Friday, May 01, 2009

Of course, raw milk is available in B.C., too!

I recently became a shareholder in a cowshare operation in Chilliwack, British Columbia, called Home on the Range. The milk is expensive at (CAD)$17.50/gallon, but at least it is wonderfully available on this side of the border. Okay, the price is rather outrageous, it's about what we paid for organic heat treated milk in Korea (by the pint). But for the time being I'm willing to support the raw dairy movement here. Here's a good article describing the situation for Home on the Range.

In other excellent raw milk news, the lovely Susan, recently found a lovely Oregon cow to provide her with milk. The cow's name is Opal and her milk is fine, indeed. Sweet and rich (around 6%). Susan pays (USD)$10/gallon to Opal's caretaker. Susan is really enjoying the milk and hoping it will help her body~

It is really quite fascinating: on the West coast of North America there are 5 jurisdictions (4 U.S. states and 1 Canadian province), all with very different raw milk laws:

-Alaska: raw milk sales are illegal; cowsharing is legal (as of February 2009); "pet milk" sales are legal

-British Columbia: selling raw milk is illegal; cowsharing is done by about a dozen farms (from what I can tell), but most are given cease and desist order (which they don't comply with). There is a court battle looming, pending the judgement of the Michael Schmidt case in Ontario. Nobody here knows what "pet milk" is.

-Washington: raw milk dairies (and there are lots of 'em) are licensed to sell and distribute their milk by the state: this means you can walk into a grocery store and buy raw milk off the shelf, right next to other kinds of "milk products". Of note, local jurisdictions may prohibit raw milk sales. Also, raw milk delivery is legal.

-Oregon: goat and sheep milk sales are totally legal on-farm and in stores. Cow milk is limited to on-farm sales and the farmer musn't have more than 3 producing cows. Of note, state law prohibits advertising on-farm raw milk sales.

-California: raw milk is legal to sell on-farm and in stores. Of note, state law allows local jurisdictions to prohibit raw milk sales.

So, British Columbia is at the bottom of this pile, eh. Something's got to give soon here in B.C., with so much going on underground.


Real~Ideas said...

That is unusually high for raw milk. I am paying $2/L, which ends up being about $7.60 per gallon. I get it delivered every other Saturday for $20, and I usually order 26 litres for two weeks. Not taking into account the cream or other products I may order, it still only comes out to $2.77/L or $10.52/gallon if you include the delivery price.

Real~Ideas said...

by the way I live in Ontario.

Milk - $2/L
Cream - $25 for 2 Litres
Butter - $7/lb (VERY GOOD PRICE, cheaper than organic, pasteurized!)

and I can get homemade cheeses and such too for decent prices.

How much is the cream they sell?

Gord said...

Greetings, Real~Ideas,

Yes the cost is absurd - and that charge is in addition to a $125 cowshare member fee - nuts! Susan gets her milk in Oregon for $5/gal and it's significantly higher quality than Home on the Range. I'm glad you have access to reasonably priced diary. In Nova Scotia we paid $3/gal, not knowing how fortunate we were.

Home on the Range does not distribute cream. Oh, you should know how much they charge for butter, though: 1 lb. is the basic fee of 17.50 plus a 4 dollar processing fee = $21.50 for a lb. of butter!!!

The costs are way too much, but I was willing to support them, but I didn't like their way of doing business, so I am no longer a member.

Real~Ideas said...

I paid $300 upfront for a 6 year ownership of the cow. I felt that was fine, because I needed to do that partly to skirt around the ridiculously laws we have here in Ontario dealing with raw milk for direct human consumption, and it also ensures that the cow and farm is taken care of properly. It puts me into a contract with the farmer, I guess.

I once contacted the Home on the Range people to see if I could get milk shipped to me because I was desperate. I cannot remember how much it was for but I remember a quoted price of $30 for something, 4 litres perhaps?

Someone should write them a letter and tell them that while I'm sure people appreciate that they offer the products, the prices are just plain and simply too much, and give them examples of other dairies offering for FAR less. I could understand maybe paying about $10 or so for 1lb butter, because thats how much you would pay for mass produced "organic" butter, but $20+ is absurd.

The cream I pay for is $25, but you should see how dense the cream is, it comes to $12.50/litre (and includes the price for the jar in there already). I was pay $8.99/Litre for Organic unhomogenized pasteurized cream here in Ontario, but it was no where near as thick as this cream I get that is raw.

Have you phoned any Weston A Price chapter leaders nearby you to ask if they know of a better source of raw milk products?