Friday, January 20, 2012

Eat Fat - Burn Fat!

A very common question I am asked by new-to-raw-milk customers is, “am I supposed to remove all that cream on the top of the jar of milk?” The short answer is no, you do not remove it, that’s the best part, and that’s where the nutrition is.

As many Americans, you were most likely raised like me, to believe that fat is bad for us, we must eat a low fat diet at all times, and the best fats are vegetable oils. This can’t be further from the truth! In the 1950’s, it was noted that retailers made far more money selling the butterfat for ice cream and butter rather than whole milk. When the butterfat was skimmed off, the remaining waste product was soon identified as something that could be marketed to the public – claims were made (completely unfounded) that skim milk would help people lose weight, which added more profit to the dairy industry. In reality, skim milk is full of empty calories leading to diabetes, allergies, obesity and higher levels of bad cholesterol.

My grass-fed jersey cows provide wholesome, healthful milk that is 25% cream by volume in a half gallon jar of milk. This nutrition-packed cream will actually help you burn fat, as opposed to a high-carbohydrate diet which puts your body into fat-storage mode. Carbs stimulate the secretion of insulin, which is the only hormone that puts fat into storage. Saturated fats from grass fed animals actually take more fuel to burn, thus increasing your metabolism.

Besides increasing our metabolism, full-fat raw milk from grass fed cows has been described as nature’s single most complete food in that it has more nutritional essentials in larger amounts than any other food. It contains enzymes, the fat soluble vitamins A, C, D, E, B6, and B12, and Activator X, identified as Vitamin K2. The vitamins A and D in the cream are needed for proper assimilation of calcium and protein in the skim portion of the milk. When we drink skim milk on its own, without any fat from the cream, it is not healthy and can actually be toxic and cause allergies. Our bodies only absorb the nutrition from the skim by drinking it as whole milk with all the fat still intact. Traditional whole milk was at least 4% butterfat. I like to buy cows that are testing at least 4.5%-5% butterfat!

And briefly, one additional wonderful substance in whole-fat raw milk is Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) which occurs in the butterfat of grass fed cows. Many studies over the last 20 years have established that CLA offers protection against breast cancer and other malignancies, through its role as a potent antioxidant.

It’s worth every penny to find a reliable source of whole, raw milk – real milk, from grass fed cows. You will find that by incorporating milk and, if you can, raw milk butter, yogurt, and kefir, you will have found the key to burning fat and feeling satisfied with your meals!

Charlotte Smith
Charlotte passionately believes in the health benefits of a traditional foods diet, especially dairy products from grass-fed cows. She loves sharing time honored traditions of transforming milk into delicious and nutritious cheeses through her classes which are also teeming with nutrition facts and wisdom. Charlotte owns Champoeg Creamery, a pasture based raw milk dairy in St. Paul, Oregon, and is the mother of 3 and a certified Nutrition Wellness Educator.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Please Welcome our 2012 Contributing Writers

I'm spending 2012 fulfilling a crazy dream of traveling the world with my husband, Ted, and recounting adventures at, and while I'm away from home and kitchen comforts, I've asked a handful of terrific friends and writers to continue sharing their real life, real food encouragements and experiences.

Through growing the community of Contributing Writers, Sustainable Food for Thought will continue to bring ideas, how-tos, encouragement, and inspiration to real food friends in the Pacific Northwest and across the web. You'll recognize a few voices from previous posts, Food Group get togethers, and Food Swaps, and you'll find new faces as well. Please join me in welcoming them as they prepare to share their stories this coming year!

Rebekah Pike 
Rebekah is happiest with her nose in a book and enjoys making the most of her pint-sized, apartment kitchen. After leaving work in media production to become a full-time mommy, she began exploring the sustainable living movement, reconnecting with the back-to-the-earth ideals of her hippie parents. She met her husband, Darian, in 2005, working as a camp counselor in Oregon's rugged outdoors. Most of their time is spent chasing after their two year old daughter, Ashlynn, and doing serious “research” at Portland's restaurants, coffee shops and markets.

{Rebekah's friendship in my life is such a refreshing gift. She's one of the most competent, down-to-earth, and true-to-her-convictions women I've ever met. You'll love her! See her posts on Small Batch Canning, Trying New Farms, and Celebrating Rituals of the Season.}

Lindsay Strannigan
Lindsay is a Portland-based food writer and event coordinator who shares her love of whole and healthy foods, wine, and cooking on her blog and in the company of friends. She creates delicious recipes, often highlighting local ingredients from the Montavilla Farmers Market where she serves as Board Member, and she brings her culinary savvy and event planning skills to our mix, running our seasonal PDX Food Swap.

