and not just because we got to pet an adorable calf, but we also learned about how pastured dairy operations not only are healthy for the cows and our milk, but for our environment as well.

Expect a full report in one of next week’s posts. Until then, enjoy the photos here that show where milk comes from, and what healthy dairy cattle look like. (And how cute they are as babies!)


RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. You were there? I was there! I wish I had figured this out yesterday so I could meet you and tell you how much I love your blog and recipes. Have a great day!

    Comment by Kate — June 5, 2011 #

  2. Fabulous! Thank you not only for writing such a wonderful blog but being such a great friend of Snowville!

    Comment by Joy — June 5, 2011 #

  3. Kate, you know, we could always meet up for lunch sometime, or at the market! Drop me an email sometime!

    Joy–you are welcome–and thank you all at Snowville for not only making milk that is healthy for us and our environment, but also for the cows. I think what Snowville is doing is not only good for us all, but proves that a business model doesn’t have to be unsustainable to work.

    Comment by Barbara — June 5, 2011 #

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress. Graphics by Zak Kramer.
Design update by Daniel Trout.
Entries and comments feeds.