{Lindsay and I met at the inaugural PDX Food Swap, and she's rocked the food swap party ever since. Her lovely blog is full of celebration and sincerity ~ beautiful recipes to decorate your table, serve to friends, and savor in season. Keep an eye out for her updates here and on Facebook and Twitter regarding future Food Swaps!}

Charlotte Smith
Charlotte passionately believes in the health benefits of a traditional foods diet, especially dairy products from grass-fed cows. She loves sharing time honored traditions of transforming milk into delicious and nutritious cheeses through her classes which are also teeming with nutrition facts and wisdom. Charlotte owns Champoeg Creamery, a pasture based raw milk dairy in St. Paul, Oregon, and is the mother of 3 and a certified Nutrition Wellness Educator.

{I'm lucky to be related to Charlotte; we're first cousins once removed and kindred spirits in the Real Food world. She's been such an inspiration to watch as she's revolutionized her food life and improved her family's health. Whether she's sharing tips for finding a raw milk source, teaching cheese classes, or tending to the well being of her charming cows in order to provide the highest quality accompaniment to freshly baked brownies, she's always sharing her dedication to healthy land, kitchens, animals, and people.} 

Genevieve Cruz
Genevieve and her family moved to a 35 acre farm in Sandy, Oregon to improve their health and begin providing others with good food, too. They specialize in grass fed/finished beef and raw milk. She is a stay at home mom who began researching health and nutrition about eight years ago which led them to become farmers in 2008 and begin selling raw milk in March of 2009. She's learned many things while living on a farm and hopes to continue learning more. She loves having people over to visit and share meals.

 {Genevieve and I met a few years back when I learned that she was providing raw milk, free range meat, and more from her farm in Sandy. I so enjoyed driving out toward Mt. Hood, visiting the baby turkeys that eventually became our Thanksgiving meal, and chatting about Joel Salatin, family farming, and more. She will begin sharing stories on the blog after the arrival of their newest addition to the family this spring.} 

Jesse Buck
Jesse is Bethany Rydmark's {big} little brother. He is a junior in high school and lives on the family farm in St. Paul. He is a video game playing, combine driving, movie watching teenager who also may be found planting the garden, harvesting fresh veggies, snapping food photos in Hipstamatic, cooking dinner for special occasions, and spending an afternoon watching Julia Child episodes and cooking through stacks of recipes with his favorite sister.

{I'm so excited that Jesse is game to share his kitchen experiences on the blog! In the past, the two of us have tackled holiday meal prep together, headed to the vegetable garden to bring in the bounty, and even honed a few choice knife skills at a one-day culinary school. Learning by trying and doing and feeding curiosities should make for fun posts, and you can bet he'll have fun sharing pictures of his final products.}
Kelsey is a firefighter/paramedic with Clackamas Fire and a dedicated homemaker who has successfully tackled health issues through alternative cooking. Kelsey shares her love of wholesome food with others through small scale health food courses and friendly conversation. She is dedicated to living well and staying fit, and she and her husband are in excited preparations to grow their family through adoption.

{Kelsey and I knew each other through social circles from high school days, but only after reconnecting through Food Group did I get to know her better and learn about her passion for nourishing foods. I admire her hard work and dedication in all areas of life, and I'm grateful to be able to host her here!}   

Michelle Felt
Michelle is a graduate of the Raw Gourmet Institute in Chicago, Illinois. Having grown up in the suburbs of Chicago, she has recently relocated to Portland, Oregon, where the produce is crazy fresh abundant and the culture is as thick as the Midwest’s humidity. She loves raw foods and advocates for eating with realism and relish. "Approach each eating experience as an opportunity to nourish your body, eating the best you can, in the moment."

{Michelle and I met this past fall after Portland lured her and her husband to settled down and start a new chapter following time overseas in Ireland, England, France, and Spain. We've spent time together as WordPress buddies, tapping away at laptops at the Laurelhurst Cafe, and I'm always impressed to read about the bright and lively foods she's whipping up in her Portland kitchen.}


Whether you've been a faithful Food Group member since 2008, a Food Swapper since 2010, or a blog reader since the beginning of 2012, thank you for being here and sharing the joy and health of food and thoughtful living. All the best to each of you this new year!


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